A KIND-hearted salon owner saved the day by offering up space in her premises to a rival business after its home was destroyed by a flood.

When news began to spread of a devastating flood at Benjamin Charles Hair Salon, in North Hill, Colchester, Gerry Thornton, owner of Crouch Street’s Mango Hair Design, wanted to help.

Through a Whatsapp group for Colchester salon owners created by Easi Hairdressing Academy, Gerry was able to connect with owner Ben and offer the spare space in her salon so his staff could continue to earn a living.

With repairs set to continue into the new year, Ben’s team have made a home for themselves at the salon, with Gerry saying the two business had joined together “like one big family”.


Gerry said: “I had never met Ben before but I had heard he was a lovely guy and he really does have a heart of gold.

“I just put myself in that position and I hope someone would do the same thing if it happened to me.

“Without this his livelihood would be ruined.”

Ben’s North Hill premises was severely damaged after hot water burst out of an upstairs pipe, destroying the ceiling and much of the specialist equipment.


Ben said: “We spent a lot of time during lockdown getting the salon ready to welcome back customers.

“It was fantastic when we returned and it was really busy with old customers and new ones.

“One morning I woke up to a phone call from my neighbours saying there was water coming out the front door.

“I jumped in the car and drove down North Hill and saw a crowd of people stopping outside the salon and a steady stream of water flowing out.”

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Ben managed to wade his way inside and switch off the electric and gas, but Essex Fire Service had to be called to stem the water flow.

“It was heartbreaking, especially with us having being closed for so many months during lockdown,” he said.


However, he said the response of the community had been so uplifting.

Ben said: “We had so many people offer help. Gerry came to the rescue. It is very humbling and I am so grateful to her.”

Mango Hair Design is a completely cruelty free salon. Visit mango-hairdesign.co.uk or benjamincharleshair.com.