Amanda Tierney is our Hero of the Year

Andrea Tierney is no ordinary barber. She has been many things in her life. A housing coordinator, a hairdresser, a barber but above all a hero. That’s why she has won the Industry Hero of the Year Award for 2015.

Throughout her life Andrea — who lives in Blackburn — has helped homeless people in anyway she can. She has won the award for hosting a drop in session at Street Life Blackpool cutting homeless people’s hair twice a month for half a day and at no cost. The drop-in session was a hit and Andrea has been asked by Barnardo’s to host similar events in the future.

But that’s not all that won her the award. She often travels to Fulwood Barracks to cut veterans and amputees hair, who she feels are often overlooked in our society. Andrea said: “I always give time after the haircut to just talk to them. Some of them have no-one and you can see how much it means to them.”

Even though we have had a mild winter so far — with temperatures averaging 8 degrees — it’s always a struggle for the homeless to keep warm over the festive period. So Andrea walks up and down Preston’s high street — Fishergate — every morning and makes sure each individual has a hot drink and a something to eat. She explains: “Everyone is just a few steps away from being homeless. Say you lose your job and you have no family to fall back on. What happens then?”

And to top it all off Andrea tried to make sure as many homeless people in Preston had something to open on Christmas day. Even if it was the smallest thing. She amounted over a hundred small presents — usually in shoe boxes — and handed them out just before Christmas day.

Andreas motto is: “Don’t look down on someone unless you’re picking them up” and said it was nice to be recognized for the work she does. Throughout her life she has always helped the homeless and plans to continue her work and shows no sign of stopping.