A BARBER shop raised awareness for a homelessness charity with a music-themed charity event.

The Woodstock Barber Shop hosted a Music Medicine night on Friday, raising an estimated £1,500 for the Music Tech department at The Porch Day Centre, Oxford.

Up to 50 people crammed in to the store, in Woodstock Market Place, for two talks and nibbles, before flocking to The Star Inn for an evening of live music.

It was the culmination of a week of fundraising in aid of the charity and manager Maisie Kingston, from Begbroke, hopes the successful event is just the start.

The 24-year-old said: “The plan is now to raise as much money for the music department as possible.

“It’s definitely something we’d like to do again and for us to help a range of charities.

“A lot of people didn’t know about The Porch so it was great to inform them as they’re hopefully now more inclined to give to the charity.”

Barber shop staff will use the money raised to buy instruments for The Porch, which offers a range of activities and services for clients.

Among the items the shop hopes to donate are guitars, drums and equipment for music production and editing.

Throughout last week, the business donated £1.50 to the centre from every haircut at its three shops.

In addition to its barber shop in Woodstock, it also has stores in Eynsham and Marston in Oxford.

This helped raise awareness ahead of Music Medicine, which cost £10 per person with all proceeds going to The Porch.

On Friday, guests gathered for talks from Jason James, a project worker at The Porch, and Long Hanborough neuroscientist Gary Trinder, who spoke about the benefit music has on the brain.

Several local businesses donated prizes to the event’s auction, including a two-course meal at Woodstock hotel The Bear, beauty treatments and more.

A busker was stationed outside the shop, before local acts performed through the evening at The Star.

The Porch is based on Magdalen Road and was founded by the All Saints Sisters of the Poor in 1986, with the centre originally run by volunteers at All Saints Convent.

Since then, the project has become an independent charity with its own staff and is the only day centre in the city open six days a week.

It helps around 200 people a year and in 2017 was honoured with the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.

The Porch targets those who have experienced, or are experiencing, rough sleeping, hostel accommodation, supported housing, or who are vulnerably housed.

The centre offers an extensive mix of services, from vocational skills training and employment support to allocated support workers for any member that needs one.

A library, a free clothing store and laundry facilities and showers are among the day-to-day services available.

For more information visit theporch.org.uk/