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Hairdressing coach helps raise thousands for charity

Our Hairdressing Trainer Coach Katie Navoa has completed the iconic Welsh Three Peaks Challenge in under 24 hours. She and her group have helped raise a total of £17,500 for Hospice of the Valley’s.  

Big into her fitness, Katie challenges herself daily, encouraging learners to get out of their comfort zone and try new things.  

We caught up with Katie to shine a light on her energy and enthusiasm both inside and outside of work and how this builds confidence in her learners.

Raising money for an incredible cause

I spend a lot of my free time outdoors. I enjoy walking and running with different groups. I’ve done a few half marathons and wanted to challenge myself further.

The Welsh Three Peaks Challenge was something I’d never done before. I decided to do it with a team of Hospice Trekkers, including my husband, sister and friend.  

Hospice of the Valleys work to provide palliative care to people living with a life-limiting illness. It is an inspirational and essential support system for so many people and their families. Coming together for this charity gave a real sense of achievement. We all supported each other, and no one was left behind.

I got to share the experience with my sister

The challenge was split into two groups. We set off on the 8th July and had 24 hours to complete the challenge. Starting at Snowdon in the early hours of Saturday morning, we went on to climb Cadair Idris in mid-Wales in the afternoon. We finished the challenge with Pen Y Fan with two hours to spare.

The lack of sleep was the most challenging. You don’t have any time to stop or sleep. You had to eat your food on the way to the next mountain.  

The scenery was incredible. We were very lucky with the weather. I helped my sister along the way. It was the first time she had done anything like that, and I’m pleased we were able to share that experience together.

More effort you put in, the more you get out

After covid, learners lost a lot of their confidence and were anxious to come back into the salon. The salon has always been a sociable environment, so to go from being stuck inside to being out and about, talking to people all day is overwhelming.  

I always encourage my learners to never give up. Reflecting is important but we’ve got to keep moving forward. I really believe that getting outside and walking is good for your mental health. Hairdressers are on their feet all day but having time to yourself is important.  

I often ask my learners how they want to learn. We break things down, use props, rhyming techniques, pictures and quizzes. Engaging them in different ways makes learning fun and interactive.

The more effort you put in the more you get out – something I’ve learnt both in my personal life and career. You can see a difference in the learners when you take time to find what works for them. Being part of their journey is rewarding and my most favourite thing about the job.

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