Joshua Coombes

Joshua Coombes

When Joshua Coombes started cutting hair for people experiencing homelessness, he found a way of making a difference by doing something he loved.

Now, his viral social campaign #DoSomethingForNothing highlights the plight of isolated people around the world.

It was after Joshua started posting “before and after” photographs of his sitters under the hashtag #DoSomethingForNothing that the project really took shape. “I came up with the hashtag because the more that I did this, the more I realised that the time I was giving and the conversations were the most important thing,” he explains. “Initially, I was unsure if Instagram or Facebook would be such a good platform for this kind of thing. But I would say to everyone I met: ‘You’re important to me and so is your story’ I wanted to dissolve the stigmas surrounding people who live on the street, and they were happy to be part of it.”

Within months, Coombes was receiving hundreds of emails from people who were looking for a way to get involved in the project. In response, he came up with a strategy where he asked people to write down three things that they love doing and three causes that they feel passionate towards and try to join the dots. “My emphasis was on never discounting even the smallest idea,” Coombes says. “I know a haircut is fundamentally not going to change the world, but the idea spreads.”

Photo credit: Valerie Jardin