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National award for teenage hairdresser after brush with Covid-19

ByChris Jennings

May 30, 2020

A teenage hairdresser recovering from a Covid-19 scare has received the perfect tonic – after winning a national industry award.

Marley Armstrong was rushed into hospital by ambulance last weekend with suspected coronavirus after suffering chest pains and breathing difficulties.

The 19-year-old of Kirk Merrington, who has chronic lung disease, received a number of tests and was luckily given the all clear by doctors. Now back home recovering, she had just been given a huge boost after being named Concept Hair Hairdressing & Barbering Apprentice of the Month.

Marley was nominated by her boss Annemarie McCormick, who runs Meraki Hair Lab in Howden le Wear, and selected by judge Let Lew after a week of voting and testimonials on Instagram and Facebook. The award celebrates students and apprentices who are passionate about the industry, going above and beyond to set high standards.

Annemarie said: “Marley puts her all into everything that she does and loves making the clients happy. I’m hoping this will bring her confidence on more, and couldn’t think of anyone else who deserves to win this more than she does. She’s an absolute pleasure to work with and a credit to my salon.”

Marley is in the second year of her Level 2 Hair Professional Apprenticeship with Bishop Auckland College. Tutor Tracey Hutchinson said: “I am so proud of Marley, she is a real inspiration to
apprentices and always tries her best. It has been a real pleasure to see Marley blossom into the hairdresser she is today – she will go on to make a real difference in her profession.”

News of the award came at the perfect time after Marley’s recent health scare. She said: “It feels great – I was so grateful to even be nominated for the award, so winning it was amazing. I really didn’t expect it.

“My experience with Covid-19 was quite scary as I am classed as high risk. I was very weak and was having chest pains, struggling to breath. When I found out that I could possibly have the virus it was very frightening, but I knew if I needed to go into hospital I would be in the best of hands with
the amazing work all the frontline workers are doing.

“I was taken to hospital by ambulance as I was really struggling but fortunately I was only in hospital for a few hours. Doctors did several tests that came back clear such as an ECG, so I didn’t need oxygen. I am feeling a lot better now than I was – I’m still not 100% but I am definitely on the mend.”

Marley, who is planning to progress to a Level 3 Apprenticeship before going on to do hair shows, working on stage and on cruise ships, also received an Elchim hairdryer from award sponsor Salons Direct.