ADVERTORIAL: Route 8 Barbers open new branch in Bradley Stoke

Photo of a number of staff in a barber shop.
Sylvester Okoli (centre), owner of the new Route 8 Barbers branch in Bradley Stoke, with colleague Dylan (behind) and two trainees.

The menfolk of Bradley Stoke can now have their hair cut at a traditional barbers’ shop right in the heart of town following the opening of Route 8 Barbers at the Willow Brook Centre.

The new shop, which opened yesterday (Thursday 4th May 2023), is located in the town square unit formerly occupied by Ladbrokes – next door to Domino’s.

The Bradley Stoke branch is Route 8’s third opening, adding to their outlets in Swindon (since 2017) and Emersons Green (2022).

The spacious shop offers five barber’s chairs and has a “mini-arcade” area towards the rear, designed to keep the children entertained while they are waiting for a cut. The kids’ area includes two arcade-style video games, air hockey, table football and a giant Connect 4 game.

Photo of a collection of children's arcade-style games.
The “mini-arcade” within the Route 8 Barbers shop in Bradley Stoke.

Business owner Sylvester Okoli said his latest venture has been four months in the planning and he is delighted to be able to serve the Bradley Stoke community.

Prices quoted are £10 for a child’s cut, £15 for a gent’s cut, £18 for a skin fade and £20 for a gent’s haircut & beard trim. Ladies with short hair are welcome.

Customers can book online, either through the Route 8 website or the branch’s Facebook page, Route 8 Barbers Willow Brook Centre Bradley Stoke; by telephone on 07305 525866; or just walk in.

Opening hours are currently 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays.

Photo of the interior of a barber's shop.
Interior of the new Route 8 Barbers branch in Bradley Stoke.

Mr Okoli has established a reputation for helping the less fortunate in society, for example by providing free haircuts for the homeless and free home visits for the sick and elderly who are unable to travel to one of his shops. In August last year, he was featured on ITV’s Good Morning Britain after he offered free haircuts to children in Swindon whose parents were struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. He also provides free training in barbering for young people from troubled backgrounds.

Photo of a man.
Sylvester Okoli, owner of Route 8 Barbers.

Coming from a poor background himself, the 34-year-old was born in Nigeria and moved to England at the age of 16 following the death of both his parents. He was subsequently under the care of social services until the age of 18 and later served time in prison after falling in with gangs. On release from prison he vowed to change his ways and chose to mentor young people and volunteer with a drug rehabilitation unit in Bristol.

He has since founded Repurpose Project UK, a non-profit organisation aimed at supporting youngsters involved in knife and drug crime to get back on the straight-and-narrow.

Related link: Barbers in and around Bradley Stoke (The Journal)

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