A RODBOURNE salon owner is celebrating almost two decades of staying in business after the toughest year in its history.

This time last year, Jane Norgrove had just reopened Natural Selection Salon after the pandemic's first lockdown forced it to close for months, and she was enjoying having clients back in the chair - even seeing some of them moments after midnight on July 4 2020.

But more months of lockdown and closure followed before coronavirus restrictions eased again, so now Jane is glad her business has made it through to the other side of this turbulent time.

The 49-year-old has been based in Swindon for 17 years after originally moving to England from Nigeria in 1995.

She used to work at Royal Mail but after moving to Rodbourne, the only thing on her mind was the idea of opening her own salon.

Jane said: “I feel good and I’m happy I’m still here because there has been a lot of challenges with the pandemic going on and other businesses closed. I will pop some champagne after work to celebrate!

“I set the salon up in 2002 and I’ve kept going ever since, it’s done well and become bigger and better. I'm surprised I'm still here but I'm proud I can look back and think 'I did it!'

“Hairdressing is my passion, it’s so creative and joyous, it’s a beautiful thing, it puts a smile on people’s faces.

"It’s a big deal for women and going to the hairdressers is not just about the hair, it’s a social thing, a place where they can come to chill out and chat.

“We like to get involved and help the community as well.”

Earlier this month, Jane raised £1,200 on behalf of the MTM awards with chosen charity Period Poverty Action Project, which raised awareness and support for girls who are in need of sanitary products in Kenya.

Salon staff cut hair for a marathon 24-hour session, with 22 clients coming in throughout the night for a trim, while collecting sanitary products and donations.

Jane added: "To help children and teach them healthy hygiene is so important - and we'll keep collecting."

In 2019, the salon won a hair and beauty award at the national MTM awards in Bristol which has pride of place in its front window.