The owner of a new barber in town described how he opened his own shop having moved to the country with nothing.

Reagan Fernandes, 32, moved to the UK from India 10 years ago and was working factory jobs.

But he dreamed of cutting hair and last month opened Avalon’s Hair Salon in Morley Street on April 29.

Reagan said: “I struggled a lot when I started. There were people helping me but it was mostly by myself.

“It was difficult coming all the way from there and getting my own shop in a distant country. The culture was so different.

Originally from Goa, moved to Italy and then the UK for better jobs, and started in the Honda factory at age 23. 

He remembered: “I was not happy there because it was like a chain job. So you do the same thing, 300 cars a day.”

He started training part-time at Guys Barbers on Drove Road, Swindon, having wanted to be a barber since he was 17.

He said: “Back home, this job is seen as a really low job. A haircut costs less than a pound. But I always like giving haircuts - it makes a lot of difference when you get a haircut.”

His favourite haircut to give is a Caesar cut, but most people come in for tapers and skin fades.

He said the owner of Guys was “a really good person” and he now wants to inspire other young people to follow their dreams.

He said: “It is important to inspire other young people to follow their dreams and be brave.

“People want to do barbering, but they are scared to do it or they don't have any opportunity to start. 

“So I want, if anyone wants to do barbering, to help them with training and all that stuff.”

Reagan hopes to be able to offer apprenticeships to the next generation - just as he was given help by Guys Barbers, he wants to help other young people.

But for him, he is enjoying owning his own shop and the future looks bright.

“It’s going to be good”, he smiles. “Whenever you work hard, you get it back. It’s all working hard and helping people keep smiling.”