At the start of the pandemic, Jade was furloughed from her job and was concerned about how this would affect her mental health.
“I find making wigs really relaxing, I lock myself in my office with a nice cup of tea and it helps me forget about everything and just focus. I’m such worrier with thoughts always bouncing around my head but when I start making the wigs my thoughts go silent.”
When the pandemic began Jade Burlinson, aged 24 from Lisburn, was furloughed from her retail job. As someone with a history of anxiety and depression she was concerned about how the situation would affect her mental health. Jade had recently set up a wig making business and used this as an outlet for her creativity and to destress.
“When I went on furlough I was ok for the first few months but by summer my anxiety and depression got quite bad. I was worried about money and it was difficult being stuck in the house all day. I went to the doctor and began taking medication which thankfully has helped.
“I started making wigs a few years ago and throughout lockdown they have given me something to focus on. I used to be a hairdresser and although I loved working with hair, I didn’t enjoy the salon environment.”
Jade took part in The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme in 2019 for advice and support about how to set up a business selling her wigs. Enterprise is a free, three-day programme that covers the basics of setting up a business and provides access to start up finance support if needed.
"The business hasn’t moved as quickly as I would have liked during lockdown, but I have formed a partnership with a woman in America and am making wigs for her. It has been a great distraction and allowed me to make some money.
“It has been a difficult time but I’m trying to think of the positives, I’m very lucky to have a great two-year-old son and my partner by my side. When I needed help for my mental health I knew I wasn’t the only one feeling like that and that everyone is in the same boat, I’d tell other young people to reach out and ask for help if they need it.”