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British Beauty Council's Kendall and Grzesk recognised in New Year Honours

Lauretta Roberts
01 January 2022

British Beauty Council CEO Millie Kendall and chief operating officer Helena Grzesk have both been recognised in the New Year Honours list for services to the industry.

Kendall has been named an OBE, following on from her MBE which she received in 2007, while Grzesk has received the MBE, after a year in which the pair campaigned for support for the industry to aid its bounce-back from Covid-19 and established the first British Beauty Week in September, which was attended by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

"It's an honour to be recognised in this way. My passion for the beauty industry has never faltered, it makes such an impact on our everyday lives. This award signifies a change in how our sector is viewed, and an appreciation of not just my work but the monumental efforts of The British Beauty Council and its partners in affecting that change," said Kendall, who is also founder of beauty PR and marketing agency Brandstand Communications.

Grzesk added: "This award is a demonstration of the positive steps forward we have taken in being recognised as a global leader in innovation and education. We are so truly proud of the work we have achieved to date - this is the culmination of that work."

Key achievements for The British Beauty Council in 2021 include:

  • Winning an extra £500m of Government-backed support during the pandemic.
  • Securing an earlier reopening of the industry post-lockdown and an £18,000 "restart grant" – a £12,000 increase on the previously proposed grant, which amounted to an additional £350 million in total.
  • Pushing for greater Inclusivity and Diversity within the industry, including being instrumental in changing the hairdressing curriculum to make afro and textured hair cutting and styling standard in the National Occupational Standards (NOS).
  • Launching the Sustainable Beauty Coalition to accelerate the sustainability efforts in the beauty industry and work with government representative to support the race to net zero campaign. Members of the Sustainable Beauty Coalition was also present at COP26 in Glasgow – the British Beauty Council was the only industry body within the beauty sector to attend the summit.
  • Enhancing education with the launch of the "Career Insights" podcast series featuring well-known and inspirational individuals from the beauty industry to inspire students and aspiring beauty professionals on career opportunities in the sector.
  • In March 2021, Kendall was part of a roundtable discussion with the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on behalf of the British beauty industry, that supported and championed women within the sector.
  • Helena Grzesk co-authored a report that explored the effects of personal care services on mental health and wellbeing, which was used to further the case for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to support touch and massage as therapies for mental health. Her MBE nomination also recognises the huge contribution she has made to the UK spa sector as a champion throughout the pandemic.

Kendall is also a trustee of charity Haircuts4Homeless whose founder Stewart Roberts was also recognised in the list with an MBE for services to homeless people.  Roberts founded Haircuts4Homeless on his own at the Salvation Army in Romford. It now operates at more than 50 sites across the UK and Ireland and has 600 volunteers and who have given more than 40,000 haircuts to the homeless.

Listen to our recent podcast with Millie Kendall here.

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