Brushing Up on Tech: Celebrity Barbershop SliderCuts Helps Cut the UK’s Digital Divide with Mastercard

September 2, 2021
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of Brits feel happy talking to their barber/hairdresser about money with 21% stating that their day to day worries don’t follow them there
  • 1.5 million homes in the UK remain offline
Mastercard and celebrity barbershop SliderCuts launches two-day event for those most in need of free online guidance and money advice, with a haircut included

Mastercard and celebrity barbershop SliderCuts launches two-day event for those most in need of free online guidance and money advice, with a haircut included

Mastercard partners with iconic East London barbershop SliderCuts to offer free money and tech advice for those most in need of financial support following the pandemic, with a complimentary haircut included.

The initiative follows research commissioned by Mastercard* that almost a quarter of people (23%)** cited being happy to talk about money issues at their barbershop or hairdressers; with 1 in 10 (11%)** viewing barbershops as the hub of the community and a safe space to talk about issues and concerns.

Post pandemic, the digital and financial divide in the UK currently stands at 1.5 million homes remaining offline***. And it seems many people have nowhere to turn, with 30%** of those surveyed stating they feel uncomfortable discussing finances at all.

Working with Clean Slate and Good Things Foundation once again, the two-day event is a continuation of Mastercard’s ‘Nobody in The Dark’ digital and financial inclusion campaign, which first launched in 2020. Kicking off on Thursday 2nd September, the initiative aims to help those living in poverty or on low incomes with limited digital skills who would benefit from support in using digital tools.

Mark Maciver of SliderCuts says: “I know first-hand the importance a barbershop can have on the community. I’ve witnessed grown men breakdown over issues they can’t talk about to the people closest to them yet feel comfortable enough to discuss with their barber. We all struggle at times in our lives; whether it’s finances, relationships, family or work and I truly hope that barber shops feel like a safe space for anyone wanting to open up. I’m really proud to partner with Mastercard on this initiative, tackling a very important but often unspoken issue.”

Chosen for its familiarity barbershops are seen by 18%** of people as an environment to which they can catch up on local news people feel comfortable opening up to talk, representatives from Clean Slate will be on hand at SliderCuts to offer advice on how best to navigate money matters and add guidance on how to use online services safely.

In keeping with the aims of Mastercard’s Nobody in the Dark campaign, the initiative is designed to help empower people with the digital skills they need for everyday tasks and improved financial wellbeing, and all are welcome to attend. A dedicated booking telephone number and email address1 have been created with some appointments held for walk ins, should customers not have access to a phone or email.

​​Kelly Devine, Division President, Mastercard UK & Ireland commented: “We have been working with our partners to provide emergency support to tackle the digital and financial exclusion faced within the UK, which has been heightened following the effects of the pandemic. Offering people help in an environment they know and feel comfortable in within their own community is a way we can break down barriers and encourage those who need it most to seek the help and support they need.”

Emma Kernahan, Clean Slate Support Worker: “Community hubs and familiar places like barbershops, are integral to how we support and empower our clients through money guidance and digital skills. Everyone appreciates the opportunity to have a safe space in which they can talk, open up and ask questions. The work carried out at the Nobody in the Dark barbershop has highlighted just how important opportunities like this are to those most in need”.

The Nobody in the Dark campaign, supported by Mastercard, Good Things Foundation, Clean Slate Training and Employment CIC and Lloyds Banking Group, offers personalised, face-to-face support to tackle digital and financial exclusion from 20 centres across the UK in locations such as Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and Swansea. The programme targets people living in poverty or on low incomes, who have limited digital skills and need support to use digital financial tools. This includes people facing greater risks of digital and financial barriers, including disabled people and people from communities experiencing racial inequalities.

The free resource hub at is also available to help boost the confidence of those with limited digital skills, allowing them to engage confidently with free, trusted online support on money, security, benefits and debt.

- End -

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Censuswide.  Total sample size was 2000 UK general population aged 16+. The survey was carried out online.

**Respondents who selected opt outs are excluded from reporting.

***Figures pulled from Ofcom report


Event details and where to book:

Where: SliderCuts, 176 Hackney Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 7QL

When: Thursday 2nd September – Friday 3rd September 2021

Timings: 9am - 3pm

How to book: Please telephone 0203 411 3252 OR email

Booking Types

Throughout the day there will be 3 different types of appointments available to customers:

  • Tech and Financial guidance with a Clean Slate Advisor (30 minutes)
  • A hair cut with private tech and financial guidance (1 hour)
  • A hair cut with open tech and financial guidance (1 hour)

Media Contacts

About Good Things Foundation

Good Things Foundation is a social change charity, helping people to improve their lives through digital. Through thousands of Network partners in communities across the UK, Good Things Foundation has supported more than 3 million people to gain digital skills since 2010. Our vision is a world where everyone has the confidence, skills, support and access to use digital technology, participate in society and benefit from the digital world.

Follow us on Twitter @goodthingsfdn

About Clean Slate/QuidsIn!

Clean Slate is a community interest company helping people on low incomes become better off by helping them manage their money better, find work or better paid work, and get online. Quids in! is its money skills initiative, publishing a quarterly magazine, a monthly money email, a website and a range of guides including one on Universal Credit and one on managing meals on a limited budget. Clean Slate was founded in 2006 by a former managing director of The Big Issue magazine to create a level playing field for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

About Mastercard (UK)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.