A young gypsy woman, who officially opened her own salon on Meyrick Street in Pembroke Dock last week, has said she could not have done it without the support of teachers at Monkton Priory.
Cherell Boswell, aged 22, lives at the Castle Quarry gypsy site in Monkton and was a pupil at the Monkton School Priory Project – a dedicated centre for gypsy travellers – before starting a hair and beauty course at Pembrokeshire College when she was 15.
Seven years on Cherell is back at the salon where her hairdressing dream began – only this time she is the owner and not a student Speaking at the opening of Glamhairous, Cherell said: “Where I’m from, most of them do not go to school and most of them are wives.
“I was never stopped from doing anything. I wanted to go to school and I wanted to mix with other people.”
Cherell added: “I could not have done this without my teachers and my clients. The teachers were more like friends.
“If I had gone onto proper mainstream school, I would only be properly qualifying now.”
Bev Stephens, head of the gypsy traveller education service at Monkton Priory, said: “Cherell joined the project and it was just about giving her the options to shine like she has.”
Ms Stephens said she was proud of Cherell’s achievements.
“Cherell is a great role model,” she added.
There are currently 218 children from across the county and 19 secondary aged pupils involved in the project, which was set-up 16 years ago with funding from the Welsh Government.
Former Monkton School headteacher William Rees said: “Isn’t it lovely to celebrate a young woman who has done the right thing?
“I can’t tell you how proud I am to be here today and what she’s doing is showing other people how.”