Nails against violence

132. Janneke de Jong (London)

A woman from Barnet created a nail bar to help women and girls stay safe from violence.

Janneke de Jong, a London creative, offers a safe haven for young women and girls on the Dollis Valley Estate, running a programme which encourages them to rethink their views of violence, abuse and controlling behaviour.

At the same time there’s an element of real fun to the programme with those who attend being able to have their nails done at the same time as receiving mentoring support and getting help with getting into education, employment and training.

The Dollis Dolls Nail Bar runs on Tuesday evenings and has seen 170 different women pass through its doors. The 40 women that attend every week benefit from Jenneke’s enthusiasm and openness, some of whom also receive one to one support with personal issues alongside a real treat of pampering and polishing.

The Dollis Valley estate has one of the highest concentrations of unemployment in the UK, and Janneke’s nail bar is making a real impact in helping those involved avoid violence and get help with other areas of their lives like preparing CVs and learning new skills like first aid.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Janneke’s creative flair has led to a wonderfully innovative initiative that combines a thriving nail bar with a safe place for women that offers mentoring and support into further education, employment and training. I am delighted to recognise Janneke as a Point of Light.”

Janneke said:

“A nail salon might not be the first thing you think of to encourage young people to choose a better future, but it has proved to be a great way to interact with these girls. After all, polish takes a little while to dry, and that time is a great opportunity for a chat. Because of the environment we create together, the girls trust us implicitly. Not only can we keep a close eye on potential issues, but we can take action much more efficiently when needed.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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