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Project information

In Our Hands Community Nail Bar

We are going to open our 3rd community nail bar on Grahame Park Estate, Barnet. It will be a creative, learning and social space, building the capabilities of vulnerable young women at risk of abuse and crime, opening opportunities for them, bringing support to them and improving their life chances

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: Art Against Knives

Art Against Knives logo
  • Need


    Young females from culturally, economically and socially disadvantaged and excluded backgrounds often suffer from adverse childhood experiences, unstable home lives, negative environments and influences, leading to disengagement from education, poor emotional health, risky behaviours, and making them vulnerable to abuse and crime. They face multiple barriers to learning and development opportunities and support they trust (hard to get to, not appropriate for them, delivered in silos)


    With a creative nail bar space for young females aged 12-25 on Grahame Park estate, once a week over 48 weeks. The space acts as a functioning nail salon, providing a free nail service and creative and nail/beauty skills training, including Arts Award. Young females co-design the space and access support with school work, training, employment, IT, housing, benefits/finances. Experience specialists mentor them 1:1 to address abuse, mental health and other risks and help them access the right se

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Build participants educational capabilities


    » Offer nail care and art training
    » Offer a programme of creative skills training and projects, including Arts Award Accreditation
    » Provide support with school work, including home-work, advocacy with schools, post-school planning and training/employment support via a career coach
    » Support participants to identify interests and ambitions, set and work towards goals; gives them positive learning experiences

    What success will look like

    Participants will gain arts awards, complete work/volunteer placements, (re-)engage at school, re-enter mainstream education

    Aim 2

    Build participants' personal and emotional capabilities


    » Grow their core life skills through co-running the space, group sessions and projects (team working, communications, time management)
    » Provide access to expert mental health support in sessions, giving them tools to express and manage their emotions and build their resilience
    » Help them identify their risks and co-design plans to manage it better and grow their awareness on e.g. healthy relationships, exiting gangs etc
    » Provide specialist support on Violence Against Women and Girls, including support along the care pathway with specialist agencies

    What success will look like

    Participants will show improved resilience, self-management and emotional well-being measured through our ongoing monitoring

    Aim 3

    Build participants' social capabilities


    » Empowering participants to co-design the space, project and service
    » Supporting participants to become role models - training others, helping to run sessions and workshops
    » Having guest tutors and speakers, opening up to customers and showcasing the project at community events, to build positive networks and role models

    What success will look like

    Participants will engage positively with networks, peers and the community and show improvements through our ongoing monitoring

  • Impact


    Girls and young women will have improved life chances, and more positive outlooks - they will learn, thrive, decide and lead independently. They will be positive role models for their peers. The nail bar will be an asset for the community, a creative resource and a source of support for women and families from the estate. It will enable young females and women to play an active part in the regeneration of the estate and the shaping of the facilities/communities.


    - Young females not engaging - we do extensive outreach and consult locally on what young women want and need and adapt projects accordingly
    - Community tension - we are working with the local Colindale Community Trust and a local knife crime activist with lived experience to build trust and enable all sections of the community to engage


    With individual thank-yous; an impact report; invitations to public nail bar events, through website and social media updates

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £14,960

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £7,200 Senior Youth Worker leading nail bar session delivery
      £5,760 Assistant Youth Worker assisting with session delivery
      £480 volunteer expenses running workshops
      £800 equipment including nail polishes, materials, products
      £120 literature incl printing
      £240 refreshments for sessions
      £120 communications phones, internat
      £240 travel supporting participants at meetings, accessing services etc
  • Background


    Grahame Park estate is the 2nd most deprived area in Barnet and among the 10% most deprived nationally. It is isolated, and due to long-delayed regeneration plans, in a poor state, overcrowded, the community disrupted, amenities run-down. 60% residents are female, 25% black, 12% Muslim, 8% Asian. It has high numbers of unemployed people, and lone parents. 60% children have English as a 2nd language, 25% are obese.


    At-risk, vulnerable young females with poor life chances, including victims of abuse/crime/youth violence, criminal sexual and/or child exploitation, NEETs, those under social care and those in care, without a steady home, young single mothers. They come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and have a history of adverse childhood experiences. Many have poor mental health as a result, misuse substances and engage in self-harming, risky behaviours.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    In 5 years, our nailbars have supported 555 females. We won the 2016 National TPAS award for excellence in youth involvement. We embed co-designed, creative spaces in communities, bringing holistic support to young women in trusted environments. Through this, we engage with those who don’t engage with other services. To date, this has proven highly successful – c. 89% of the 800+ young people we have supported in Barnet since 2012 are self-referred and engage long-term.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sophie Bec

    Senior Youth Worker - leading on session delivery and the creative skills programme