Born in Santa Cruz, in Trinidad, Janelle’s is an inspirational story. She moved to England to further her education and in the hope of helping her family, but at first things didn’t come easily; the hospital where she currently works was her first home in the UK. Having worked her way up from a domestic cleaner at St. Mary’s Hospital, she is now not only a nurse there, but also a phlebotomist and trainee in both pharmacy and endoscopy.
Janelle now resides in Harlesden, which she considers the “most diverse place ever”, and which reminds her of her homeland. There is a Trinidadian roti shop and a panyard, the people are multicultural and the community is very lively – capturing all of Janelle’s favourite aspects of Trinidad. She says, “I love to celebrate and get creative. I LOVE roti and my steelpan. The culture promotes good hearted, friendly, kind people like myself.”
Janelle is known within her community for organising life-changing events – occasions that bring people together to celebrate their Trinidadian roots. It’s important to her to plant seeds of empowerment; that young Trinidadian people know who they are and where they come from, as a key part of their upbringing.
Janelle’s childhood was not ideal. Her father was an alcoholic, and as in many families of an alcoholic this unfortunately led to domestic abuse, so she knows intimately the devastating effect this can have. Now she does her part to bring awareness to these issues, and to help those in need. “Too few people talk about domestic abuse and honour-based violence. With two women dying every week in the UK due to domestic violence, and an estimated 2.1 million men and women suffering domestic abuse in the UK, these statistics should be a more prominent topic in society.”
Janelle courageously uses her father’s “mess” as a message to help others, and is of the belief that people can go through painful experiences in their lives and still find the strength to transform their lives to help others. She has been invited to speak at parliament, and was part of a prison ministry at her church, a means of encouraging inmates to also see that this does not have to be the end of their story.
Not only does Janelle host community events that celebrate her culture, but in March 2018 she organised a Mother’s Day Banquet – with her own funds – to recognise the women in her community who offer services such as volunteering at the community food bank, music lessons, teaching and much more. It was heart-warming to see the faces of the women who received awards. They were joined by many noteworthy officials including MP Dawn Butler, Mayor of Brent, MP Muhammed Butt, and the High Commissioners from both Trinidad and Barbados. Miss Africa and several other beauty queens also came to support this great event, all in the name of sharing knowledge and experience, and of giving inspiration for future endeavours.
It doesn’t end there. Janelle is also something of a celebrity florist, and has created flower arrangements for the likes of the Ritz Hotel in London. She is a self styled, ‘Florist and Creative Powerhouse.’ Having traded for three years, with a total of 10 years of experience in her field, Janelle is an industrious worker and absolutely loves creating flowers for whatever the occasion; not only does she provide the flowers, she even plans some of the events. Although proud of her ability to wear so many different hats, the one she is most proud of is her ‘mummy’ hat, as she’s a doting mother to her own two children and her stepchildren.
Janelle’s personal motto is: NEVER GIVE UP. This advocate of perseverance and persistence has been a volunteer of her local NHS trust for the past seven years, and is also their events person and florist.
She is working on a variety of upcoming events, including teaming up with the Les Brown team to supply beautiful floral arrangements for his upcoming show at O2. She has already produced work for the 2014 and 2016 Afro Hair & Beauty awards shows; 2018 Black Hair & Beauty show; Santander Bank in 2016 and 2017; Miss Africa in 2012 and 2017; Miss T&T Beauty Queen UK; The Millenium Gloucester and Miss Africa Pride UK 2017. She also prides herself on being a member of the British Flower Association, RHS and BNI.
Janelle is one of many people who bring the Caribbean work ethic, determination, kind-heartedness and drive everywhere she goes, and we’d like to thank her for being such an inspiration. Thank you, Janelle, we wish you all the best.