Shelanu is a project run by Craftspace and is made up of a group of women who have come to Birmingham from around the world. They meet each week in the city centre to do activities which include jewellery making, in order to learn more about Birmingham’s culture and heritage.

What is Shelanu?

Shelanu works in partnership with community organisations to provide opportunities for individuals to work collaboratively on participatory projects with professional artists, enabling people of all ages to access creative processes for enjoyment, for learning, and as a tool for personal and skills development.

Shelanu demonstrates how craft brings know­ how, material knowledge, skill, inventiveness, tenacity, monetary value and entrepreneurship to a wide number of contexts which contribute positively to economic, social, wellbeing, employment and cultural outcomes. Through weekly craft sessions, Shelanu is able to help women from migrant, refugee or newly arrived communities to learn new skills, build connections, make friends and develop their language skills.

Shelanu members have often experienced isolation and difficulty integrating into the community sometimes difficult due to poor English and lack of confidence or aspiration. Shelanu’s creative sessions and community workshops address all of these issues, whilst teaching new skills. The creative workshops will give the participants an opportunity to think about themselves, make friends, identify new networks and boost their self esteem.

One Shelanu participant said: “We think this activity was very fun for us all, as we took part in activities that distracted us from other things. I hope we can have more activities alike or even the same one”

and another said:“Jewellery making was therapeutic and the Shelanu members were helpful. It’s great to see an end result so quickly. Thanks!”

If successful, what will you use your LoveBrum funding for?

If Shelanu were to receive the funding, they would put the money towards running more arts and crafts workshops for their users to participate in. The funding would also be used to help with studio cost hire, and transport costs for users to attend the sessions, if required. Shelanu would also love to hold a celebration for these women at a city centre venue, where they could share their craft making skills with others!

Cost of project


Where can people go to find out more about Shelanu?

Deirdre Figueiredo MBE, Director

Tel: 0121 608 6668


You can also find out more about Shelanu via their website. You can also follow Shelanu on Facebook and Twitter.


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