The Collective

Refugee and migrant women working with Craftspace to develop a sustainable craft social enterprise.

Shelanu – which means belonging to us – is a developing social enterprise, supported by Craftspace, of migrant and refugee women. They produce high quality craft objects inspired by their new home, the city of Birmingham and their experiences of migration.

“It’s a place to learn and try new skills, a place where I can feel connected and free to try new ideas and express my artistic side… It’s a positive way to contribute and find your place in a new place.”
Shelanu member

A range of activities help members to develop new skills (including craft, improving English and business skills), increase confidence, combat isolation, challenge preconceptions and support integration.
Activities include:
•    Running craft workshops for schools, adults, children and families.
•    Designing, making and selling jewellery and other products inspired by the theme of migration and Birmingham .
•    Public and private commissions.

Join Shelanu

Shelanu is a group of women who have all moved to Birmingham from around the world. They meet once or twice a week in Birmingham city centre to do activities including jewellery making. They also run creative community workshops with many different groups. To learn more about how to join go to the ‘Join Shelanu’ page.

Projects and Commissions

Shelanu's Caught in the Crossfire Range.

Caught in the Crossfire

Limited edition jewellery for the Herbert Gallery.

A middle aged chinese woman sits at a table in front of simple paper cuts. Beside her an interviewer holds a microphone and recording device.

Craft on the Radio

Connecting communities throughout the UK.

Where Next?

Nurturing women through making

Highlighting organisations who support women’s enterprise through craft.

A group of 6 women from varied ethnic backgrounds and ages pose in white workshop aprons, they are all smiling.

Shelanu: Nurture

A collection of walnut and enamel jewellery.

a small, wooden, oval brooch with a circle of bright orange enamel.

Supporting Shelanu

Learn how you can support Shelanu.

Four women of different cultures stand around a table. One person is demonstrating a jewellery technique.

Women's Maker Movement

Working with women facing social challenges in Birmingham.

A participant concentrates on the fixings for her jewellery


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