Chrysalis Craft Coventry CIC
“We are all butterflies. Earth is our chrysalis.”
Art, either creating it or viewing others' art, is used to help people explore emotions, develop self-awareness, cope with stress, boost self-esteem, and work on social skills.
The aim is to use art to utilise the creative process to help people explore self-expression and, in doing so, find new ways to gain personal insight and develop new coping skills.

Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Malcolm Forbes

About Chrysalis
Chrysalis Craft Coventry CIC was founded in March 2020 in response to the urgent unmet needs of BAME and migrant communities who were disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown has challenged the mental health and wellbeing of everyone, more so for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in our communities. Many have experienced unimaginable trauma and have seen major disruptions in their life already. The pandemic has amplified further the existing mental health problems. Often left in limbo, not able to take on higher education studies and not allowed to work (with many refugees under or unemployed) and likely to face loneliness or worse, direct discrimination, within their new communities.
Chrysalis Craft Coventry CIC run sessions and activities to help with healing, using art and different artistic methods for wellbeing. The aim is to build self-esteem and friendship through artistic techniques, using art to work against loneliness as a result of language, cultural and ability barriers. The social enterprise supports people from a variety of different backgrounds, focussing on disadvantaged adult women immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Focusing on women who came to Coventry and the surrounding area recently, and those who have been here for a long time, but who have experienced barriers to integration.
Local authority, NHS and charities working with migrants’ commission and refer people onto in-person and online workshops. Grant funding supports materials and content development.
Over the short period of the start-up, Chrysalis Craft Coventry CIC supported thousands of individuals suffering from loneliness, domestic abuse, stress, anxiety, depression, homesickness and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because of life experiences with positive results.
During the pandemic the workshops have proven invaluable, acting as a safe environment and an information and signposting service. Directing people to urgently needed services they could not reach due to language barrier or stigma caused by misinformation.

Art has the power to transform, to illuminate, to educate, inspire and motivate.

Art has the power to transform, to illuminate, to educate, inspire and motivate.

Harvey Fierstein

About Seyedeh
Dr Seyedeh Naseriniaki is the Founder of Chrysalis Craft Coventry CIC. She describes herself as citizen of the world striving to make a positive change for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. She has worked with migrant communities for the last seven years using art and different artistic methods for wellbeing.
Seyedeh gained her PhD in Architecture and Design from the University of Genoa. She is the founder of Chrysalis Craft Coventry CIC. She is a human rights activist, a board member of the City of Sanctuary, and in 2020, she was selected to be the Persian Godiva sister. She was selected as a woman of inspiration: 100 social enterprise leaders showing Covid who’s boss. She has worked with national and international NGOs and charities, including Fairtrade and MSF UK, Médecins Sans Frontières. Seyedeh has supported and volunteered many local voluntary organisations, including but not limited to: Carriers of Hope, Health Watch, Voluntary Action Coventry, Foleshill Creates, Grapevine, CARAG, CRMC, Crisis, City of Sanctuary, St John’s Ambulance, MiFriendly Cities, ININI Initiative, the Independent Advice Centre and the Public Health Steering Group. Her work has included mentoring and supporting asylum seekers, teaching English, and planning and running dance, cultural events and art and craft sessions.
Seyedeh started supporting women doing arts and crafts in Iran in her teens. She worked with NGOs on social enterprise projects empowering Afghan/Iraqi/Turkish and Kurdish adults and children through teaching. She received a PhD scholarship in Italy where she worked with NGOs and advising local authorities on settlement programmes for newly arrived communities. She worked with designer brands, for the UN, and won a Fairtrade design competition award. She travelled with Medicines Sans Frontier as construction manager and designer for emergency temporary camps.
She came to UK in 2013 and volunteered for 7 years with range of charities teaching migrants across Coventry, building up a wide network in the city. As a Board Member of Coventry City of Sanctuary, she was instrumental in setting up sanctuary regulation for asylum seekers to access UK Higher Education. In March 2020, she decided to start her social enterprise in response to the unmet needs of refugees in the city.
She volunteered with range of charities and social enterprises in the city for 7 years. In 2019, she was one of 16 migrant entrepreneurs selected by MiFriendly cities project to receive EUR 5,000 to start a social enterprise. After pilot work, she founded Chrysalis Craft Coventry CIC in March 2020 in response to the urgent unmet needs of BAME and migrant communities who were disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All groups that she got commissioned had to be cancelled because of the lockdown. Seyedeh was asked to support teaching and run sessions online. She has not stopped since. Thanks to her language skills and use of technology, she was able to run 120 interactive art sessions, supporting 1,200 people from around the world. 6 of her specialist workshops celebrating refugee week and Ramathan Eid celebration reached 12000 views by people from Coventry all the way to USA.
Since ease of lockdown, she re-started running sessions in parks and larger spaces. During her sessions people’s mood changes – people come in with difficulties and enjoy peaceful time to sit and escape through art. The art practice acts as pain relief and emotional relief, reduces stress. People increase their confidence, build self-esteem whilst trying out different forms of art and creativity. The stigma around mental health is also reduced. People come to a safe place where they do not feel labelled, build groups of friends, supporting each other and feel better. The benefit goes beyond the groups as people often share and pass on their new skills to friends and in family.
Most recently, Seyedeh was selected by the City of Culture 2021 team as one of 10 Coventry and Warwickshire d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists to receive a micro award in partnership with Unlimited and Dadafest. She aims to showcase migrant and refugee womens’ work and highlight the broader inequalities caused by COVID-19.
She also continues her work advocating for refugees and migrants through organising learning through MiFriendly cities Health Champions team. Her workshops are now part of local social prescribing service and she has a key role on mental health team steering group.
Seyedeh’s work was especially important during COVID-19 as it enabled a unique way to improve health and wellbeing of migrants and refugees and to signpost them onto much needed support. Many participants said that the workshops have “saved our lives”.

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