We work with local artists to provide access to trying out new things, learning new skills and developing your existing skills, while making use of materials that have been donated.

We work across the generations, inter generationally and with a multitude of variable physical needs including with those complex additional needs. Language, hearing and visual abilities shouldn’t be a barrier to art.

Diversity is principle in our practice, as such we integrate groups where possible and search for practical solutions to make this happen. We are very aware that some folk have additional sensory needs meaning this is not possible, where we can, we are happy to chat about how we can make it possible for you and yours to take part regardless of this!

As a rule we consider art and creativity as universally essential and will work with you to make sure our workshops can truly be enjoyed by all.

We are principally interested in artists who reuse, recycle and upcycle in line with our primary focus. As such workshops are varied and encourage creativity in repurposing donations. This means we have an incredibly diverse creative offering too, repurposing everything from used roof tiles to nerf guns, From Barbie dolls to bird cages.

Please see our Calendar of upcoming workshops.

COVID-19 UPDATE During the closure of our venue please register your interest for workshops by dropping an email to

Hand stitching with Artist Andrea Bonnell

The idea of reappropriating the needle as an act of feminist revolution was used by the Suffragette movement in achieving Votes for Women. The banners they created were pieces of needle craft, showcasing beauty and balancing that with political agenda.

In recent years the art world, galleries and museums have created exhibitions to celebrate these intricately made messages. In particular the centenary of the Representation of the People’s Act brought sewn banners to the forefront at Medicine Gallery, Ikon and BMAG in our city.

Andrea Bonnell was consultant artist for Women, Power, Protest an exclusively female exhibition in the Gas Hall at Birmingham Museum as part of their collaboration with Arts Council England in 2018. Andrea devised sewing workshops using the ‘subversive stitching’ model in this instance using knickers, pants and underwear which aided a discussion around being a woman and what that means.

UP’s very own Helen worked on the Women, Power, Protest project during her time at BMT and had used needlework as a discussion on feminist philosophy in her undergraduate degree so it was a natural fit to invite Andrea to run one of our very first workshops in the hub.

However, as with all arts outreach there was a surprise waiting and we did not receive the audience we expected. We marketed ‘Bad Patches’ as a way of celebrating your friendship with a loved one around Valentines Day. Instead of female friends we actually had an all male turn out, we ordered pizzas and cracked out the ale. 

In a world where boys are still told they should not sew and children’s sewing machines are marketed in pink gendered colours, we couldn’t think of a more fantastic fingers up to the patriarchy than a feminist event that was only attended by feminist men.

Budding Builders Bonding

Start typing and press Enter to search

Shopping Cart