Author Archives: Katherine Brown

Mandeep Dhadialla – Associate

Mandeep has worked in printmaking for the past seventeen years, since training in Fine Art at De Montfort University, Leicester. She has previously worked in Museums, across varied roles including using natural history collections as a creative source of inspiration for outreach workshops. Alongside her printmaking practice, Mandeep continues to work with Arts and Heritage Organisations delivering printmaking and bookmaking workshops across the East Midlands and is a member of The Society of All Artists, Leicester Print Workshop and Harborough Artists Cluster.

Leicester Ageing Together

Leicester Ageing Together are working with 16 organisations to deliver Leicester Ageing Together, a programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund, aimed at reducing social isolation amongst older people.

EMH Homes and Beauty & Utility Arts

A picture of the EMH homes logo.

EMH Housing and Regeneration Limited, trading as EMH homes, is an amalgamation of East Midlands Housing Association, Foundation Housing Association, Three Valleys Housing and Three Oaks Homes and Enable Housing Association and their subsidiary Enable Care and Home Support.

A picture of the Beauty & Utility Arts logo.

Beauty & Utility Arts is a Leicestershire based arts and health social enterprise, developing and managing creative projects and resources with social benefits.

EMH Housing have worked in partnership with Beauty & Utility Arts on a number of services, building relationships between older residents, families, local children and communities.

Crafting Relationships

Crafting Relationships is led by EMH homes and Enable, working in partnership with Beauty & Utility Arts to create memorable intergenerational projects. The project identifies suitable locations for older people and young people to team up on a project, lasting up to eight weeks.

Each Crafting Relationships project is developed in consultation with participants. This creates great opportunities for older people to showcase their existing artistic talents, and work with an experienced participatory artist to develop their skills further.

The aim is to produce a piece of legacy artwork for each location involved in each mini project.

The project is being delivered in Spinney Hills and Wycliffe, but is open to residents of Belgrave, Thurncourt and Evington.

Art on Prescription

Card making in week three

Together with Little Bird, Beauty and Utility Arts recently collaborated on an Arts on Prescription evaluation project in North West Leicestershire. We are delighted to share our report conclusions with others in our sector, to further support the case for arts as a social prescribing tool for patients with low level mental health difficulties.

Art on Prescription North West Leicestershire, took place at Measham Medical Unit between April and June 2016, funded by the North West Leicestershire ‘Staying Healthy Partnership’ grant and provided structured Arts and Health interventions for twelve patients experiencing low level mental ill health across two six week blocks of workshops.

Weaving in week 4

Using the Public Health for England, Arts for Health and Wellbeing evaluation guidelines (2016) for measuring outcomes, we used the WEMWBS, PHQ-9, GAD-7 scores and qualitative feedback, pre and post intervention and were able to demonstrate project outcomes as having a positive impact on the wellbeing of patients participating.

Click on the image below to read the report.



Crafting Relationships

Crafting Relationships, our intergenerational strand of work, has been running since 2012.

Most of our current work is as a delivery partner, together with emh homes, on our local Big Lottery Funded, Ageing Better project Leicester Ageing Together. Scroll through the photos below to get an overview of all the different projects!


Spinney Hills radio pay April – June 2017

Writer facilitator and Beauty and Utility Arts Associate, Katie Sone worked with a group of year 7 students from Al Aqsa school and the Leicester Ageing Together elders group at Highfields Community Centre in Leicester to produce a collaborative radio play.

Huge thanks to MGL Media for recording the play and talking us through the techy bits!

Click on the link to hear their masterpiece!




Crafting Relationships for Leicester Ageing Together – Printmaking with Mandeep Dhadialla – March 2017


Crafting Relationships – Leicester Ageing Together – emh homes Wakerley Court and home schooled children Nov – Dec 2016


Crafting Relationships – Leicester Ageing Together – Jameah Girls’ Academy and community members Nov – Dec 2016


Crafting Relationships – Leicester Ageing Together – emh homes Len Hollis Court Court Ur Choice July – Aug 2016
Crafting Relationships – Leicester Ageing Together – Spinney Hills community members and Focus Charity April – May 2016


Crafting Relationships – Leicester Ageing Together – emh homes Scarborough Court May 2016


Crafting Relationships – Leicestershire County Council Wellbeing Hi 5 – emh homes Prior Park and Lewis Charlton School


Crafting Relationships – NW Leicestershire St. Mary’s Court and emh homes Agar Nook community Centre


Crafting Relationships – Leicestershire County Council Innovation Challenge – emh homes St. Mary’s and local primary school



Leicestershire and Rutland Heritage Forum Award

Within my role as Project Director at Cotesbach Educational Trust

(July 2014 – November 2016)

On the evening of Thursday 21st July, Cotesbach Educational Trust had the privilege of attending the Leicestershire and Rutland Heritage Forum & Leicestershire County Council Heritage Awards at the University of Leicester’s Museum Studies Department.

The whole evening was a celebration of the wide ranging heritage work taking place across our local communities and all those who dedicate their time, hearts and energies in each of the 40 + organisations represented within the forum.

Despite stiff competition, Cotesbach Educational Trust was thrilled to win an award in the ‘Bringing Heritage Alive’ category. Our winning project was ‘Re-Writing the Archives’, an Arts Council England and Leicestershire County Council funded project, working with local Director Chris Hill, which ran throughout 2015.

Over a chilly weekend in January five professional UK writers delved in to our unique archive and each produced a short audio drama based on their discoveries. Plays were recorded by a professional acting ensemble and aired at vintage tea parties and on a specially designed microsite.

Katherine Brown, Project Director at Cotesbach Educational Trust said: “The Trust is over the moon to have received an award. We have over 6000 documents preserved within our archive and every one of them has a story to tell. By working with experienced creatives we have combined heritage and the arts to bring alive our work for a whole new audience. ”

Image from a ‘Re-Writing the Archives’ 2015 vintage tea party, courtesy of Cotesbach Educational Trust




Show your workings no. 2

A couple of weeks have gone by since I released my first ‘Show your workings’ post, and the very action of writing and releasing it has helped set my mental wheels in motion.

These blog posts are a kind of behind the scenes, honest inner workings of someone running an Arts for Health social enterprise and attempting live up to all the wellbeing advice shared across our projects.

It is very difficult to separate out me from my work, which in most respects is a good thing. At the moment I’m feeling the need to simplify and for the first time ever I am drawn to writing as a way of teasing out and sharing how it’s all going.

Right now, I am up in Scotland on holiday for the week with my two greyhounds Mabel and Storm. Actually, this is both a holiday and a recce, because Scotland is where I want to be living and working in a couple of years time.

Something I love about going away is trying to take only what I need and I’m getting quite good at it, it’s the dogs who have too much stuff! Minimalism is something of real interest to me, coupled with the design quality elements of the Arts and Crafts movement.

When I’m packing I start thinking about James Bond. You never see him with a travel iron in the background, routing around in the bottom of an over stuffed bag for the second half of a matching pair of socks, do you.

Whilst here, and in a space with relatively few personal belongings to distract, I have been thinking about how to further simplify when I get back. The Minimalists and plenty of others have been an inspiration for a good few years now and my home is making its way nicely towards being simple, creative and functional. I earn slightly more than I need to live on at the moment, so anything ‘spare’ is being ploughed back in to my home – a terraced house that needed a good dose of love injecting back in to it.

In the last three years I have tried and tested ways of applying that order and simplicity to my work knowing that it is just not possible to be all things to all people and still work at a level of quality. By building in time to stop, step back and reflect, the times small sections of the simplicity scaffolding are at risk of falling away are much more manageable than ever before, but there’s still room for improvement. As I write these posts I’m sure I’ll want to share more of the practicalities; the nuts and bolts of what exactly it is that’s working, not working, work in progress. Right now, that feels slightly outside of my comfort zone, but that’s part of the point of starting to write and share. Stick with it. I know I will.