Meet our Team

Founding Director

Katherine Brown

Crafting Relationships (formerly Beauty and Utility Arts) was founded in Summer 2011 after over a decade in the third sector working with adults and children living with mental ill health, dementia and learning disabilities. Up until that point I worked giving daily living support, as a Supported Employment Adviser and as Fundraiser for the Midlands for a national charity.

In 2005, I was stopped in the corridor by comedian Charlie Chuck who asked if I would like to take a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. There’s only one answer to that –  ‘yes’. So, a dedicated team of 10 adults with learning disabilities and support staff worked hard to make it happen, and the end result was a seven night stint at Venue 45 – most days to a sell out audience.

On day one, there was a line of nervous singers, actors and performers behind me on Princes Street as we handed out flyers. By the last day, confidence was high, conversations with Festival  visitors were flowing and there was even talk of approaching De Montfort Hall! That’s when I realised the power of Arts and Health, and everything else has grown since then.

In July 2018 I paused to think more about my work – what I loved doing, what I wanted to do less of and how I could use the skills developed over the last twenty years even better. I’m a reasonably quiet, observant and reflective character and I realised I could work those things up and use them more. That’s when I changed the name of the organisation to Crafting Relationships and started looking at the importance of values and how to embed them further in to the work we do and support others to do the same.

Have a read of this – it explains a lot more



Associates are individuals we work with on a regular basis. We guide and inform each other at every level.


Mandeep Dhadialla


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 Clusters


Kate Wiltshire
Kate Wiltshire has been painting for most of her life and in a variety of media to stay flexible and prepared to respond to whatever the subject or inspiration.Her time is divided between her personal painting practice and community workshops to help people to learn new techniques and develop their own visual language.
Being an artist is natural, but staying an artist is hard for most of us, and the reason I love delivering workshops.
There is a real therapeutic value when people gain confidence to try a new process and be joyfully surprised by their results.
Kate exhibits her work at Warwickshire Open Studios, in group shows and at The Courtyard Gallery, Stratford Upon Avon.




Katie Sone


Hi I’m Katie Sone a writer and workshop facilitator with a specialism in writing for wellbeing and mindfulness. I have over 18 years experience of working in the arts in Leicester and Leicestershire managing events and projects, fundraising and workshop delivery. For the last five years my focus has been on writing and delivering writing for wellbeing, relaxation and mindfulness sessions across the community – including libraries, community centres, for NHS staff and older people.
I’m pleased to come on board as an Associate for Crafting Relationships having seen first hand the positive effect on participants’ wellbeing through some of the projects delivered.
Chrissie van Mierlo


Chrissie Van Mierlo is an experienced university teacher, freelance editor and Museums Professional. She is the author of a range of academic articles and reviews, as well as the book James Joyce and Catholicism: The Apostate’s Wake (Bloomsbury: 2017). Chrissie is the Volunteer Project Co-ordinator for the Local History Cafes run by Crafting Relationships at Brackenfield Village, Charnwood Museum and Erewash Museum and a part of the Local History Cafe core team. She is particularly interested in projects that engage older members of the community with the Arts, literature and historical research.