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.

Dr Seyedeh Naseriniaki 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.