Community is who I am

From as early as I can remember, my mom and dad were entertaining neighbourhood kids, organising summer clubs and volunteering to keep the local baseball fields tidy. 

I started volunteering at the baseball concession stands and championed for other kids to do the same. Then, I begged to lead the outdoor lessons at summer club. I figured out pretty quickly that kids are way better at creating games than adults – slip and slide baseball, anyone?

Creative problem-solving and an interest in understanding the way the world works, and a special thanks to lots of caring role models, like my amazing 6th grade science teacher, Mrs. Nicholson, propelled me into an engineering degree at Rose-Hulman with a merit-based scholarship.

Without this scholarship, my family could not have afforded my education. As I began my education, the inequalities in both education and the workforce for Black people, women and people from working class backgrounds infuriated me. I decided they could not be ignored.

I didn’t know it then, but as a result of championing for my peers and myself to be heard during childhood, and being given responsibility and decision-making power, I was prepared me to be led by my community. These values are at the heart of everything we do at Brightbox.

– Kisha Bradley, Founder & CEO

 

Inclusive

Everyone deserves access to role models and career opportunities, no matter their gender, race, or background. We value lived-experience and make sure that everyone has a voice in everything we do.

Playful

We take risks, make bold decisions, and have fun doing it. There’s no question too silly for us. We’re human first and should enjoy what we do.

Transparent

We openly share our challenges, barriers, successes and failures. Everyone makes mistakes, and when that happens,we share our learning and make sure we do it better next time. For co-creation to work, everyone involved needs to be open and honest.

Everyone is a learner

We’re all learners and educators. Everyone has something to contribute; expertise and experience that should be valued.

Integrity

We hold tight to our values, while still creating and welcoming discussion to help us improve our understanding and become better.

 

Our Vision

Imagine a world where people of all genders and from Black, Brown and working-class communities are included in decision making. A future where lived-experience is valued, and power is not given to individuals but is shared by communities through resources and equitable opportunity. That’s our vision. And we believe creating makerspaces in every community can take us there.

  • Spaces where communities can come together, meet role models, and access resources.
  • Spaces where individuals can discover and develop their passions and interests.
  • Spaces where people can make informed decisions about their career opportunities.
  • Spaces where everyone feels able to become what they want to be.
 

Our Mission

A makerspace in every community.

How will we do it?

By partnering with libraries and their communities to co-create spaces to meet role models, access resources and nurture their passions. We share our experiences and expertise from working with libraries and grassroots organisations and creating makerspace workshops for more than 10,000 people.

 

Our Impact

We are passionate about implementing high quality, long-term change, through makerspaces, programming and consultation. We measure our impact through surveys, case studies, focus groups and feedback, documenting our progress through video and imagery.

For Learners

Access to resources and role models provides opportunities to increase confidence, develop creative problem-solving skills, and improve understanding of pathways to careers in tech, engineering and creative industries.

For Community

Community-led makerspaces create strong connections between people and place creating well-resourced and thriving communities for long-term change in the communities we work with.

For Council Services

Libraries are connected at town and city-level, nationally and hyper locally. Adding makerspace services creates sustainable launch pads for creativity, digital literacy, employability and entrepreneurship creating multiple entry points to local provision, better connecting council services and elevating wider local authority priorities.

Impact Reports

 

Meet the team

We are a dedicated team of leaders with lived experience and learned expertise.

We are a not-for-profit social enterprise with commitment to improving access to informal learning in communities.

Kisha

She/her

Founder and CEO

From as early as I can remember, my mom and dad were entertaining neighbourhood kids, organising summer clubs and volunteering to keep the local baseball fields tidy.

Read Kisha’s story

Kristie

She/her

Impact and Influence Manager

Kristie has lived, worked and volunteered across communities in the Sheffield City Region for over five years. With experience in designing, delivering and improving provision for young people living in the most deprived communities, she has extensive knowledge of charity sector impact reporting.

Read Kristie’s story

Mariam

She/her

Grassroots Manager

Mariam Pasha has worked with grass roots communities in Sheffield for more than ten years. She enjoys the lived experiences and stories that people share and is committed to a community led approach to planning and problem solving.

Read Mariam’s story

Sam

She/her

Playful Communities Development Manager

Sam has a strong background in building relationships and making connections. She’s built up a vast local and international network of specialist mentors, SMEs and investors, and has a skill for connecting others to the right people and opportunities at the right time.

Read Sam’s story

Elle

She/her

Maker-in-Residence

Elle is a creative based in the lovely city of Sheffield. Elle is eager to grow, play and learn with each community. “Communities will be involved in all parts of design and delivery. Their voices will create the toolkit for co-created events and programming.”

Read Elle’s story

Rachel Starkey

she/her

Learning Facilitator

I’m an education student who is interested in empowerment through information and confidence. I want people and communities to share their value and knowledge to shape spaces, places and groups.

Professional woman with long dark hair, glasses and crossed arms

Arni

She/her

Marketing Manager

I’m Arnika, I’m the marketing manager for an ethical textile printing company. I got into marketing purely by chance. After doing a degree in psychology, and then a Masters in International Business, I got an internship doing digital marketing for a tech start up in London. It was enjoyable, and varied, and encouraged me to look at marketing as a career.

It’s okay to not know what you want to do. I found something I really enjoy doing by chance and can’t imagine doing anything else now!

White woman looking at camera wearing pink top

Anja

She/her

Illustrator

I’m Anja, an artist and storyteller, working with images & words to deliver emotionally driven narratives.

My work often focuses on the small moments – the magic and beauty of everyday life, observations and encounters.

Originally from Germany I moved to the UK to study illustration and have been self-employed in the creative industry ever since graduating from the Arts University Bournemouth in 2015.

Turning my life-long passion into a career has definitely been (and continues to be) a challenge; but being my own boss, doing what I love for a living, is fulfilling, freeing and empowering in a myriad of ways.

Arti

She/her

Mechanical Engineer Student and Physics Teacher

I am a female mechanical engineer with a passion for biomechanics and how the medical field is supported by engineering. I love representing my culture as a Gujarati, Indian in STEM and showing that diversity should be seen in every industry. Following my passion and doing what I love every day, adds to my motivation to continue to inspire the next generation to get involved in what they feel excited for. Each step like this means that we can work together to strive for equal opportunities and make a difference in the world no matter what our backgrounds are!

Professional Black woman wearing sleeveless, coral coloured blouse

Chauntelle

She/her

Diversity & Inclusion Consultant

Eelyn

She/her/they

Artist & Film Maker

Eelyn Lee is an award-winning artist and filmmaker who has exhibited at Barbican, Tate Modern, National Portrait Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, Palais de Tokyo, Haus der Kulturen der Welt and at international film festivals. Eelyn’s practice combines collective research, devised theatre and filmmaking to create frameworks, for ensembles of collaborators to work together. In 2016 she co-founded Social Art Network [SAN], an artist-led network, building agency in the field of art and social practice. Eelyn is currently developing her first narrative feature film exploring Empire and race through the western and horror genres.

https://www.eelynlee.com

Finn

They/them

Artistic Director & Chief Executive

Finn has a worked as an artist, designer and producer in the cultural and education sector for 15 years. Specialising in large – scale participatory arts projects, they have a wealth of experience in partnership working, leadership and communications. In 2016, Finn started producing events in Sheffield to celebrate queer culture under the name Andro and Eve, and in 2018 set up a social enterprise to build upon this work. Finn, as Artistic Director / CEO for Andro and Eve, has produced a whole range of events and creative projects, providing talent development and performance opportunities for LGBTQ+ artists, and space for the LGBTQ+ community to connect.

Florencia

She/her

Chartered Engineer, IMechE

When I was a teenager, a chance encounter with a book about the Wright brothers’ invention of the “Flying Machine” sparked my curiosity about creating things. This curiosity brought me from Bangladesh to the UK to study Engineering and build a career around it.

Moving from Aerospace engineering to Automotive manufacturing and now towards technology management, I am passionate about advancing innovations that improve people’s lives.

Black woman with head turned to the left waring glasses, braid hair in a bun

Hannah

She/her

Head of Social Entrepreneur Support

Krystina

She/her

Aerospace Engineer

My name is Krystina and I am a Chartered Engineer working as a Senior Flight Systems Engineer at BAE Systems. I studied Aerospace Systems Engineering at university, after being inspired by an airshow when I was in school, becoming the first engineer in my family. I volunteer as a STEM Ambassador and mentor and also set up my own business, AviateHer, selling accessories to promote diversity in STEM. As there was a lack of visible females early on in my career, I am passionate about encouraging and inspiring more young girls to consider STEM careers and push past gender stereotypes!

Mariyam

She/her

Chemical Engineer

I am a fourth-year Chemical Engineering student at The University of Sheffield. I chose this degree as it is a great blend of Chemistry, Maths and Physics, subjects I enjoyed studying at A-Level. What sparked my engineering journey was the Nuffield Research Placement I undertook, where I engineered a mobile phone microscope and was a finalist in The Big Bang Competition. Chemical Engineering contributes to many industries; I am excited to work in the sustainability sector and my highest ambition is becoming an astronaut. I look forward to developing my career through the Engineering Leaders Scholarship and Sir Ralph Robins Scholarship awarded by The Royal Academy of Engineering.

Outside of my studies, I am an enthusiastic advocate for mental health and well-being, enjoy hiking in the Peak District region and channel my creativity through painting, writing and photography.

Shrouk El-Attar

She/they

Electronics Design Engineer

Jane Shields

She/her

Chief Executive

Read Jane Shields’s story

Carmen Kalnars

She/her

Art | Education | Project Management | Communications

Elizabeth Shassere

She/her

Author and consultant in leadership and management

Hina Desai

She/her

Managing Director

Katie Attwood

She/her

Education Product Management

Kisha Bradley

She/her

Chief Executive