Afri-Co-Lab Opening Our Doors

by Anna Maria Nabirye in Saint Leonards-on-sea, East Sussex, United Kingdom

Total raised £11,243

raised so far



Opening our doors once a week for our community. Pop by for a cuppa, bring your laptop for the wifi, or chill with a creative activity.

by Anna Maria Nabirye in Saint Leonards-on-sea, East Sussex, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 2nd August 2023 we'd raised £11,228 with 136 supporters in 35 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

If we reach our extended target we will buy equipment so we can launch our community Sewing Club and bring back Dare 2 Repair

£1500 5 Robust sewing machines

£700 2 Overlocker Sewing Machines

£2000 Staffing for a sewing/textiles tutor

£500 sewing machine servicing, sew machine accessories, threads, scissors etc


This crowdfunder will let us open our doors 1 day a week, inviting you the community in to gather, meet, make friends and get creative. If we reach our target,  East Sussex County Council will match our total and we will also be able to buy 6 sewing machines and be on route to launch our Sewing Club + Dare 2 Repair this winter!!



Afri-Co-Lab is a diverse-led creative community dreaming hub, built on the cultural mash-up of Ugandan & British culture. We are a grassroots not for profit community organisation on the St Leonards seafront offering a programme that supports access to high quality creative arts experiences, positive mental health, entrepreneurial incubation, skills development, and community connection.  

At the moment we open our doors for classes, workshops and events and whilst we love all of that, we want to share more of the love, more of the time with more people! Sharing this special space we have built with our community - especially those who are often left behind.




Open House will see Afri-Co-Lab opening our doors once a week for no other purpose than to provide held space to gather.  Pop in for a quick cuppa or stay all day, bring your laptop and jump on our wifi or read and use our growing collection of books.

This crowdfunder will allow the Afri-Co-Lab space to support our community through encouraging folks to meet new people, access to free wifi, sharing space to work on creative projects and use of our creative tools (glue guns, cutting mats, paints etc) and become part of the Afri-Co-Lab family. And of course tea, coffee, biscuits and fruit will be provided. 


  • A place to meet new people and gather with local friends
  • A place to combat loneliness and encourage cultural cohesion
  • A Black run space for Black and Global Majority communities and white allies to meet and gather
  • A place that supports digital inclusion with free wifi access 
  • A place for peer to peer learning and mentoring from other users and Afri-Co-Lab's staff and volunteer champions



We will use the money to:

  • Pay a staff member to open the space one day a week 
  • Cover our costs for keeping the space open wifi, electricity, teas/coffees/snacks
  • Maintain our creative equipment for the community to use
  • Buy 5 sewing machines
  • Buy 1 overlocker
  • Create an access document about the space



Afri-Co-Lab is a creative community dreaming hub based in the heart of Central St Leonards, East Sussex. We were founded during the pandemic to create space to collectively dream and eventually gather - something that seemed desperately needed at the time and is still so relevant today!



Afri-Co-Lab was founded and is run by sister; artists and educators Lilly Babirye and Anna Maria Nabirye. We now have a core team of 4 with Theresa Adjorlolo and Deanne Naula - our creative wranglers. Plus a family of local creatives, artists and practitioners at the top of their game Karen Arthur, Claudine Eccleston, Janice Kate Fisher, Elaine Mullings and Darragh O'Leary.


Things Folks Have Said About Our Work.





This project offered rewards

£100 or more

£100 Reward- Sewing Class

A two hour sewing machine induction for you and a friend at Afri-Co-Lab. Learn the basics of a sewing machine, know you bobbin from your presser foot. Feel confident to thread and use a machine with Afri-Co-Lab's director Lilly in this fun and informal session.

£10 or more

£10 Reward-Thank you on our Website + social media

You will be featured on our Thank you wall of fame on our website and get a shout out on our instagram stories!

£20 or more

£20 Reward - Afri-Co-Lab Activity Kit

We will post you your very own Afri-Co-Lab activity kit: Make Lavender Bag. Using the bright colours and bold prints of ankara fabrics from across the African Continent paired with upcycled denim from well loved jeans, you will be able to hand sew your very own lavender bag. Everything you need apart from scissors will be included in your kit along with printed instructions and links to video guides to all hand stitches.

£100 or more

£100 Reward- Bespoke Upcycled T'shirt

We will upcycle you a one of a kind t-shirt made to your vibe. Have a design conversation with Afri-Co-Lab's directors so we can suss your vibe and leave the rest to us for a surprise one of a kind t-shirt!

£250 or more

£250 Reward - A VIP private Collage + Chill

A VIP private Collage + Chill for you and 10 friends. Come to Afri-Co-Lab and be part of the family. We will guide you and your friends through a session exploring collage and experimenting to create your own unique artwork or vision board.

£250 or more

£250 Reward-Bespoke Collage Art Work

Bespoke Collage Art Work. You set the theme and Afri-Co-Lab's directors Anna + Lilly will create a unique collage art work just for you- one of a kind

£50 or more

Sewing Machine Named In Your Honour +Upcycled Tote

One of our sewing machines will be named after you or by you. Plus an upcycled Tote bag. We will use your machine to upcycle you a tote bag from our treasure trove of in-house fabrics

Show your support

Payment and personal details are protected