A 20-metre hoarding surrounding a former nightclub in Southside District is being transformed into an eye-catching mural to illustrate how women can access vital services.

Local artist Melita Berg was selected from a city-wide call for artists to create a mural to capture the importance of information to women’s lives – and in Birmingham’s case to access services and support for those experiencing domestic abuse. Her design - which states ‘Information is liberating’ - will be painted along the side of the former Oceana nightclub, at the junction of Hurst Street and Smallbrook Queensway and be unveiled later this month.

It is part of the council’s Inform Women, Transform Lives campaign, funded by the Carter Center in the US – which provided $10,000 (approx. £7,900) for Melita to bring her colourful design to life. It is also supported by Southside District.

Melita, who is based in Birmingham, said: “This project means a great deal to me as I know abuse is often done in secret, so it could be your colleague, family member or a friend who is hiding their pain.

“Women should be celebrated, liberated and feel loved. If it is not the case, no matter what background or walk of life they are in, there is always someone who will listen, help and support them.” As part of this work, two community sessions will be held on Monday (17 June) when members of the public can get involved in bringing Melita’s design to life.

Sessions will be held between 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm, during which she will explain her creative process and logistical planning for the mural, and help people get involved. Paint, pens and brushes will be provided. Melita added: “I want for the mural to give the power back to the women - to speak up, to seek help, to open up or to walk away.

“No matter how big of a step you are ready to take, seeking information can be the first one. I hope local women feel empowered to seek advice.”

Birmingham was chosen as one of 12 international cities to take part in a global campaign led by the Carter Center, which aims to educate and enable women can access information and play an active role in society. The Birmingham campaign focuses on domestic abuse support services, though designs must reflect the aims of the global Inform Women, Transform Lives initiative, highlighting the importance of improving women’s access to information.