It is easy to forget that in a world before COVID there were already significant barriers for people with disabilities and chronic illness who wanted to take part in physical activity. Some of these barriers were physical in nature, such as inaccessible facilities, difficulties in accessing transport and the costs of specialist equipment. There were also more social and cultural barriers for example stereotypes around disability, lack of awareness and understanding of how to cater for different needs.
And then, in March 2020, the pandemic hit the UK… (more…)
The Grand Conversaziones series – part of the currently ongoing Paisley Exhibition – kicked off on the second Friday in February with a frank and fascinating exploration of Paisley’s Present. The event provided a timely reminder of the town’s assets – chief among them the internationally recognised Paisley Pattern – alongside an opportunity to reflect upon the path that Paisley is navigating out of the pandemic.
While the impositions forced upon us by the necessity for COVID19 lockdowns have been many, the enforced break from the norm has nevertheless caused many to reflect on what constitutes success and where we should seek to invest our effort when seeking to create vibrant, liveable and sustainable communities. (more…)
Matt Baker’s post on a New Approach to Culture in Scotland asks – “perhaps it is time to ask a fundamental question about the way we do culture in Scotland? Could we consciously support a culture of participation and popular ownership of culture as a key part of our national toolkit towards a just transition from both Covid and Climate Change?”
Reading this article leads to reflections on what I’ve observed in Paisley regarding where and how cultural activities meet health and wellbeing activities. Can I answer this question based on the snapshot my observations provide? From this vantage point, Paisley has an entwined approach of supporting community empowerment and the cultural ecology; both before Covid-19 and in response to the pandemic (for examples see here and here) and, starting from the principle that culture is created and experienced by everyone. (more…)
On boarding the 12.30 LNER high-speed from Edinburgh Waverly to London Kings Cross, little did I expect that the journey itself would begin in such a decidedly uncanny manner
Having taken our prebooked seats, applied earphones, and settled back to enjoy the 5-hour journey as best we could, a slight sense of unease then enveloped the carriage as the tannoy announced: ‘This is a dry train. No alcohol will be served on this train, and no alcohol is to be consumed on this train, between Waverly station and Newcastle.’ (more…)
Every week at PACE we see first-hand how positive creative and cultural experiences can transform social, educational and wellbeing outcomes for young people – particularly to those most disadvantaged. Research shows that young people participating in the arts do better in school and are more likely to gain employment, volunteer and vote. For over 30 years we have worked to bring these benefits to as many young people as possible; to ensure that all, regardless of background, are valued, nurtured and have a voice – and to help create opportunities for them to realise their potential. YTAS studies in 2015 and 2021 show Renfrewshire with the highest levels of engagement in participatory drama activities in Scotland. We think we can build on this to do so much more, and it has never been more needed. (more…)
We won’t use this blog to describe what happened inside the Glen Cinema, Paisley on Hogmanay 1929 – it is well documented online, in history books, and in the memories of the people of Renfrewshire and across the world. Instead we are using this blog as an opportunity to describe some of what we have learnt and experienced over the past two years while working on this project. (more…)