One Crisis after Another: The Impact of COVID-19 on Roma Communities in Glasgow

One Crisis after Another: The Impact of COVID-19 on Roma Communities in Glasgow

It is evident that COVID-19 is radically changing the way we go about our everyday lives and the things we normally take for granted, whether it is community events, festivals, family celebrations and even attending funerals to show our respects. Through my voluntary trustee work with Romano Lav (Roma Voice), a small NGO based in Govanhill, it is apparent that COVID-19 is having a serious impact on the lives and livelihoods of the various Roma communities who stay in the neighbourhood. (more…)

UKRI Place Based Partnership – Evidence Review Launch

UKRI Place Based Partnership – Evidence Review Launch

At the beginning of 2020, colleagues from STAR Project, Renfrewshire Council and the University of the West of Scotland organised a workshop, Paisley Art & Soul. The workshop brought together members of Renfrewshire’s local communities and other stakeholders to discuss the ways that art and culture affects individual and community prosperity and wellbeing. This co-produced research project aligns closely with the aims of Future Paisley, a wide-ranging cultural regeneration programme currently ongoing and, in which, local communities are collaborating with a broad range of partners to reshape the town’s future. (more…)

Light in the Dark Days

Light in the Dark Days

On an average Monday morning at Wallace Street, I start my working day greeted by Margaret with her little Chihuahua pup in arms. She tells me about her latest knitted dog coat purchase as other bodies start to shuffle through the narrow corridor. We settle in a semi-circle of kind faces and laughter, and I can hear the sound of mugs clinking and the smell of coffee brewing in the background.

Now, my morning begins with adjusting the volume of my laptop, fixing my fringe in the camera and making sure everyone can hear me ok. (more…)

Covid 19: Participatory Action Research as Emergency Response

Covid 19: Participatory Action Research as Emergency Response

Never in my professional or academic career has my field of study and work been more relevant than over the last seven months.

For the last decade I have been committed to playing my part in addressing digital inequality. I have highlighted, in both practice and study, the connection between digital inequality and wider social inequalities. I have examined how digital access, connectivity, skills and digital understanding are a crucial part of an individual’s ability to enjoy culture, leisure, and entertainment online, how these assets can open doors to address social isolation, and can unlock opportunities in education and employment.   (more…)

A Glimpse of Normality. Notes from the Covid-19 Circus

A Glimpse of Normality. Notes from the Covid-19 Circus

Given the UK Government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis you might expect an article about the COVID-19 circus to be another piece hammering the test and trace system or the confusing messaging. But this is a piece about an actual circus installed on Blackheath to coincide with the October half term holiday. It is the latest in a series of posts which examine the ways this prestigious open space in South East London is used as an events venue during the pandemic. (more…)

Lockdown 2020 – A view from Kibble

Lockdown 2020 – A view from Kibble

Nearly 6 months on from when our country was first put into ‘lockdown’, I reflect on working at Kibble throughout this unprecedented time; I’m left with a smile, a sense of nostalgia and an overwhelming feeling of togetherness!

Despite being an extremely difficult time for us all, I was (and am) incredibly proud to be part of a wonderful team, who focused on positivity and were driven to find solutions in exceptional situations all while laughing, dancing and creating on a daily basis! (more…)