The Creative Road to Recovery

The Creative Road to Recovery

I can’t quite believe it’s been a year since I took a seat at my dining room table and mastered the virtual meeting world to join Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Team for a vital discussion: what are the needs of the Creative and Cultural Sector in Renfrewshire?

Conversations of concern and despair from arts professionals across the team were the focal point. After discussions with local organisations, artists and seeing the impact the pandemic was having on the arts nationwide, it was clear – something radical had to be done and done quickly. We had to try and support the creative and cultural sector in Renfrewshire, giving local artists and organisations a chance to adapt, to recover, renew and to keep spirits up, raising hope through the arts, creativity, and culture. (more…)

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…)

Create Paisley’s Second Open Minds Summit

Create Paisley’s Second Open Minds Summit

CCSE were partners to the Open Mind Summit along with Future Paisley, Renfrewshire Leisure, Kibble. The second annual summit hosted by Create Paisley launched the day before World Mental Health Day. It explored the role of creativity and culture in improving mental health and wellbeing for children and young people. This year’s theme was ‘how can creativity help children and young people overcome isolation and loneliness’. (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…)