Our Publications Page has had an Overhaul

Our Publications Page has had an Overhaul

To better showcase our outputs from the work we undertake at CCSE with our colleagues and partners in Renfrewshire, Scotland the UK and further afield, we’ve given our Publications page an overhaul. We’ve categorised the content to make navigation more straightforward. The interface now provides easy access to our commissioned research and consultation reports, academic articles and book chapters. The short films that have been made to document some of the work we’ve undertaken and events we’ve hosted over the course of Centre activities are also accessible here. (more…)

Fetching a Coat: Finding a Concept that Fits Arts, Culture, Health & Wellbeing

Fetching a Coat: Finding a Concept that Fits Arts, Culture, Health & Wellbeing

The search for concepts I feel comfortable with to describe arts, culture, health and wellbeing has been a long one. Theories and concepts have been described as a lens to see the world or a framework to scaffold the thesis. For me it has felt more like trying on many coats. It is not just the case of finding one that can help me get the job done, though it is helping me to progress my research. There are projects and services where I know there is a health and wellbeing impact but previously I didn’t have the lens to discern the mechanisms that ‘created’ health and wellbeing. It’s also a process of finding a lens that melds with the values I have and how I see the world; that I can be comfortable in and reflects how I want to encounter the world. The current coat is a quite new, it’s a little stiff, not yet snug. I’m not quite used to it and its possibilities. But, with time and some reflective journeys, I hope I can break it in make it my own. (more…)

The PhD and the Pandemic Part Two: The ‘New Normal’ for a PhD Student

The PhD and the Pandemic Part Two: The ‘New Normal’ for a PhD Student

Back at the beginning of April, I wrote a short blog post sharing my experiences of some of the challenges of doing a PhD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yes we might have been in lockdown, but the sun was shining and the colours of spring were beginning to bloom around us. Ok, I’m talking about Paisley here so it might be more accurate to say that it was getting slightly less cold and the sky had gone from grey to a slightly lighter shade of grey, but two things were certain: it wasn’t winter, and we had no idea how long the purgatory of the lockdown would continue. As summer drew in, the days grew longer and life eased slightly closer to normal. One by one, the zoom quizzes disappeared, the travel restrictions eased and family and friends were reunited during those glorious nights we sat, socially distanced, in local beer-gardens. But it wasn’t to last, the nights closed in as the days grew shorted and I find myself once again resigned to my flat trying to keep writing, presenting, teaching and researching during this strange, strange year. (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…)

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…)

Fridays Can be Fun: Spring into Methods 2020

Fridays Can be Fun: Spring into Methods 2020

As an approach, co-production has increasingly come to the forefront, both in research and in design of services. This has led to greater attention and effort being made to draw on the knowledge of those with lived experience, whose voices count and, attempts to understand how they count. In September I had the great experience of assisting Beth Cross, David McGillivray, Jingyang Ai and Sandro Carnicelli to deliver a training course for PhD Students. (more…)