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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)