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Our bright future

"I’m happy and I’ve not been happy for a long time..."

Adam joined Creative Pathways in 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, but still managed to complete the course and secure himself a job;

Background

Adam joined Creative Pathways in 2020 hoping to learn new creative skills, develop and commit to a good positive routine, build confidence, meet new people and recognise skills related to employability. He was initially apprehensive about meeting new people and speaking out in the group when he joined our Creative Pathways programme but seemed content to be taking part.

Progress

Adam seemed determined to get into a new routine and the group had many opportunities to discuss wellbeing, sleeping patterns, setting alarms as well as spontaneous chats about Creative Pathways being so different from school. By week 4 Adam seemed more at ease within the group, telling us;

“I’m happy and I’ve not been happy for a long time, and I feel I’m getting into a new routine and that’s helping me feel less tired." - Adam

Adam had 99% attendance and quickly grew to participate fully in all activities, individual creative challenges, group work, employability tasks and SQA units.

Adam worked within a group of 13 young people as a team, he contributed suggestions and thoughts regularly, and was kind, patient and appreciative of his team. He got a lot out of being amongst his peer group and was able to recognise his skills, qualities and talents and sounds optimistic about his future.

Future

Adam sourced and started training for a job at one of the COVID centres following completion of Creative Pathways. He is very proud of what he has achieved and was glad to be starting work. He would also like to go to college and is exploring options relating to photography and film.

“I have to say that Creative Pathways has been an amazing experience. It's helped me with my confidence. It's helped me improve on my drawing and photography and its gave me a good routine. If I could replay a moment in life I’d love to do over Creative Pathways, I loved it!" - Adam

"It has been life changing for him. He learnt new skills, built his confidence and achieved a lot of firsts." - Parent

“I’ve gotten so much better at understanding people’s boundaries!”

Rebecca joined Creative Pathways in 2019;

Background

Rebecca lives at home with her parents in quite a busy household as she is one of 9 siblings. Rebecca had just turned 16 when she started Creative Pathways. She had been excluded from school and reports that school was not a good environment for her.

“I didn’t used to go to school much, but I like coming here.” – Rebecca

Progress

Rebecca displayed a great deal of adaptability during the project. She contributed to various aspects of the film production – constructing the costumes, acting, working with another participant to rehearse a scene to be performed live at the showcase, working with another YP to write and record the soundtrack. She loved working collaboratively with other participants. Her and another participant would isolate themselves from the group in order to concentrate on matching the lyrics to the guitar and was able to ask for help when she needed it. At the start she was struggling to find a melody for her lyrics but was able to work with the creative lead in order to create a personal and quirky tune which fitted well with the music created by anther young person. She persevered and wanted to get better at singing and took on board the advice of the Creative Lead gave her.

(After hearing the song for the first time edited) Creative lead: “You should be proud of yourself.”

Rebecca: “I actually am, that’s amazing I love it!“

Rebecca was supported to take the train for the first time and subsequently started taking the train every morning. This was significant for Rebecca as she had never taken the train before and was very anxious about doing so.

Near the beginning of the project Rebecca had some issues around her communication with others in the group, particularly more introverted young people. We discussed this with Rebecca. She accepted the feedback and made a concerted effort to be more tactful and adapt her approach/ communication to the person and situation. This was not smooth sailing and at times Rebecca had to be reminded about respecting people’s boundaries and appropriate workplace conduct. However, Rebecca continuously took feedback on board and worked on her approach. Towards the end of the project on a number of occasions Jenny (Pastoral Lead) purposely paired Rebecca with members of the group who benefitted from encouragement in a small group and pair work, and it worked really well.

Rebecca was able to encourage participation from peers who weren’t able to share ideas as readily, without taking over.

“I’ve gotten so much better at understanding people’s boundaries!” – Rebecca

Progression

Rebecca wants to go to college, she has been considering whether she wants to study performance or social sciences. She’s interested in drama and performance but she also loves working with people. She currently volunteers at a youth club in her local area. She’s now decided she wants to study social sciences and is working on her personal statement. She is much more concisions about the environment and has expressed her will to recycle more at home. During the lockdown she has started to make exercise routines which she shares with her niece in order to keep active.

“I am much more conscious about the environment and every time I am going to throw something into the bin I think about Elina (Creative Lead) and put the recycling into the recycling bin.” - Rebecca

"I would have never got the job without my employability work..."

In 2018 Laura joined our Creative Pathways course and was successful getting a place in college and a job at a fashion retailer!

Background

Laura lived in Glasgow with her mother. Her dad left the household when she was young, contributing to an unstable home environment. She dropped out of school at 16, and found it very difficult to re-enter education to pursue her interest in photography. She had little to no structure or framework for working towards her goals.

Journey

When the tutors first met Laura, she was distant and guarded. She did however express a desire to go to college, and said that she needed a course to help her develop a portfolio. She was also keen to get help finding employment. From the beginning, Laura showed that although she had confidence issues, she was dedicated to her opportunity at Impact Arts.

She impressed everyone with her photography skills and personal fashion style. At first she struggled with punctuality and committing herself to certain workshops and projects, but as the weeks progressed it became clear Laura was willing to keep pushing herself to overcome these barriers.

Laura struggled most with having confidence in her own creative ideas. In concept generation and prototyping workshops during the first weeks, she sat and stared at the floor. Her inability to move past her own mental barriers and trust her creative process was palpable. She was extremely frustrated, and would regress dramatically during these workshops.

However, through repetition and reframing the way Laura was asked to come up with and express creative concepts, she slowly began to trust her own process and generate work confidently. Eventually, she came up with a beautiful concept for the final series of sculptures - an inverted urban grid cast out of concrete. She ultimately created the city out of boxes of tea, clay and toothpaste, secured these “buildings” with hot glue, and then poured concrete over these to create the final sculpture.

Although Laura had always been drawn towards photography, through Creative Pathways she was able to develop and cultivate more creative interests. Her natural interest towards fashion was always evident, however in the beginning of the project she did not believe that she could consider fashion as a career. Through her employability based work with Impact Arts’ Opportunities Co-ordinator, she undertook her SQA Steps to Work Award - which involved community engagement sessions with people in north Glasgow. She also gained her Employability Award, completing the Responsibilities of Employment unit (covering workers’ rights and employers’ expectations), the Preparing for Employment unit (looking at her skills and weaknesses and how her life experiences translate to the work environment) and the Building Own Employability Skills unit (involving CV-building, job searching, interview skills and goal-setting).

"The course has been really helpful in getting me thinking about art in a different way. Before, I would look at a painting or something and just think ‘I like that’ or ‘I don’t like that’ – but now I’m really thinking about what the artwork means or what it’s trying to say." - Laura

Future

Laura discovered the different career paths someone with an interest in fashion can pursue, and was ultimately successful in securing a college place in Fashion for when she finished the course. She was also successful in securing a job at a clothing shop in Glasgow city centre.

"Fashion was always something I was interested in but never something I thought I could do professionally. Talking to people at Impact Arts about what jobs there are showed me that it could be a career path, and I don’t think I would have had the confidence otherwise to go to college for it." - Laura

"I would have never got the job without my employability work. Doing the mock interviews really boosted my confidence."- Laura

Kendall's Story

Positive outcomes for Kendall in 2017;

Background

Kendall dropped out of school very young after experiencing severe bullying to the point where she struggled to get out of bed in the morning. Upon leaving school, Kendall became reclusive and shut herself away from her peers, fearing any further taunting. At this point in her life, she turned to alcohol and drugs for comfort, eventually abusing substances to the point of overdose. As a result, she was thrown out of her home by her Mum and eventually settled with her Gran after months of staying with friends.

When Kendall joined Impact Arts’ Creative Pathways course in Barrhead at the age of 16, she had very little confidence or self-esteem. Although on the face of things she is a lovely girl with a bubbly outlook, this masked a sadder side. Kendall suffered from severe anxiety, depression, panic attacks and spoke often about having suicidal thoughts.

Journey

It was clear that Kendall was finding it difficult to work with others in a group context. She had been so used to her own company that social anxiety had become a barrier to her participating in anything.

Eventually, as part of the course, she visited several places along with the group, including the Camera Obscura exhibition in Edinburgh, Rouken Glen Park, Glasgow’s Museum Resource Centre and the Letraset Exhibition at the Lighthouse in Glasgow. It was a huge step in her journey that she attended these and faced her fear of being out in public.

Kendall started to become more accustomed to being in company and began to interact freely and ask questions at visits. She began taking more care in her appearance and told us that she was socialising at weekends instead of shutting herself away. Her confidence was bolstered by the friends she was making in the group and the different experiences she gained visiting new places. She began to see herself as the kind, bubbly character the artists and fellow participants knew her as.

As part of their SQA Enterprise unit, Kendall and her group were asked to plan, design and create a wall mural for Barrhead’s Auchenback Resource Centre. This took a lot of research, planning and liaising with the centre staff and users to come up with a design that was suitable for everyone. This process helped Kendall develop a variety of skills including painting, drawing, communication and social skills.

"It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. You work with the best people - you couldn’t meet better people." - Kendall

"It’s really nice to be a part of something and do something nice for the community. Being on the course has helped me to feel like myself again.” - Kendall

Future Plans

After successfully completing the 12-week programme, Kendall gained a position on a next-stage employability program with Rathbone and began applying for jobs to get work experience to put towards her dream of working in childcare.

A valuable stepping stone to reach his end destination as a tradesman...

Looking back at our work from the past 5 years of Our Bright Future and Creative Pathways. Highlighting some of the amazing achievements of young people who took part in the project.

Kevin took part in the Creative Pathways programme Glasgow in July 2016.

Background

Kevin was 16 when he joined our Creative Pathways programme and lived with his mum in the East end of Glasgow. He began Creative Pathways in the summer after a short spell of being unemployed after dropping out of college. Kevin had been at college studying plastering but he wanted to get in to outdoors work and had a particular interest in forestry. Kevin was really quiet and closed off when he first started and displayed intimidating body language. He had difficulty speaking clearly and displayed signs of being inwardly aggressive, and outwardly disruptive due to lack of confidence.

Journey

At the beginning of the 14 weeks, Kevin found his place within the dynamics of the group, and fitted in well amongst his peers, although was found to be easily distracted and detached from tasks set to the group. Kevin found it hard to be creative in the class, and was drawn towards physical tasks such as clearing the drive, wood work, and tasks aimed more towards his interests. By week 3, Kevin had created a bird house made from wood, and seemed excited to begin working with wood and screws, as apposed to paint and paper. Being visibly proud of this piece of work, week 4 was a turning point in Kevin’s attitude towards being productive, as he began to understand the importance environmental art in the community. Kevin’s confidence grew and he displayed great social skills improving his verbal communication. His body language changed as he felt more settled and he began to look relaxed and happy.

He gained confidence in the validity of his ideas and suggestions, and recognised his importance within the group to the extent he was able to work unsupervised with no worry of being disruptive.

Future Plans

Kevin worked hard on his SQA paperwork throughout the project and gained a full Employability Award, he also built up a really exciting portfolio of work and gained his Bronze Arts Award. Kevin applied for a job with Cadder Housing Association in week ten and was successful in securing the position. He started with Cadder before the Creative Pathways project finished.

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The team at Impact Arts work hard to secure over £1.5m of funding per year to provide life changing creative experiences for more than 5000 people.

You can help us achieve this target through making a single gift, or a regular donation. Thank you.

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