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Our bright future

Creative Pathways get planning for a block party, Barrhead-style!

What's an exciting, original and effective way of gathering the views of community members about how to transform public space? Throwing a block party of course!

Our Creative Pathways team in Barrhead need to gauge the views of the wider community before getting to work on an ambitious conversion project at the Robertson Street development.

The team of young people want the new space to be for the community, and informed by the needs and wants of the community. The block party will give all those whose input is important the chance to offer their ideas.

To prepare, the team have been making a small scale model of the space for community members to interact with on the day. Visitors will be able to easily rearrange the space and test out different ideas. The team replicated the space as accurately as possible, paying attention to every detail - down to the washing line hanging out.

The team knew how important it was for the event to be eyecatching, in order to attract a good turnout. They have been making decorations, colourful bunting and flower crowns to create a festival atmosphere.

The team also planned workshops to keep the fun going. Participant Kenedi designed a dream catcher workshop for visitors, in which they will forage for natural materials in the surrounding area to familiarise themselves with the space in a new way. They will then receive a masterclass from the Creative Pathways team in creating beautiful, intricate dream-catchers to take home as souvenirs.

As well as pushing environmental change in communities, Creative Pathways is about giving the young people practical experience of creative techniques that may be new to them. This was a fantastic opportunity for the team to get hands-on with Rhino, a 3D rendering software used by environmental designers and product designers. Beginning by rendering a flower pot, the group will work up to rendering the entire space they are transforming, as well as their final design plans.

In marketing the block party, the group scanned leaves and flowers and, using graphic design software, created a stunning invitation and poster for distributing around Barrhead. They also created vibrant tie-dyed Impact Arts-branded t-shirts to make themselves stand out at the event.

Creative Pathways: Environmental Design in Barrhead is a 15-week programme for young unemployed people from the local area. It is funded by Barrhead Housing Association, Inspiring Scotland's 14:19 fund, and the Big Lottery's Our Bright Future initiative, which supports young people to lead progressive change in their communities.

For more about Impact Arts' work with young people, please visit this section of our website.

Behind the process: timelapse by Barrhead's Creative Pathways team

The young people on our Creative Pathways: Environmental Design course in Barrhead have been getting hands-on experience of a huge number of creative and design techniques.

Here's an example. They were looking for an interesting way to visualise their planning processes, as they build towards an environmental project at a local greenspace. They produced a chalkboard incorporating silhouettes of the team into the border.

The team traced, taped, and spray-painted their likenesses around the border of a painted plywood board. The process helped them gain a greater understanding of digital and physical design.

Recording the process by film, they then had the opportunity to pick up an understanding of film-making skills by editing the footage into this fantastic timelapse. Have a look below!


The Creative Pathways: Environmental Design course is for young unemployed people, engaging them in creative activities while simultaneously preparing them for work through employability training. It is funded by Barrhead Housing Association, Inspiring Scotland's 14:19 Fund and the Big Lottery Fund's Our Bright Future initiative.

Creative Pathways team engaging with Barrhead community organisations

Our Barrhead Creative Pathways team have been out and about in the town, speaking to other organisations about what would benefit the area, with an eye on what they will do as part of their final project.

The team - made up of 16-19 year olds who are not currently in work, education or training - had a meeting at the local Men's Shed. The group offer woodworking and other activities for individuals aged 50+ in East Renfrewshire.

We asked about local green-spaces and about ways to potentially work together in the future. The team convinced the Men's Shed members of their commitment to making a difference in the community. After some friendly negotiations, the men's shed offered intergenerational skill sharing to us: the young people will be teaching his members computer skills, and in turn the group will teach us woodworking to create pieces we can install in the space. The manager even offered the Men's Shed meeting room as a facility to hold community meetings.

The team also met with a manager from Young Enterprise Scotland and the leader of a community project called Add2Barrhead, who both loved the Creative Pathways goals and wanted to join forces!

The group are now planning further ways of gauging the community's views on developing the local environment. In the meantime, they have been working on Employability SQA units, and discussing behaviour in the workplace, and talking about what they might like to do at the end of the programme.

The latest Creative Pathways course has been funded by Barrhead Housing Association, Inspiring Scotland and the Big Lottery Fund’s Our Bright Future programme, which empowers young people to lead progressive change in their communities.

Young people in Barrhead mapping out Bright Future for the area!

Young people are mapping out a bright future for their local environment and community as part of a new Creative Pathways: Environmental Design project in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire!

Based at the ARC Centre in Auchenback, fifteen young people - who are not currently in employment, education or training - have been getting to know each other and brainstorming ideas for what they would like to see in their area.

A 14-week project, the group will work together to transform green spaces in Barrhead that benefit the wider community. In the process, they will gain new skills, consult with other community organisations in Barrhead, and get involved in photography projects focusing on nature and heritage.

Our artists Heather and Kaitlyn began working with the group - whose are all aged between 16 and 19 - by getting them thinking like designers. This included building towers out of spaghetti and marshmallow, and dens out of recycled cardboard in the local park.

The group also had to get thinking about Barrhead, its environment, its community and how the young people relate to it. They did this by coming up with 10 of their favourite destinations in Barrhead, and designing a tour to show these off to their new tutors. They created maps to illustrate these locations, and gave them some extra pizzazz through Photoshop and Illustrator.

As well as giving them hands-on experience of software most had never used before, this exercise got the team thinking about what their community had, what it needs, and what could be transformed creatively through the course of the project. The group realised too that history is all around us, and that engaging with their environment will offer a better understanding of this community.

The group ended their first week with linocut printmaking. The process involved carving out a stamp to roll ink onto and printing on paper or fabric. Rolling up our sleeves and printing designs on an range of materials was the perfect way to end a fun, innovative, creative and crazy beginning to the course. More to come!

The latest Creative Pathways course has been funded by Barrhead Housing Association, Inspiring Scotland and the Big Lottery Fund’s Our Bright Future programme, which empowers young people to lead progressive change in their communities.

For an amazing and inspiring collection of environmental design project ideas, check out the Pinterest wall the group has created!

Aged 16-19? Environmental arts project coming to Barrhead!

A new Creative Pathways: Environmental Design programme will be starting in Barrhead this June.

If you are aged 16-19 years old, not in employment, education or training you can get paid £55 per week plus travel to learn new skills and make new friends.

You will pick learn artistic skills and take part in creative projects which raise awareness of environmental issues.

You will also receive help with your CV and job-hunting, as well as have the opportunity to earn an accredited award.

The programme will run from Tuesday 6th June until Friday 8th Sept 2017, from Tuesday until Friday, 9:30am – 4pm.

If you are interested, please contact Nicola Wood at or call 0141 575 3001.

This project is funded by Big Lottery: Our Bright Future, Barrhead Housing Association and Inspiring Scotland.

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  • Thanks for coming! Amazing work by children and young people with plenty of thoughts on their local environment… 9 hours ago
  • RT @Nic_ImpactArts: I have loved this project, such brilliant, thought provoking work from young people and our youth ambassador Natash…… 9 hours ago
  • The inspiration and starting point of the project was geography, map-making and the environment within Dennistoun -……12 hours ago



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