Paul, inspired by seeing his brother’s achievements on our Impactful Starts employability programme, joined our Cashback Summer programme in the hope of having fun, making friends and spending time over the summer gaining new skills. Paul initially believed art wasn’t for him. He came to the group not knowing anyone and having little to no experience of using art materials or art practice. The challenge for Paul was getting the time to try out new things for himself and seeing that being creative was something he could do. However, throughout the programme, he not only made new friends but also embraced various art activities, contributing to a group quilt and discovering a passion for creating his own video games.

Despite limited prior experience, Paul excelled in gaining his SQA Practical Abilities qualification, showcasing his commitment to learning and teamwork. Engaging in the John Muir Award, he actively participated in environmental conservation activities, displaying leadership and mentoring skills. Paul’s journey on the programme highlighted personal growth, from overcoming scepticism about art to excelling in diverse projects.

Looking ahead, Paul plans to return to school and has applied for a Digital Marketing apprenticeship. Over the course of the programme Paul worked really well with others and wasn’t afraid of trying out new things, and can see that doing so results in identifying new interests outside of school.

Paul said; “The programme has really helped me mentally and helped take my mind off of other things going on. I believe Cashback Summer is a great opportunity for young people like myself. It’s really helped me, and I have to thank the staff, and all the people that came in to show us how to do things like First Aid and stop motion animation!”


Every year our Craft Café Govan members aim to create a number of projects where they make things of use for other charitable causes. They wanted to find small charities and organisations where their gifts could feel more personal and be more useful. Emphasising that Christmas is not just a time for consuming and receiving, but giving and showing kindness.

They chose a local based charity to give to; Amma, for babies and mothers. Amma provide care, information, and advocacy for women who face birth and parenthood alone, and offer birth and postnatal companionship, education and support. They often work with refugee and asylum-seeking women, survivors of human trafficking, and other individuals experiencing multiple disadvantages. The members created personal giftboxes for the parent and baby, with a knitted teddy an item of baby clothing, a hand written card, a lavender bag and a handmade soap. Making twenty-five gift boxes for the charity.

After the success of last years gifts to Florence House care home, they decided to do it again. The members made 20 gift parcels, containing a painting, a copy of their Back Court Concerts booklet, a knitted blanket, a lavender bag and a card. The gifts will go to those residents who are more isolated and do not receive many visitors. The contents of the gift parcels were matched to the tastes and interests of the residents.

Last week our Craft Café Govan members launched their Back Court Concert exhibition at The Boardwalk.

The amazing work of 50 Craft Café members was celebrated with a beautiful showcase of their work from the past year. From an Indian ink project to watercolours from the community garden. As well as individual artwork from members past and present.

The main event was the Back Court Concerts project, celebrating the playful performances the members put on in the back courts as kids. Including a miniature tenements set, a crankie shadow puppet machine, and some performances by the members.

Thank you to everyone who came along and helped celebrate our amazing members. The exhibition will be on display till 17th November at The Boardwalk and we highly recommend you pop in to see the wonderful, nostalgic pieces of art!

Location: The Boardwalk, 105 Brunswick St, Glasgow

At the beginning of the year Lush approached Impact Arts to collaborate on a very exciting project! The beautiful cosmetics company were looking for new designs for their gorgeous knot wrap collection, to be launched alongside the opening on their new Glasgow Store. The Knot wraps are a sustainable way to wrap gifts and can be used over and over in a variety of different ways. Lush has a handy guide on their website showing some of the different folds and wraps that can be achieved for different items.

Our amazing Creative Pathways participants took on the brief and came up with various ideas and designs before settling on a final wrap agreed by Lush.

The design was influenced by the colours of autumn, woodland creatures and a clear sky on a crisp October night. It was developed by the young people in the group who wanted to combine their individual styles to create a Wimmelbilder style image in which the viewer sees something new every time they look at it.

The participants Knot Wrap can be purchased here and is available in their UK Stores.

Committee members from Glasgow Charity Fashion Show took part in this years Edinburgh Kiltwalk, raising funds for Impact Arts.

Glasgow’s Charity Fashion Show is one of the largest student-led charity fundraisers in the UK.  Created in 2014, GCFS’s priority has been to raise awareness and financially impact local charities that contribute greatly to society.  We are delighted to be their chosen charity and excited for the year ahead.

This is just one of many fundraising events the students are doing and we are grateful to be their chosen charity this year. The students all absolutely smashed the 21 miles despite the wind and rain!

President, Mia Hardie said “Our team from the Glasgow Charity Fashion were delighted to walk the Kiltwalk Mighty Stride for Impact Arts this year, as a student-run fashion show we understand the importance of the arts and the work of Impact Arts in tackling societal inequalities through creative engagement continues to inspire our committee every day. We continued fundraising throughout the walk and after 21 miles our team is proud to have raised over £2000 for the wonderful Impact Arts!” 

We had a fantastic week of showcases for our CashBack to The Future Summer participants, taking place across our venues in Glasgow, Edinburgh and North Ayrshire.

The vibrant and dynamic exhibitions serve as a testament to the incredible talent, creativity, and innovation displayed by the young people participating in our CashBack Summer Programme.

The programme aims to provide young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with opportunities to engage in artistic pursuits. Through workshops, mentorship, and guidance, the programme opens doors to creativity and self-expression, helping participants build confidence and life skills.

Going to the project gave me more freedom and I realised I can go places without my parents and be confident I know how to get home. I also enjoyed all the chats with the people working there and learned interesting stuff at Holyrood Park.”Participant

“On my first day I really thought about not ringing the doorbell and just walking away. I’m so glad Shannon saw me and invited me in. I would have missed the best summer of my life.” – Participant

Participant spent the summer taking part in workshops on visual art, 3D art; sculpture, pottery as well as animation & film making. With an overall theme of heritage that ran throughout all areas. Participants had trips to local cultural venues, conversations around what heritage meant to them and got outdoors for beach and park litter picks. North Ayrshire young people painted a mural at the Maritime Museum and South Lanarkshire created a fabulous museum trail with Summerlee Museum.

Family, friends, stakeholders and the general public were captivated by thought-provoking visual installations, animations and thoughtfully crafted digital presentations at all the showcases. A massive well done to our young people who produced so much work this summer and a thank you to our amazing delivery partners, funders and colleagues who help us bring these events to life.

“I made friendships I would never have done in school. I felt encouraged by Fraser and Shannon to have the confidence to make friends with everyone. I didn’t just gravitate to one person. Now I have a group of friends to meet up with to have fun.” – Participant

“I wasn’t confident and was really anxious before I joined. Now I can order food and go shopping on my own. I remember how bad my anxiety was and I thought I would only make one or two days a week, but I came every single day and never wanted it to end.”  - Participant

Waste Reduction

The Step Up to Net Zero action plan set Impact Arts the mission of reducing general waste volumes and increasing recycling by 10% during the placement. Since the Step Up to Net Zero Coordinators joined Impact Arts, recycled waste increased by 19% and general waste has been reduced by 4%! In May, Impact Arts increased its recycling to 60% of its waste, up by 20% from the previous month!

So how did we achieve a 20% increase in just one month?

5 ways to increase recycling

  1. A Lunch & Learn session – we identified that staff training was crucial in clearly communicating the why and how.
  2. Increased signage and much better labeling on all of our bins – we know people need access to the right information quickly
  3. Reducing how many bins we have. We got rid of all those pesky under desk waste paper bins and now encourage staff to walk to our recycling centres- the screen break is good for your eyes too.
  4. We introduced a compost in our courtyard vegetable garden to reduce food waste.
  5. Our Coordinators invited staff to take part in the very popular Rubbish Quiz!

The overall goal for the future is to reach rates of 80% recycling to 20% general waste. We still have some way to go on the road to Net Zero, but we are on the right track. We are pleased to work with the fantastic recycling provider Changewaste Recycling who support us in recycling and tracking our progress with ease.

With a staff Green Team briefed and ready to take the baton from Cara and Poppy, and as members of the Green Arts Initiative, we’re confident that Impact Arts and the wider arts community will pull together to contribute to a happier, healthier and hopeful future. Thank you to Step Up to Net Zero, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Glasgow City Council for this invaluable opportunity. 

 Courtyard Composting

Our Courtyard Compost and just some of the vegetables our staff gardening group has been growing.

Lettuces, radishes, courgettes, tomatoes and cress!

Cutting Carbon Emissions

Over the course of our Step Up To Net Zero placement with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, our Coordinators Poppy & Cara were able to assess our carbon emissions in much greater detail.  We have now been able to comprehensively calculate our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, allowing us to identify areas to focus on. 

A staff travel survey was conducted in May to assist with this.  We found that approx 88% of commuting emissions at Impact Arts are produced by car travel. Given we work in locations across central Scotland, from Irvine to Polmont and Govan to the Grange, our artists and staff do often need to travel around and frequently have a range of art materials with them. With the introduction of the LEZ in Glasgow, we hope that our car travel to Glasgow is naturally likely to reduce and help us with carbon reduction. To further tackle this statistic and other significant carbon contributors, a Green Team has been established at Impact Arts to run climate awareness campaigns such as a car share campaign. We continue to deliver training and professional development opportunities for creatives living out with the major cities so that we can recruit locally wherever possible. We’re also progressing plans to get a bike rack installed at The Boardwalk and to start making use of our showers for people using active travel!

Active Travel

“Working with Impact Arts has given me the opportunity to pursue my interest in how the arts must adapt to the climate crisis. While a challenging topic, working with the team at Impact Arts has been an encouraging and empowering experience which will propel me into the next chapter. Thank you!”  


Funded by Glasgow City Council, Step Up to Net Zero by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce has allowed Impact Arts to go further than ever before in its efforts to address the climate crisis. Over the past 4 months, Step Up to Net Zero Coordinators Cara and Poppy worked with Impact Arts to realise an action plan that was expertly developed by the Step Up to Net Zero Team. With the placement now complete, we wanted to share a few highlights.

Circular Economy

The Step Up to Net Zero placement has helped Impact Arts identify how to increase the lifespan of all the art materials we purchase for delivery of our arts projects. As a result of the placement we have pledged that going forward all of our creative programmes will prioritise materials that have had a previous life, continue to keep left over materials in storage or collaborate with the local community to pass on leftover materials.

To achieve our circular economy targets, we know that communicating the message across our team is going to be key. We have devised the LIFE acronym to keep circularity at the fore front of our thinking.

 Sustainable thinking = LIFE!

To get started, we have set ourselves these baseline targets:
50% items have had a previous life
100% of plastics are recyclable
65% of items are to be recycled or reused

We look forward to reporting back on progress!