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.

Over the past 5 years through funding from Our Bright Future & the National Lottery Community Fund, Impact Arts have been running an environmental employability programme for young people across Scotland.

Creative Pathways aims to teach young people about design and environmental art while providing them with invaluable hands-on experience in their local community and inspiring the next generation of environmental leaders.

In doing so, developing their confidence and resilience to
influence decisions at local and national levels. This young, ambitious and
capable movement is ensuring this generation’s voice is heard in the current
debates around environmental improvements and a resource-efficient economy.

Impact Arts have worked with over 60 organisations/artists
over the past 5 years to deliver Creative Pathways, introducing unemployed young
people with little or no experience of environmental issues to nature,
environmental awareness and green skills through practical, creative and fun
projects. As well as building confidence and developing employability skills,
the project has provided a lasting legacy for many local communities by
creating new urban/green spaces.

The Our Bright
programme has also been gathering strong evidence about how
we can support the development of the environment and young people using a
resource efficient and sustainable ‘green’ economy. More than a hundred
organisations have contributed to the wider Our Bright Future movement by
sharing evidence, learning and knowledge helping to inform the choices made at
local, regional, and national levels in the UK.

“Working with partners across Scotland, has allowed us to
give young people the creative skills and practical experience to tackle
environmental challenges and empower them to work towards a brighter future for
themselves and their communities.”,
Fiona Doring, CEO

Over the past 5 years of Creative Pathways Impact Arts has:

  • Engaged with over 600 young people
  • Helped over 350 young people gain an
  • Transformed 15 urbans & green spaces
  • Helped over 400 young people move on to a
    positive destination

Our film, ‘A Tangled Mess of Beauty’ showcases just some of
the work from the past 5 years of our OBF work where you can hear from young
people involved in the programme itself.

Older people attending Impact Arts’ Craft Café workshops in Govan have been making a number of recipes for environmentally-friendly cleaning products.

Part of a project they were working on earlier this year, the group have created laundry powder and multi-purpose cleaner using ingredients like white vinegar and soda crystals.

The project arose from
conversations between the members about the natural cleaning products their
families used in their youth, how good they were and how many of them still use
them now.

They decided to develop this interest and researched and trialed a
number of recipes, before creating a ‘recipe’ sheet, giving
some background information on natural ingredients followed by the recipes. The
graphics for these were also designed by the members.

We are delighted to share
them with you! Click here to access the PDF.

The aim of the project was to cut down on harsh chemicals and plastic waste while also cutting down costs.

For more about our Craft Cafe workshops, visit the older people’s work section of our website.

A new block of our Creative Pathways employability programme has kicked off in Barrhead, with young people learning how to use artistic techniques to promote environmental activism locally.

The group, who are all aged 16-25 and not currently in work, education or training, are working with artists Emmett and Portia.

As part of this programme, we will be collaborating with TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) to get our young people making a difference to their local environment.

The team have already planted over forty trees in the local area, including oak, birch, silver birch, hazel and alder. Future sessions
with TCV will see the group making bird boxes and planters for local allotments.



The team have been getting used to their surroundings at Barrhead’s Dunterlie Community Centre, where a packed schedule of community work is kicking off.

The team have been exploring Barrhead, photographing the entire alphabet from shapes and patterns they find in the environment.

On an icy morning last week, the group took a long walk to Dams to Darnley Country Park. Equipped with their cameras, they documented the journey all the way, creating abstracts from frozen ice puddles. A long walk made longer by getting completely lost on the way back to Barrhead – but at least it helped everyone get a good night’s sleep.



The programme is running for ten weeks, up until 22nd March 2019, and there are still spaces. More information can be found here on the join a project section of our website. You can also call Heather at Impact Arts on 0141 575 3001 or email [email protected] for more information.

As well as learning loads of creative skills, participants get one-to-one support from Impact Arts’ employability staff while working towards completing SQA units.

This programme is funded by Barrhead Housing Association, the Big Lottery Fund’s Our Bright Future initiative, and the Scottish Government’s People and Communities fund.


Next month in Glasgow, Impact Arts will launch a new block of Creative Pathways – our arts-focused employability programme for young people.

This project is in partnership with the Big Lottery’s Our Bright Future initiative which encourages young people to lead progressive change in their communities. As such, the work will have a strong environmental focus.

Participants will get invaluable hands-on experience of environmental art, landscaping, designing greenspaces and growing and planting.

They will also learn about biodiversity and gauge the local community’s thoughts on green issues and how they affect quality of life.

This programme is also funded by Skills Development Scotland‘s Stage 2 employability fund. Those taking part will get advice on CVs and job-hunting, and will have the chance to complete an SQA stage 3 award on employability.

Additionally, eligible participants will receive a £55 training allowance plus travel expenses.

Workshops start the week commencing 25th June 2018 and will run until 7th September 2018, Tuesday until Friday each week, 9.30am until 4pm. They will be based at The Factory, 319 Craigpark Drive, Dennistoun, Glasgow.

If you are interested in making a referral or would like to find out more, please contact Impact Arts’ Programme Manager Jamie Proudfoot on 0141 575 3001 / 07884 582459 or email [email protected].

Note: all referrals must come through Skills Development Scotland.

Creative Pathways: Environmental Design in Glasgow is funded by the Big Lottery’s Our Bright Future initiative, Inspiring Scotland, and Skills Development Scotland.

A new block of Creative Pathways has
kicked off in North Ayrshire, where 10 young people who are currently not in
work education or training are working with our artists to pick up new creative
and practical skills!

It’s been a busy first few weeks as they
group – all aged 16-17 – have been learning the basics of photography, before
creating colourful experiments through translating their pictures into trace

Getting deeper into photographic
techniques, the team built their own pinhole cameras out of recycled cardboard
boxes, old cans and duct tape. They took to the local area to get some pictures
and developed these in darkroom they prepared themselves in the Impact Arts
office in Irvine.

They have also been making concrete
plantpots, cast themselves by mixing cement and pouring it into recycled
yoghurt pots, milk cartons and other vessels. They then decorated these using
designs inspired by the abstract art of Jackson Pollock and Piet Mondrian.


This project is funded by Skills
Development Scotland, Inspiring Scotland and Our Bright Future, which backs
projects helping young people to lead progressive change in their communities.

The group will also receive one-to-one
support with job hunting and CV writing and gain SQA qualifications in Employability.


Artist Portia Velarde is leading the project for Impact Arts,
alongside assistant Allan Whyte. She says this is a fantastic opportunity for
young people to unleash their creativity while learning about important issues.

“We are so pleased to be bringing Creative Pathways back to North
Ayrshire after such fantastic outcomes from the previous project.

“The work will have a strong environmental focus, encouraging
young people to really think about environmental issues facing their local
community and the wider world.

“The course is designed to be fun and engaging whilst having
a really positive impact on the lives of the participants – I can’t wait to see
the brilliant ideas the group come up with this time.”


A group of young people taking part in our Creative Pathways: Environmental Design course in Glasgow are holding their final exhibition next week.

For the past 10 weeks, the group – all aged 16 and 17 – have been working with our artists Kaitlyn DeBiasse and Allan Whyte to investigate environmental issues, develop their creative practice, and grow as artists while working on a creative sculpture project with Scottish Canals.

Researching the history of the Possil Clay Pits, the participants have designed a series of sculptures to create a trail along the new footpaths, and these designs will be made public for the first time at the exhibition.

Also on show will be amazing abstract self-portraits, stunning Glasgow-rooted environmentally friendly collage work, sculpture made using found natural objects and much more to evidence the incredible artistic progress the young people have made over the post few months.

While working creatively, the young people have also been getting help with job-hunting, interview skills, CV-writing, and other skills that will help them find work.

The exhibition is taking place on Thursday 23rd November 2017 between4pm and 6pm at The Whisky Bond, 2 Dawson Rd, Glasgow G4 9SS.

We would be delighted if you could make it along to celebrate their hard work, achievements and see some spectacular environmentally-themed artwork! All welcome, refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to attend, please contact Matthew McWhinnie on 0141 575 3001 or email [email protected].

This programme is funded by Scottish Canals, the Scottish Children’s Lottery, Our Bright Future, the Big Lottery Fund, the Gannochy Trust and Skills Development Scotland.

A new Creative Pathways project for young people in the
East End of Glasgow has kicked off with an explosion of creativity – and plenty
of planning for environmental themed public art in the north of the city.

15 participants – all aged 16 and 17 – will be working with our
artist tutors until the end of November to design, develop and create a
significant sculptural project for the canal side in north Glasgow.

With support and funding from Our Bright
Future, the Big Lottery Fund, Skills Development Scotland, Inspiring Scotland, the Scottish
Children’s Lottery and Scottish Canals, the group will be developing their creative talents while working with Impact
Arts staff to strengthen skills that will prepare them for employment, education
or training.



The project has got off to a flyer, with
stacks of incredible work produced! A stand-out piece is this Glasgow Skyline created out of bottle caps,
paint chip samples and plywood. Not only is the work beautiful but – fitting
with the environmental theme of the project – it uses discarded objects
creatively while highlighting the issue of pollution in the city.

The ultimate aim of the project is to
develop site-specific sculptures for the Claypits, an area of land in Possil which is undergoing regeneration. With this in mind, the group
have been spending time in Alexandra Park, gathering materials and discussing environmental

Over the coming weeks, the team will work
together to plan projects while thinking about form, structure and materials.
They will also learn about photography, product design and 3D printing.



The Claypits, situated by the Forth and
Clyde canal, is the former site of a brick factory that had its heyday during the
industrial revolution. The area is now a prime site of urban green-space, and home to an array of plant and animal species.

The space is being developed to include a
pathway and nature walk, which is where the Creative Pathways team’s sculptures
will be installed. This work is in fitting with the ethos of the UK-wide Our
Bright Future
movement, which supports projects helping young people lead
environmental change in their area.

The team are looking forward to working
with other creatives, including Glasgow Sculpture Studios, to help produce large scale, professional work designed by the participants. The
team will also make field trips to Jupiter Artland, a sculptural tour of
Glasgow and to the archives department at the Mitchell Library. It promises to
be an exciting and enlightening ten weeks…


The first month of Our Bright Future in Irvine has seen young people from various schools in the area come together, and produce some amazing art!

Focusing on the environment around them, the group of 13-17 year olds were encouraged to be advocates for their local community and vocalise what they would change about Irvine and the surrounding area. They were taught how art, both big and small, can have a huge impact (no pun intended) on any environment.

Pushing for an awareness of environmental issues, the group collaboratively designed a mandala from found fallen autumn leaves on to wood. This way of working is inspired by a traditional ceremony performed by Buddhist monks to symbolise the coming and passing of life. The final piece looked amazing, and the group took great pride in this piece!

Flexing those creative muscles further, they have been experimenting with scraffito studies, lino printing, and marbelling. They responded particularly well to marbelling, and produced bundles of intricate, colourful studies by mixing oil paint with white spirit and water. The group are currently working on an impressive mosaic piece, built up of broken tile pieces, and are developing individual birdhouses for Eglinton Park. They are also producing colourful zines, and recycling car tyres into planters to help encourage biodiversity and allow flowers to flourish.