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"The best thing I've ever done": Creative Pathways showcase, Barrhead

Our Creative Pathways participants in Barrhead treated attendees at their final showcase exhibition to an impressive display of photography, animation and digital artwork.

The participants, between the ages of 16 and 17, have been engaged in the project since January. They have taken to the workshops enthusiastically, learning a variety of photographic and digital techniques, and producing a mix of abstract work, wildlife snaps and fashion photography.

They also unveiled a brand new mural to adorn the main hall of ARC, the Auchenback Resource Centre. Auchenback Active, who run the venue, have been valued hosts and partners over the past 12 weeks, and treasurer Rita Connolly had the honour of cutting the ribbon on the young people's fine work.

Also in attendance were representatives from partner organisations Barrhead Housing Association and Skills Development Scotland.

As well as creative workshops, the young people have been picking up employment skills through the project. They have been working on interview experience, CV skills, and have successfully completed units giving them SQA-accredited employability awards.

All eight are now moving on to a next stage employability course with Rathbone in Paisley.

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Kemi-Lyn Thornton, a participant on the project. “You work with the best people – you couldn’t meet better people.”

Joanne Branston was another participant. “I didn’t think I’d enjoy it at first,” she said, “but when we got into doing it I really liked it.

“As you get into it, it was getting more interesting and all the stuff we created turned out really good in the end.

“I most enjoyed learning new things, because I’d never done photography before or anything like that.”

Heather Gault was the artist-in-residence in charge of delivering the project for Impact Arts, along with creative assistant Susan Laws.

Heather said: "We’ve been really impressed by the effort the young people have put in. They’ve tried their hand at techniques with photography and graphics that are completely new to them, and many have found in it a new passion.

“As we’ve seen the young people work together and learn new skills, we’ve also seen positive changes in them, whether it be in communication skills, teamwork or just in building a bit more confidence.

“These things are absolutely vital when giving young people that little boost when trying to find work. Giving them the opportunity to see their efforts valued and given pride of place at the showcase has been an added bonus.”

The project was funded by Our Bright Future, Barrhead Housing Association, Inspiring Scotland's 14:19 Fund, and the Scottish Government.

For more about Creative Pathways and similar programmes, please visit the young people section of our website.

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