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Our bright future

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!

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