Young people get green fingers on Creative Pathways North Ayrshire

Wed 06th June 2018

Another block of our Creative Pathways programme in North
Ayrshire comes to an end this week; it’s been a hectic few weeks involving an
incredibly successful showcase, the building and donating of a bench to a care
home and a fantastic trip to Hazeldene Horticulture to learn about organic

The group’s showcase event was held at Town Centre TV’s base
at Bridgegate in Irvine. And a popular event it was – we were struggling to fit
everyone into the hall, as the people turned up in numbers to see some wonderfully
crafted work and pick up some unique items. The showcase took the form of a
pop-up shop and items flew off the shelves, bringing in over £150 in just an
hour-and-a-half – money that will go back into funding Impact Arts programmes.

After the highs of a successful showcase, there was an
opportunity for the group to get their hands dirty – a day’s work at Hazeldene
Horticulture was just the tonic. Hazeldene – based in Kilwinning, Ayrshire –
operates a large organic community garden which, as well as growing several
species of plants, flowers and vegetables – offers work and volunteer
opportunities to people with disabilities.



The Creative Pathways team spent the morning learning about
the importance of organic growing, different types of vegetables, before
getting to work. The session was led by manager Robbie Gass, who put the young
people through their paces, teaching them to re-pot and feed polytunnels full
of plants. This was perfect for a programme that throughout has has been aimed
at encouraging young people to make environmental changes in their community.

On the same theme, one of the highlights of the project was
seeing the delight and joy on the faces of the residents of Abbeyfield care
home in Irvine when the young people delivered a bench they had painstakingly
built, sanded and varnished over the past few weeks. The young people had taken
recycled wood sources from Glasgow Wood Recycling and built the bench in order
to give something back to their community by environmentally friendly means.
This lovely gesture was much appreciated by staff and residents alike, with
everyone queuing up to have a shot.



16, is one of the participants. She said: “We just wanted to
do something for the local community. We hope that the residents at the care
home can enjoy it with their families when they come to visit.”

Creative Pathways, she says: “I’ve really enjoyed it, the tutors have been
amazing and showed us how to do so much stuff. I’ve just found out I got a job
and the workshops we did were quite useful for that.”

one of the residents at Abbeyfield, said “It’s a wonderful thing the young
people have done for us. The only problem is the bench is going to be so
popular – we’ll have to draw lots to get a seat!”

While working with artists Portia Velarde and Allan Whyte,
the group have also been getting employability support from Opportunities
Co-ordinator Maggie, and have developed a huge amount over the past few months.
“We’re all very proud of everything they have achieved on the course,” said
Allan. “We’re confident they will go on to great things in the future.”

The programme was funded by Skills Development Scotland,
Inspiring Scotland, the Gannochy Trust and the Big Lottery Fund’s Our Bright
Future intitiative, which backs projects encouraging young people to lead
progressive and environmental change in their communities.

Impact Arts have a
new block of Creative Pathways starting in Glasgow later this month. Find out
more here.

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