90 kids in Maryhill, Ruchill and Milton de-stress with arts and crafts project

Youngsters in Glasgow have been de-stressing with mindful arts and crafts thanks to a community arts project.

Supported by Wheatley Foundation – part of Wheatley, Scotland’s leading housing, care and property-management group – and funded by Creative Scotland, the project has delivered arts and crafts classes in Maryhill, Ruchill and Milton for over 90 children aged five to 18.

What is the project?

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‘De-stress and Express’ aimed to rebuild children’s confidence, creativity and provide opportunities to connect following the isolation brought on by the pandemic.

Artist Blair Thomson worked with North United Communities, a charity supporting families and young people in north west Glasgow, to deliver the project.

He said: “It was wonderful to see so many young people at the NUC with smiling faces enjoying arts and crafts and working mindfully with art materials they hadn’t used before.”

What did the organisers say?

Jill Mackay, CEO of North United Communities said: “The art and relaxation sessions were incredibly beneficial and therapeutic for our young people. The sessions were perfectly designed to create an environment and activity that naturally encouraged presence, peace of mind and mindfulness.

“Overall, these sessions have increased the engagement and sustainment of young people continuing to participate mindfully within creative, artistic activities - with positive effects no doubt continuing to ripple out into our communities.”

This project was supported through Creative Scotland’s Youth Arts Emergency Funding, part of a £3m package of support from the Scottish Government allocated to support youth arts and ensure creative opportunities for children and young people continue to exist across Scotland despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lynne Mitchell, Foundation Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Creative Scotland and talented artists, to offer opportunities for young people in Wheatley communities to learn new skills and build their confidence.

“Young people have found it particularly challenging during lockdown as they were unable to express themselves or meet with friends at clubs and classes.

“These fantastic new arts projects help improve their mental health, reduce stress and give young people the chance to learn from established artists.”