Due to Covid 19 restrictions Create has continued to stay online, seeing the programmes and interaction with our Young People being through Zoom. However, the motivated team at Create have continued to work with the young people, putting on exciting and interactive workshops that many of them have continued to stay committed to. 

At the end of 2020 we took a moment to look back at the incredible year we had and celebrated the creativity and potential of the young people we work with. You can watch our showcase film below to learn more.

This year sees some of our current programmes continuing including Teach Me Tuesday and Create Cafe. As well as introducing new groups, such as Amplify which started in January, The Public Health Campaign which has now developed to ‘Through the Storms’, and the Culture Academy, which started early this month.

Amplify started in January and is a co-design arts and activism programme that allows young people to create and deliver events and projects throughout their community gaining new skills and volunteering opportunities, allowing them to positively affect change.The Amplify workshops allow the young people to connect through activism and provide them with ways to amplify their voices in a safe space supporting them to explore current issues affecting them. In March the young people produced their first Podcast, focussing on education during Lockdown’, which was aired on Johnstone Sound and Jambo Radio and are working towards their second podcast to be aired early next month!

Online Creative Writing Workshops with Imogen Stirling – We were delighted to welcome Paisley Book Festival’s Writer-in-Residence, Imogen Stirling (Sky Arts, BBC, Neu! Reekie!), for a free online creative writing workshop series which started in January for three weeks. The workshops looked at writing exercises, discussion, poetry readings and storytelling which explored how words can be used as a means of expression, mindfulness and fun. With a view to looking forward to more hopeful times than 2020, Imogen helped the young people consider ways to imagine our own radical new futures and what we can learn from this past tumultuous year. After having played around with various poetic techniques throughout the workshops, each participant was encouraged to create a short piece of writing that was edited into a collective ballad and presented during one of the Paisley Book Festival’s online events.

I’ve always had a passion for working with young people and the opportunity to work with CREATE Paisley as part of my tenure as Writer in Residence is really exciting. During these tough times it is so important for young people to be able to express themselves and I am super excited to do that with them through my passion for poetry.” – Imogen Stirling

Through the Storms: CREATE Paisley, Active Communities and JamHot Studios began working together in February with young people in S4-S6 to be involved in an exciting 10 week co-production programme that focused on producing a public campaign. They set out to design and test resources and campaigns which challenge the attitudes and norms surrounding coercive control and unhealthy relationships which then developed into the young people exploring the new normal after COVID-19 Times in which they addressed the fears they might have when coming back to some sort of normality. The young people are working with an award winning media agency to produce materials and micro-campaigns that best target young audiences throughout Renfrewshire, keep an eye out for the Through The Storms Billboards and posters! It is just great that the original Public Health Campaign has continued as Through the Storms and kept the young people involved in this important campaign.

Culture Academy: CREATE Paisley, right2dance and Renfrewshire Council Youth Services are working together on the Culture Academy. The programme is open to S1-S6 and has 4 strands that young people chose from including Dance, Visual Arts, Creative Writing and Filmmaking. Each strand is running for 20 sessions and young people will be able to develop creative skills, achieve a Bronze Arts Award and take part in festivals including Open Mind Fest, youth arts wellbeing festival in final performances and showcases of the work. We seen the launch of this earlier in the month and look forward to seeing the progression in the Culture Academy over the coming weeks!

To find out, get in touch with CREATE by emailing [email protected]