From the 20th July-5th August 2022, Beatroute Arts delivered three weeks of free, creative activities for local young people between the ages of 8-18. Over nine days, the organisation delivered 30 workshops which covered music, movement, visual arts, drama, woodcraft and gardening. 43 young people attended over the three-week project, saying of their experience that they had fun, learned new skills and made new friends. Many young people do not have the opportunity to go on holiday over the summer break, so this project is vital for those families who have working parents and/or cannot afford a holiday.

Two workshops delivered by SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) saw the young people taking part in activities which focussed on socially inclusive activities and ‘food for mood’, and a visit from the Red Cross saw young people participating in a practical workshop, where they learned the fundamentals of First Aid.

Beatroute visited Pollok Park on several occasions throughout the summer project, ensuring that all young people got the opportunity to take part. Led by the highly skilled Park Rangers at Pollok, young people learned ‘bush craft’; skills such as how to start a fire safely and responsibly, how to whittle wood and most importantly how to toast marshmallows! The young people also had the opportunity to explore the park grounds with the Rangers, learning about some of the exotic trees that exist in the Pollok Park forests. These trips were a highlight of the summer project, with the majority of young members citing this experience as their favourite activity.

One member of Beatroute’s Youth work team is a former young member of the organisation, now entering their 2nd year at the University of Glasgow studying Community Development. As part of their uni placement hours at Beatroute, this team member applied to the Grow Wild fund in order to buy plants and equipment for the garden at Beatroute which would form part of the activities taking place during the summer project. The Grow Wild element of the summer activities focussed on the study of native plant and mycelial species, encouraging young people to think about where their food comes from and how we can eat more healthily and sustainably.
The summer project could not have happened (or have been quite the success it was) without the efforts of the Youth Volunteer team. A core group of four young volunteers (aged 14-16) undertook tasks such as setting up and tidying away activities, food preparation, facilitation support and even leading sessions with small groups of younger members. Ahead of the summer activities, the young volunteer team visited community project, The Wash House Gardens and took part in a practical workshop which saw them learn about sustainable food growing practices. This experience tied in with the ‘Grow Wild’ element of the project, feeding into the theme of ‘Renew’ as we reflect on the legacy of Covid, and begin to consider how we might change our habits as a society.

We are very grateful to the Glasgow Care Foundation for their generous support of the project. In particular the funding allowed the trips element of the project, an opportunity we otherwise would not have been able to provide. Thank you!