Tackling poverty and/or social injustice

I went to St Rollox … and met the world!


St Rollox Church is in the Sighthill area of Glasgow – just north of the city centre, beyond the thundering M8. It’s an area undergoing rapid transformation; old buildings are being torn down and there are big plans for new developments in the neighbourhood. These plans include a brand new building for the church, which is also home to the St Rollox Community Outreach project.

St Rollox Community Outreach has received a Go For It Main Grant for its work with asylum seekers and refugees, including support for those who are on low or no incomes, through providing a charity shop, food bank, English classes, sewing classes, men’s football group, computer classes, and much more... read more

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Celebrations

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Recently, I’ve noticed that some news website have a section entitled “Good News”. What a good idea – and such a contrast to all the bad news that usually fills our TV screens and online news sites. I wonder why we find it so difficult to focus on the good news? After all, most of us enjoy celebrations! Any excuse for a party, and all that.

One of the projects that I’m closely involved with, St Rollox Community Outreach, had a celebration the other week... read more

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Valuing Volunteers

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While most often we concentrate on the people who use our services – many of them very vulnerable – the truth is that our volunteers are every bit as important to us. Volunteering needs to be seen as an entirely positive life choice; woe betide those groups and organisations that undervalue their volunteers!

‘Molly’ started volunteering at Havilah some five years ago. Her marriage (which has now broken down) was teetering on the brink back then. I felt the phrase ‘low on confidence’ was coined for people like Molly, as she was at that point in her life... read more

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The Winning Side

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I’ve been on the losing side of the last two referendums. I’m married to someone who has the infuriating ability to be good at (nearly) everything, and win at most things we compete at. I support a football and rugby team who, no matter what a good team they are, seem to lack the ability, most of the time, to deliver the result. I know how it feels to be on the losing side. There are many people hurting in America just now because they were on the losing side of the presidential election... read more

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Stay and Play: Fun together!

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When do we just have fun? In busy and chaotic lives, do we ever stop to just have fun?

For children – having fun, getting messy, exploring – is all part of learning and growing. Play which develops self-expression, thought, curiosity, movement, problem solving and choice, is known to play a crucial factor in a child’s future development (Hughes, 2013). And this is exactly what you find at St Ninian’s Stay and Play Family Support Project.

Family life is one of the main building blocks of our society, and should be a place where each individual feels valued, supported, and encouraged to reach their full potential... read more

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We are all creative and can all be artists!

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In my role as Creative Arts Worker for the Carnwadric WIN Project, I’ve been working over the past few weeks on conducting a consultation within the community, about the creative work of the WIN Project, and dreaming about what it could become.

The consultation is following the Appreciative Inquiry model, which involves looking at what is working well, why it is working well, and how we can use what is working well to shape the future life of the project... read more

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Going For It in Glasgow’s Priority Areas

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Once a year in June, the Go For It Fund Committee takes to the road to visit local projects and learn first-hand about the transformative work undertaken by local churches in communities around the country. This year’s trip took us to three funded projects in Glasgow’s East End for an informal time of learning about their work and seeing it in action.

Just Like Us in Colston Milton use a Go For It Main Grant to empower people who are living with isolation, lack of confidence, addiction and mental health issues... read more

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Challenges for measuring impact in a field rife with tragedies, fits and false starts OR: How I came to appreciate outcomes data

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I still can’t think about Larry* without feeling anxious. Several months ago, he dropped off a suicide note at the drop-in centre associated with the homeless charity where I work.

Larry is British and an army veteran, so he should have had more options available than most of the homeless men and women who come to us for shelter, showers, food and support. After seven years of sleeping rough and months of conversations with caseworkers, he finally agreed to accept a place in a home that catered to formerly homeless men... read more

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A Year In Review

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Writing contributions for the Go For It blog provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on the work of our organisation, Utheo, and the range of different activities we deliver from the Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre. I’ve previously commented that our staff team and volunteers recognise that we can be too focused on the urgency of service delivery and meeting the demands of our daily activities, to fully appreciate the impact and changes these activities provide for individuals and groups in the community... read more

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Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees

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The project I work on, Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees, was set up by the Church of Scotland last November, to provide some co-ordination for the response of local and national faith communities, to issues relating particularly to asylum and refugee protection.

Offering hospitality to strangers is a common requirement of many different faith traditions. All religions teach a form of the Golden Rule (treat others as you would wish to be treated) and that there is an inherent value and dignity to every human being – and that our common humanity transcends national, racial, cultural or linguistic barriers... read more

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