Monthly Archives: February 2015
Below is an excerpt from ‘I wasnae expectin’ that’, which brings together stories of some of the young people involved with theGKexperience, an organisation that works with young people in some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Scotland using a model of locally based youth work and outdoor residentials.
Frankie – “theGKexperience has done a lot for me, helped me, gave me hope…lots of experience.”
What was life like before you went on residential with theGKexperience?.. read more
I’ve been out of work for a while. Since coming out of prison it’s been hard to find a job. I know I’ve made mistakes, but I really want to sort my life out and try and move on. I’ve always worked until now and it’s hard without a job. I feel like I’m stuck, and I can’t do anything about it. And I’m scared. I’m scared that I won’t be able to look after my family. I’ve got a wee one, and I worry what will happen to her if I get a sanction. I don’t want sympathy, but I sometimes need a bit of support to help and most of the people at the job centre don’t want to help me. They’re too busy, and let’s face it it’s not like I’m a priority... read more
Polly, a single parent of three, is often overlooked by outsiders. And for those people that don’t overlook her they often fall into one of two camps: those who would say she is a scrounger, lazy and living off the system, and those who want to coddle her, help her communicate her needs and connect her to well meaning organisations. She expounds upon this isolating predicament, “no one just sees me as a person – yes, a person in the system; yes, a person with needs; yes, a person searching for support but most importantly a person with dreams and aspirations for myself, for my family and for my community.”
When you sit down with Polly and give her space to share these aspirations her face lights up... read more
About 15 years ago I heard a radio programme about an American foodbank and I remember being quite shocked by it. How could the richest country in the world have citizens who couldn’t afford to buy food? I thought at the time that this would never happen here – after all we have a welfare system that takes care of those in need, don’t we? I told myself that no one could ever go hungry in Scotland and felt very glad that I was living in a society that cares. So it was a bit of surprise to find myself having to use a foodbank, here in Glasgow, just the other week. It was a nasty surprise that things had got so bad; not just for me, but for many thousands of others. It feels like the world has turned upside down and some of us are trying not to fall off... read more
I knew I had to try and focus but it was hard. I couldn’t hear myself think for the roar of the crowd. I knew what I was waiting for though. Once I heard that starting pistol that would be it. Just go…..
I was 15, living in Dennistoun, jumping about street corners, skipping school, told by the teachers I would never amount to anything in life – and running for Scotland in a junior’s race at Scotstoun.
Running had opened my eyes to being good at something... read more
Today (6th February 2015) is my last day as Priority Areas Secretary. It is a job which I have tried to do, to the very best of my ability, for the last 15 years. It has been an incredible privilege. I don’t think that there has been a single day over all that time when I have not given thanks to God for the amazing, wonderful and inspirational people who live out their lives faithfully, and with astonishing dignity, in our poorest communities... read more