Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Charm Offensive

As part of Glasgow's International Arts Festival, GalGael have been collaborating with artists Matt Baker and Tara Beale on a variety of projects to highlight Govan as a creative community with a long history and proud heritage. Our workshop has been utilised as a venue for creating part of the "Govan Armada" - a flotilla of small over 60 boats made of flotsam and jetsam from the River Clyde itself and assembled into all sorts of vessels before they are returned to the river this Saturday.
One of the highlights of the event will be the firing of trebuchets loaded with gifts and charms across the river. Two of our Volunteers, Rico and Mark have been getting steamed into the construction of the big trebuchet (pictured above) with assistance from Grant leckie from Glasgow Museums. It's creating quite a stir and a good energy in the workshop and well done to the guys for getting so much work done in a short space of time. Thanks also to Gary Weir for constructing a smaller version to fire from the opposite side of the river.

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GalGael at Holyrood

A contingent of our volunteers and staff convoyed out to Edinburgh on the evening of the 16th of April to a wee GalGael event in the Scottish Parliament.  It was all part of a week long exhibition to inform politicians about our work over the past 15 years and demonstrate how we make a readifference to not only many people in our community through work and engaging with our heritage but how our work is increasingly being regarded as innovative in areas such as health and well being, good citizenship, environmental improvement and rekindling community. The exhibition was well received and the event gave our folk a chance to see the Parliament building and meet some MSP's.
Thanks to Patrick Harvie for sponsoring us, Rob Gibson for the tour and to our guest speakers, Joe Jones, Willie McKenzie, Jenny McCarry, Maxwell Macleod, Katherine Trebeck and our own Alastair McIntosh. Thanks also to the events and exhibition staff at Holyrood.

15th anniversary celebration

To celebrate our fifteenth anniversary as the GalGael Trust we set up an exhibition in the Pearce Institute showing our many achievements since 1997 followed by a procession and a ceremony to commemorate Govan's ancient parliament mound, Doomster Hill which once stood close to the Riverside housing estate.
 We lit up the fire basket, had some songs and pipe music and had readings on the history of the site. Thanks to Matt Baker, Tara Beale and all those involved in Govan Together for a great day.After that, it was back to the PI for a ceilidh.

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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

GalGael CD latest

The new GalGael "Birlinn" is now available to buy online at the link below.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Into 2012

Some of the 2011 participants receiving their tookits.

Into 2012.
As 2011 went out with storms, high winds and tides skelping Govan, we ended 2011 with our own indoor hoolie in the shape of ever popular Christmas Karaoke in the workshop which was well attended and great fun. After the New Year we were straight back into a new intake of Navigate life participants.
The workshop remains as busy as ever and the demand to join up for the course stays high.
We, like most community and third sector groups are not immune from the swingeing cuts to funding and this could be a very difficult year for us. We will keep you posted as the next few months progress.
Burn's Night.
As usual, we ended January by celebrating the life of Rabbie, oor bard.
Almost a hundred folk attended to enjoy songs, poems, reflections and good craic with lashings of haggis, tatties and neeps to fill our bellies. Again, we proved we can still have a great party without alcohol in the house. Thursday evening socials are as busy as ever too (but there's always room for a few more if you want to attend- and feel free to bring the we'ans.)
Wood Kiln.
Our wood kiln is now operational and drying about a ton of wood as I write. Our volunteers did an amazing job of lining the container with insulation and boards as well as fitting the extraction and dehumidification kit and a wee rail track to wheel in the bogey.
The construction of the St Ayle's Skiff is nearing completion now with volunteers involved in finishing off the great work done by the pupils of Govan High and lourdes Secondary who did the main body of the work earlier in the year. Ben and Johnny are also restoring a couple of rowing boats and doing a fine job too. Orcuan survived the storms and is still berthed over the river at the Transport Museum.
The metalwork area has been busy over the past couple of weeks fabricating a steel gate for the Dalmarnock 2014 legacy Garden. This wee community garden will provide an oasis for local folk as much of the community as they know it gets cleared for the Commonwealth Games venues.
Friday Excursions.
Our regular Friday excursions are busier than ever with groups of fifteen or so filling the mini-bus. These are aways great fun, especially when Sunny Govan Radio play a request for as as we are on the road. We will be asking participants to give us some input into the blog by sharing their thoughts and experiences on the trips.
Govan Together.
If you have a free Tuesday evening over the next coupe of months why not nip down to the Pearce Institute for one of the Govan Together Conversation events. There's a great series of inspiring events to get involved in. Check the link below.

Monday, 21 November 2011

In Recognition of GalGael's Work

GalGael have been favourably mentioned in a variety of publications recently including articles from The World Health Organisation, Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Scottish Natural Heritage, Oxfam, British Journal of General Practice and Fiery Spirits- Community of Practice.
Its great to know that our pioneering work is being recognised by diverse organisations who have identified that our approach makes a real and positive impact on not only to peoples health and well being but on the local and wider community. Our work extends to improving the landscape itself like tree planting in Argyll, involvement in the local community garden and helping build tidal defences in South Uist
GalGael have long recognised the inter- connectivity between poor health, addiction and crime as a product of the break down of community life. We also recognise that giving people something meaningful to do in an environment where everyone is respected and valued goes a long way to rebuilding lives and good citizenship. Our day to day work shows how the cost to the State can be reduced by helping people to reduce medication, treatment and contact with the criminal justice system by getting to the heart of the problem and not just by sticking a plaster over it.

To find out more have a look at the links below.

Monday, 10 October 2011

GalGael AGM Thursday 27 October 5.30 til 9 p.m. GalGael Workshops 15 Fairley Street The past year has been a bit of a bumpy ride - as it has for many! But we're still here, still picking up hammers + chisels and making a difference where we can. Our AGM celebrates our journey through the year and the journey made by our participants. We do this through photos and collective remembering of the years events. We'll also be sharing food and music. Hope you can join us!