shmu awarded funding from new Creative Communities Programme

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf celebrates award with launch event hosted by shmu

shmu is one of nearly 40 organisations around Scotland to have been awarded funding from Inspiring Scotlands new Creative Communities Programme, which will support the development of grassroots creative and cultural initiatives. 

Creative writing, open air galleries, street art, family dance and drama performances are just some of the projects being supported by the £900,000 programme, which is being delivered by Inspiring Scotland on behalf of Scottish Government. 

shmu's funding will be used for the Create-Express-Transform project; a brand-new creative programme for adults with barriers to cultural engagement. 

The announcement was marked by a launch event hosted by shmu and attended by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf (pictured). 

shmu's Chief Executive Murray Dawson and Adult Engagement Manager Kirsteen Caldwell, alongside shmu volunteers Rosie and Marcin and Dermot Craig, Recovery Community Development Manager at Aberdeen in Recovery, spoke to Mr Yousaf and Inspiring Scotland representatives about shmu and the new project.  

Mr Yousaf said: “I was delighted to talk with project workers and participants at Station House Media Unit. 

“The Creative Communities Programme will provide an exciting range of creative projects to engage and inspire people. 

“In these challenging times it is more important than ever that we harness the power of cultural and creative outlets to provide positive and enriching opportunities to benefit individuals and communities.” 

He was particularly impressed by the volunteers, adding: “Rosie and Marcin you both spoke so well! And very well done - great news about your progress at college Marcin, Rosie, looking forward to trying your cakes after the pandemic! Well done both. I've got a lump in my throat.” 

Create-Express-Transform will provide a nurturing and supportive creative process that will empower participants to explore their personal narrative, encourage self-expression and develop the skills and confidence to develop and share their own perspectives and experiences through a creative medium of their choosing.  

shmu has partnered with local organisations Aberdeen Cyrenians, Aberdeen in Recovery, Families Outside, Turning Point Scotland and HMP Grampian for the project, and will use its community media platforms to celebrate and communicate participants' achievements and work, whether spoken or written word, music or film. 

Murray Dawson, shmu Chief Executive said: “We’re delighted to receive this funding from Inspiring Scotland Creative Communities. Create-Express-Transform will offer exciting creative opportunities for adults with barriers to cultural engagement.   

"The project will enhance our support for adult volunteers at shmu, create new and innovative courses in HMP Grampian and bring together other key community justice organisations in Aberdeen; Aberdeen in Recovery, Families Outside, Aberdeen Cyrenians and Turning Point Scotland. 

“This funding will empower, inspire and support individuals and communities to express themselves in a creative and powerful way through a medium of their choice. This is brilliant news to come at the end of a difficult year for us all and we can’t wait to get creating with our communities!”