The Bethany Christian Trust is Homelessness Charity with a key focus on social transformation through community support and development projects. Over the years, we have found artistic and creative activities have been fantastic tools in helping us to achieve our aims, however, the scope of these projects has previously been limited by lack of staffing. We have therefore now created the Creative Expression department, which will have an exclusive focus on artistic and creative activity as part of our homelessness prevention division. In the first year the department will co-ordinate a number of new and existing projects including:
– The Bugle Magazine: which for nearly 15 years has provided a platform for all Bethany service users to share creative writing and artwork, and reach a public audience. The magazine is particularly supported through The Bugle Creative Writing Group, which meets in Leith on a weekly basis.
– Community Singing Groups: Currently meeting in the Leith and Moredun areas of Edinburgh
– Three ten week creative arts projects working alongside partner organisation and Bethany’s community development workers across Scotland.
The department is co-ordinated by Sam Rowe. Sam comes to the organisation with a background as a theatre-maker and storyteller. Both in his work as a freelancer and in his previous role at The Village Storytelling Centre, Sam has delivered a variety of cross-arts projects with a focus on social inclusion. Previous clients have included the Scottish Prison Service, The Mental Health Foundation, Drink Wise, Age Well, The Scottish Social Services Council and The Life Changes Trust. Sam is motivated by the belief that having the confidence, skills and opportunity to recognise and act upon our creative capacities are vital in leading good, healthy and productive lives.
Here is a link to their blog.