News & Opportunities News Making a difference through creativity in Scotland Voluntary Arts Scotland has awarded micro-commissions to three creative projects in Scotland, which will help bring people together. Funded by Creative Scotland, as part of the 'Get Creative & Make a Difference' campaign, the three projects each focus on a different area: Older people, young people and traditional arts. Working with Luminate, YouthLink Scotland and TRACS, Voluntary Arts Scotland selected the following partnership projects: Albatross Arts & Jean's Bothy Jean’s Bothy is a mental health & wellbeing hub based in Helensburgh. Almost 60% of its current membership is aged over 50 and the pandemic has hit them particularly hard, mostly due to lack of skills or financial means to access devices, but also the confidence to engage in a virtual capacity. Albatross Arts will re-engage participants with wider society post-pandemic, whilst learning new skills and establishing new friendships. Their 'Walking Workshops' will take place over four weeks, during which participants will be supported to venture into familiar local cultural and heritage settings and take part in creative activities. Find out more about Jean's Bothy on their Facebook page. And see the beautiful artwork of Albatross Arts on their Instagram and Facebook page. Tourette Scotland & Nigel Ashworth This exciting new project will work with young people in Scotland aged 12-25 with Tourette’s Syndrome and co-occurring disorders, including Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Storyteller Nigel Ashworth has been working with a group of young people to help them share their stories and experiences. With the help of the micro-commission, they will collaborate on the creation of filmed dramatic scenes, capturing those experiences to share with others. The end result will be a valuable resource for use in schools, colleges and with medical/social organisations, to develop empathy, understanding and shape policy to better support young people with Tourette’s. For more information about Tourette Scotland, please visit their website. Royal Scottish Country Dance Society & Round O Scottish Dance Club The Forfar branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and the Round O Scottish Dance Club used to meet regularly in person, to dance, have fun and socialise. During the Covid-19 pandemic, like many others, that have been forced to meet on Zoom - and if you've ever danced a reel, you'll know how hard it is without the rest of your group! With the aid of the micro-commission grant, the groups will be able to acquire outdoor equipment to allow them to meet up and dance together, as well as recruiting teachers and live musicians. The groups will also reach out to members of the public who may be feeling isolated, to join in with the outdoor sessions. For more information about the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, please visit their website and the Forfar Branch page.