Glasgow: 10 ideas for change

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Neilston Development Trust campaigns to buy the town’s former bank

Glasgow is a city built by its people for its people, and a diverse range of projects are creating social and economic change there. Here’s ten of the best:

1. Neilston Development Trust: Buy the local bank: In 2005, when a campaign to prevent the closure of Neilston’s only bank failed, the community was one of the first to use Right to Buy legislation to purchase the building. The Neilston Development Trust was formed and set up home in the former bank once the purchase was completed. It was re-opened in 2011 and runs a café as well as a series of local services, campaigns and activities.

2. Sistema Scotland: Big Noise Govanhill: Building resilience through music: The El Sistema orchestra movement began in Venezuela in 1975 and has since spread throughout the world. It takes musical opportunities to children living in deprived areas, setting up orchestras and other musical clubs. Big Noise Govanhill was set up in 2013 and has engaged 800 children so far.

3. Glasgow Women’s Library: Empowering women through books and history: A lending library and venue that celebrates women’s lives and histories, the Glasgow Women’s Library also runs a range of social programmes aimed at uniting and empowering women. These range from literacy and numeracy courses to an irregular salon night called Herland.

A community clean-up in Rogerfield

4. Building a circular economy: The Scottish Government recently released its first strategy report into the circular economy. It estimates that remanufacturing will create 5700 new jobs by 2020 and plans to prioritise this as a key area. Glasgow is home to one of the UK’s leading remanufacturing companies, Mackie’s.

5. FARE: Neighbourhood action: Family Action in Rogerfield and Easterhouse opened its doors in 1989 when a group of local people living on the Easterhouse estate and frustrated by the lack of amenities decided to join together to re-build their community. What began as a youth club is now a community hub running a café and a range of classes and activities, and the charity’s work has been recognised for playing a part in halting gang violence in the city.

Clare Goff is Editor at New Start magazine

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