The search is on for volunteers to get involved with a arts and wellbeing project that is centres round postcards in English and Gaelic.
This involves the Western Isles Library Services and various project partners – including researchers from the Rural Health Department at UHI Inverness and Lewis Hou of Science Ceilidh.
Lewis is an interdisciplinary education and cultural participation specialist. He is particularly interested in public and community engagement approaches that build meaningful and equitable relationships with diverse groups beyond the “already converted” and was the recipient of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Public Engagement Innovator Medal in 2018.
He founded and directs the Science Ceilidh, an education and community organisation exploring science, traditional arts and health and well-being with adults, youth groups and schools across Scotland. Science Ceilidh was awarded Community Music Organisation of the Year in Scotland with Hands Up for Trad and has now worked with over 50,000 learners, young people and adult communities in Scotland and beyond. Lewis was also awarded the JCI Scotland’s Top Outstanding Young Person in 2019 in the cultural category for his work with Science Ceilidh.
He is one of the Scotland Ambassadors for the Fun Palaces campaign undertaking a UK-wide five-year action research project on grassroots participation in arts, sciences and wider cultural engagement.
In this capacity, he is working with the Scottish Libraries and Information Council supporting librarians across Scotland to connect culture, research and health & wellbeing running the Culture & Wellbeing Community Scotland Network. He was previously Scientist-In-Residence at Voluntary Arts Scotland and at the shopping centre Ocean Terminal, running Leith Labs.
The Le Cheile/Together Pilot project involves:
- Community Mapping: Help build a community map of past stories and memories with everybody. These will be built into a map in libraries and digital resources to be kept forever.
- Ideas Chain: Pass ideas, quotes and kindness to your neighbours and build a chain of connection here and now, building on everyone’s else’s responses. The end results will be shared for all!
- Social Dreaming: What would you like to see in your communities in the future? Get creative and share with everyone. All dreams will be compiled and shared together.
The library services say that: “During the lockdown and beyond, we want to connect our communities together through sharing stories, creativity, wellbeing and culture through our Mobile Libraries with physical postcards!
“In each postcard are some prompts, activities and ideas we’d love to hear your responses from – from highlighting local landmarks, what new things have come up about yourself and your community over the lockdown and asking about what you want to see in your community over the next five years!
“We’ll be building a community map of the responses & contributions from you and your neighbours will be shared as an exhibition in the libraries, online on social media and also incorporated in the next round of new postcards every two months. If you have any questions or ideas, please do share them too! Each postcard will include some of the current research and ways to feed your thoughts about it, and you can find out more along with the key references and further links on this website!
If you’re interested in getting early access to the cards, giving them a go, and then sharing feedback about it, please get in touch with Kathleen. Your responses will help kick-start and inspire others to get involved.