The Green Blog

Scottish Souverir Creating with Internation Students

A Scottish Souvenir creating workshop was held at the Students’ Association of the University of the West of Scotland (SAUWS) Paisley Campus in the Sustainability Hub (Room L101). The aim of this workshop was to offer 27 new international students studying a pre-sessional English course an introduction to SAUWS Sustainability Hub and to engage the students in a creative upcycling activity using remnant tartan and other fabric materials. The end product of the event allowed international students to develop new and existing practical skills for free, the ability to create and take away a tartan sporran and tartan embellished fabric bags as a souvenir of their time here.  

Throughout this event UWS international students were offered the support of Dianne S Miller, a professional artist from Impact Arts who trained students on fabric cutting, sewing and embellishing skills.  We also received support from SAUWS Advice Worker Barbara Robertson and UWS Graphic Designer Richard Potts, who offered their time and ideas to help students to think outside the box and use sea shells, left over fabrics and wool to create beautiful fashion items for personal use, have fun and make friends while contributing to the circular economy. To keep with the Scottish theme, a selection of traditional Scottish snacks and non-alcoholic drinks were available.  

UWS students from a variety of countries including China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, and Greece took part in this activity and students were given the opportunity to paint a canvas and write messages/statements in response to ‘I love Scotland, because…’ both in English and in their native languages to celebrate the diversity of UWS. All students were given a tour of SAUWS prior to the start of the workshop and SAUWS Membership and Engagement Manager, Claire Lumsden welcomed students to SAUWS and informed them of all the facilities and services we offer.

This workshop, the first in a long line-up of new workshops aimed at upskilling UWS students was implemented by SAUWS as part of our ‘Engage, Empower, Embed – E3’ project which was awarded a grant of £86,506.34 from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF). The project’s Carbon Reduction Coordinators Gamika Liyanapathirana and Elish Reid worked in partnership with UWS International Student Advisor Gill Mackenzie and Impact Arts to organise this event.

Established in 1994, Impact Arts is a forward-thinking community arts organisation which uses arts and creativity to enable and empower social change.  They consider the arts as a positive tool for change – helping people to build confidence, obtain new skills, return to work or education, start a career in the creative arts, enjoy better health and to simply improve quality of life.

The canvas and paints used for the painting activity were left over from a previous CCF funded project implement by SAUWS in 2015/16. Interested students were also given a tour of the UWS/SAUWS Community Garden in Paisley, highlighting the legacy from the 2015/16 project.

A huge thank you to all of the students and staff who supported us to make this event a fantastic afternoon!

The ‘Engage, Empower, Embed – E3’ project offers free support to the wider SAUWS/UWS community to engage in sustainability focused activities as well as supplying information on the significant impact of climate change.

David Gunn, Climate Challenge Fund Manager at Keep Scotland Beautiful said:

“I encourage the UWS community to take advantage of the free support available through the Engage, Empower, Embed – E3 project, which includes workshops to help repair and upcycle everyday items and information on how to take action on climate change.

“We look forward to empowering many more communities to take action on climate change through our management of the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and see it as part of our work to make Scotland clean, green and more sustainable.”

The Climate Challenge Fund is a Scottish Government grant programme, managed and administered by keep Scotland Beautiful. The CCF provides funding and support for community groups to help tackle climate change by running projects that reduce local carbon emissions. 622 communities across Scotland have benefited from CCF grants totalling £85.8 million.

Further information at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/ccf

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