The Cowgate Project
Through the creation of the Cowgate Community Garden Project, Projects4Change is working with the community within Cowgate. We are working to engage with young people in projects that meets needs of the local area and wider community.
We are excited to have secured a local green space area, within the grounds of Cowgate Community Centre, along with a community allotment site on the outskirts of the area. Both sites are multifunctional and developed to cater for the needs of the local and nearby communities. The youth steering group continues to play a pivotal role in the development of this green space and our allotment area. We plan to hold a number of clean-up days where young people from the community will have the opportunity to work with us in developing the area into a safe, usable space – giving them a sense of ownership and pride for the space.
We are thankful to have received Awards4All funding and have been using this to carry out a feasibility study in the area. The feasibility study, “Spotlight on Cowgate”, engaged youth steering groups, initially through detached youth work and over the summer 2019 has included pilot sessions and site visits to similar projects. We are working mainly with 11 to 19-year olds, but to ensure that we offer equality of opportunity, we’re also working with people up to the age of 25 in special circumstances.
We’re thrilled to have already brought together a number of groups, including a group of young men and woman who have nicknamed themselves, “KFC”, a group of young mums from the Cowgate area and two group of young people aged 11-15.
With their input and feedback, plus the hard work of our youth workers, the feasibility study is helping us and the community implement proposals and projects to
- Make the green space safe
- Develop plans for the site
- Allow us to consult with the local community further through detached youth work, community events and the Multiverse Arcade (amongst other methods)
- Aid the creation of services on site and the development of programmes to meet the young people’s needs
- Build on conversations and consultations that have already occurred and will employ a range of methods to engage as many young community members as possible.
Projects carried out within the umbrella of the Cowgate Project already have included the “75 Flames Project” where Marta Joseph told a passionate and inspiring story of loss and hope, based around the life of her late father who survived Hitler’s persecution of the Jewish people in WW2, and the Mosaic Project where young people within the Cowgate Community have been working with our Change Makers and artist Nicola Lynch to design and create an entrance gate for our project space.
What we feel is really special about this project is that it is led by our steering group of young people from within the community. They tell us what is important to them and we respond with projects keeping their core values and needs at the heart of what we deliver. Whilst doing this, we also want to retain the history of youth work in Cowgate by restoring Betty’s Hut. You can read more about Betty, her fantastic work and our goals in our blog.
We’re really excited to see how this project continues to develop, based on our feasibility study and continuing work in the community. We are committed to the development of local people, we aim to support those who are interested through the project form of service user, to volunteer, to worker.
We’re currently working with a fantastic photographer, Andy Oman who has spent hours around Cowgate capturing the area and community, its needs and its potential. You can see more of his work on our blog and Instagram.
We’re also very thankful to Good Gym for volunteering to help us clear the allotment space.
You can see more images of the Cowgate Project on our Gallery page.