On the 20th of September, Groups of Ukrainian Families, Children and Young People including our very own Friendship Group performed in front of an audience of over 100 people.
For the past several months, we have been hosting our Ukrainian friendship group alongside Barnardo’s Scotland Welcome (Ukraine) Service and many Ukrainian families living in Renfrewshire. Glasgow-based Charity The Sound Lab and their tutors have been working with this group to rehearse with instruments and singing in preparation for the planned performance.
The night was full of music and emotion, with many of the songs and performances prompting applause and celebration. The families of our Friendship Group performed a beautiful choir version of When I Grow Up from the Broadway Musical Hit Matilda. The Argyle Teenagers also featured several performances, including a powerful cover of Zombie by The Cranberries and Take Me to Church by Hozier, as well as classic Ukrainian songs and poems. Some of our young people also got the chance to show off their guitar skills they had been learning over the past several months, with a wonderful rendition of ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley! The event was a beautiful celebration of Ukrainian pride and culture, bringing together people at a time when love and togetherness could be shared between those who may be separated from their loved ones or missing their home country.
This event was possible thanks to the efforts of The Sound Lab, Barnardo’s Scotland, SL tutors and volunteers, Creative Scotland, The Robertson Trust, The Corra Foundation, Renfrewshire Council, our team at Paisley YMCA and CCA Glasgow where the event took place.
Lorraine McCluckie is a project worker with Barnardo’s Scotland who was responsible for organising the Friendship Group for this event along with her colleague Mark Macleod who worked with the Argyle Teenagers to rehearse their fantastic performances. She says;
“Our musical showcase with our Ukrainian families was not only an incredible event but highlighted the importance of partnership working and the impact this has. Barnardo’s Welcome Ukraine Service have worked closely with Claire McGinley YMCA Paisley for over a year now, providing Ukrainian families settling in Renfrewshire following the illegal war on Ukraine. Together we provide families the opportunity to come together, have fun and take part in activities.”
“Part of these activities were providing music tuition, which was delivered by Sound Lab Glasgow. The families participated in a sound production workshop, vocal coaching, and guitar tuition over several months. We wanted to highlight and celebrate their achievements and organised a Musical Showcase along with Sound Lab and were provided space in CCA Glasgow. The overall impact on the family’s mental health and wellbeing was evident and it has provided long lasting memories of celebration and joy at a time when things continue to remain uncertain.”
“Barnardo’s Welcome Ukraine Service are immensely grateful to the YMCA Paisley team for their ongoing support to the Ukrainian community and will continue to work alongside them providing a safe and fun space for families.”
We will continue to provide a free and supportive space for the Renfrewshire Ukrainian community every Wednesday afternoon with our Friendship Group and we strive to provide them with fun and engaging activities to support their wellbeing as they settle into life in Renfrewshire. We love seeing them in our space every week and we look forward to more projects and time with them in the future!
Our Youth Project Manager Claire McGinley states; “It is an incredible privilege to work alongside Lorraine and our Ukrainian families, children and young people. The Musical Showcase was a wonderful event, and I am so proud of everyone who took part. They all worked so hard to rehearse and perfect their performances and there was so much talent and joy on stage that evening. I am immensely proud of the powerful friendships which have been forged through this group; every week we come together to share our cultures in a supportive and creative space. We eat together, we laugh, we share stories, and we continue to support the wellbeing of our new friends in any way we can.”