Collaborate with Govanhill Baths

Govanhill Baths Community Trust (GBCT) is a grassroots activist-based organisation in the heart of Govanhill delivering wide ranging health, wellbeing, arts, environmental and heritage projects. They are keen to explore potential collaborations with the University of Glasgow.

GBCT emerged 20 years ago as a grassroots campaign to return Govanhill Baths to community ownership as a vital community asset. We’ve been acknowledged as an example of what can be achieved through community participation and a governance that underlines the importance of connecting national and local social policy agendas. We have a unique history of working collectively to inspire social change, with wellbeing, art and creativity at the heart of our approach. We are committed to ambitious practices that challenge existing structures and shift agency to the community.

As an anchor organisation, we work strategically with a range of agencies, organisations and grassroots initiatives to respond and adapt to the complex needs and aspirations of the community. We work in solidarity to challenge attitudes and systems, supporting community initiatives to make the maximum difference.

We currently run five distinct programmes, three of which are social enterprises:

1) The Wellbeing, Arts and Health Programme promotes a holistic approach to wellbeing and community regeneration. The programme was developed in response to a lack of services in the area, and it is aimed at those suffering physical and mental ill health, long-term unemployed, isolated and/or disadvantaged local people. The programme is supported by key statutory organisations such as the NHS Health Improvement Team and

Social Work. We have recently added a successful Youth Project, developed by local young people, to the programme.

2) Rags to Riches is Scotland’s leading upcycling enterprise aimed at creating employment, training and volunteering opportunities through environmental/regeneration projects. It also delivers public art projects across Glasgow in partnership with housing associations and schools and has a Retail Shop in Govanhill and a Remakery service. It also co-ordinates the Scottish Upcycling Network and hosts the UpHub, a recycling, upcycling and education project.

3) Govanhill Baths Arts (GBArts) is a community arts programme operating since 2004 delivering high quality arts activities locally, including a community theatre, an annual integration festival (Govanhill International Festival and Carnival) and ‘The DeepEnd’, a large community based art centre.

4) GBCT Archives is a community based heritage and museum project.

5) Community Action encompasses Community Engagement, Capacity Building and Activism. The programme’s approach is bottom-up, grassroots, and community-run, providing tailored support to specific needs. It focuses on engendering opportunities for connection, fomenting participation and a sense of communal purpose, as well as providing platforms for the community to voice their issues and organise.

We play a key role in the development of local plans such as the Govanhill Local Action Plan, the strategic work of Glasgow City Council’s Regeneration Service, Social Work priorities and NHS’s health improvement strategies for Govanhill. This allows us to align our work, complementing and supporting similar activity rather than duplicating work delivered by others locally.

Govanhill Baths are very keen to explore possibilities of engaging with the University of Glasgow for targeted, long-term research on the impact our activities have on the community and how this can feed into our practice.

Apart from the project currently being developed with Dr Kathryn Skivington focusing on our People’s Pantry, we have identified three initial research needs, for which we would welcome academic collaboration:

  • Models of art and activism and recommendations for GBCT’s strategic aims for the next few years 
  • Impact of the Wellbeing, Arts and Health programme on improving the local community’s wellbeing and cohesion and reducing health inequalities
  • Impact of Rags to Riches delivery on behaviour change in the community and connecting initiatives towards circular economy

Please get in touch with Alexandra Krause – community@govanhillbaths.com for further information and to discuss collaborations.

Published by Monique

Community Engagement Officer for the University of Glasgow College of Social Sciences and The Glasgow Centre for Population Health

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