Keeping up community spirits

Across the canal corridor in Glasgow we’ve seen members of the Co-op and locals doing their bit to keep people’s spirits up and give back to the community.

Here’s a roundup of just some of the initiatives we’ve seen which might raise a smile, as well as different activities you can get involved in during lockdown.

Vital food deliveries

It’s been incredible to see individuals, voluntary groups and businesses come together across the city to make sure everyone has the food and other essential items they need.

We’ve seen Queen’s Cross Housing Association (QCHA) work in conjunction with Flourish House to provide pre-cooked meals prepared and delivered from their Courtyard Café. Around 500 frozen meals, as well as fruit, soup and snacks have been delivered to tenants.

Bike for Good have also stepped forward to help QCHA deliver bags of groceries to tenants and have been loaning bikes to free for key workers. You can donate a bike for a key worker on the Bike for Good website.

Volunteers from African Challenge Scotland have been delivering foods and toiletries to people in Springburn, Possilpark and Maryhill, while Young People Futures in Possilpark have worked non-stop to deliver food parcels, and the costume team at Scottish Opera, normally based at Edington Street, have been sewing scrubs for frontline NHS staff.

Elsewhere, Fair Share Glasgow and the West of Scotland have distributed over 315 tonnes of food, equivalent to more than 750,000 meal portions, since the start of lockdown to frontline charities and community groups supporting the most vulnerable people in communities.

Culture hit

Nothing raises the spirits the way music does, so why not let it out your frustration and get lost in the moment belting out a tune.

Head over to the QCHA Wee Sing Along YouTube channel to singalong to some hits. 

Award-winning musician and member of Admiral Fallow Sarah Hayes plays the piano and the lyrics are there for you on the screen – give it a go.

If you’re looking for some music for the wee ones, you can join Claire’s Music Club Sunday Sing-along on Facebook.

Every Sunday morning musician Claire Hastings goes live from Speirs Wharf with some lovely songs and rhymes which are perfect for little people. Singalong live or watch videos from any week you’ve missed on her page @Claire’s Music Club.

Sunday Sing-along

Today's songs and rhymes:Hello Hello HelloSlowly slowlyThe Wheels on the BusLook Lamb Look Harry Hare I like to play the ukuleleGuitar – Bonnie Gallowa’Goodbye goodbye goodbye

Posted by Claire’s Music Club on Sunday, 3 May 2020

For 8 to 12 year olds, Scottish Opera has launched its first interactive online opera for kids – Fever! 

Fever! tells the story of a young boy who is struck down by a mystery illness and rushed to hospital. With new content added every Monday, join them for lots of fun activities including songs, dance moves, prop making and science experiments. Over the 5 weeks, children will learn the whole thing and then have a special invitation to join a nationwide virtual. Get involved.

For visual art fans, Glasgow International – the city’s biennial visual arts festival – has extended its digital programme until the end of May. Look out for Alberta Whittle’s ‘business as usual:hostile environment’ which was originally commissioned with Glasgow Sculpture Studios.

Daily exercise

Getting a daily dose of fresh air has never been more important for our physical and mental wellbeing – and lots of people are looking at how to work out at home and keep it interesting.

Scottish Canals are challenging people to virtually walk the distance of Scotland’s canals at home, in their gardens, or on their daily walk.

The Forth and Clyde Canal is a whopping 38 miles long – that’s 76,000 steps. Reckon you could hit that? Find out more about the Scottish Canals Challenge.

The guys over at Everyday Athlete Gym on Borron Street are also setting some fantastic 30-day fitness challenges. This weighted vest walk can be down with a backpack:

One Speirs Resident has been getting particularly creative with his daily exercise – canoeing and litter picking at the same time!

Remember to stay local for any outdoor exercise, stay away from crowded tow paths and look out for one another.

Keeping in touch with nature

Lots of us are missing being able to spend time in nature so Scottish Canals have come up with this great guide to bring birds to your garden or window. Have a go and see if you make some new feathered friends.

For the green fingered among you, Hamiltonhill Claypits Urban Nature Reserve has a community gardening plot in The Back Garden at Possil Garden.

New social distancing arrangements are in place and there are weekly allotted slots allocated. Get in touch with the Claypits for more information.

Tag us on social media to share your spirit lifting tips and activities on Facebook @glasgowcanalcoop, Twitter at @Glasgow_Canal and Instagram at @glasgowcanal_.

#GlasgowCanal: Karen Allan, National Theatre of Scotland

Our part of the city is home to a thriving cultural quarter, cutting-edge sports facilities, social enterprises and an urban nature reserve.

At what is still such a difficult time for many of us, we’ll be spending some time shining a light on the amazing industries and people that are part of our Co-op or based along the waterway.

First up, we have Karen Allan – a producer at the National Theatre of Scotland usually based at their Rockvilla headquarters right on the banks of the canal.

Watch her #GlasgowCanal story:

We hope you enjoy, are inspired and learnt something about Glasgow’s stretch of canal.

If you would like to tell your #GlasgowCanal story, please get in touch and we’ll share it.

Photography credits:

  • National Theatre of Scotland
  • Johnny MacLauchlan

Groups share in funding to celebrate canal area

Boat taxis and trips, community food events and an outdoor classroom for children are just some of the innovative local projects to benefit from funding to bring the unique heritage of north Glasgow’s canal to life.

A selection of local groups and initiatives have been awarded a share of a £36,000 funding pot which helps the community explore and unlock the canal’s rich history and create exciting new activities across the area once Covid-19 restrictions have lifted.

The Heritage Project Fund, which supports and empowers the local community, is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund and overseen by the Glasgow Canal Co-operative on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

The Co-op received innovative proposals from across the community. Among those to benefit is:

  • Navvies’ Barge plan to use the funds to launch a free monthly boat bus service along Glasgow’s stretch of the canal and offer free boat trips for organisations and charities working in deprived areas nearby. The floating social enterprise, based at Applecross Basin, will also train volunteers to be qualified skippers, paint the barge in a traditional canal art style and transform the boat’s back room into a ‘history snug’ exploring the background of the waterway.
  • Hamiltonhill Family Learning Centre will receive funding to create an outdoor classroom for children and families in the Claypits Urban Nature Reserve, complete with an outdoor shelter, allowing families to continue exploring the nature and wildlife on their doorstep in north Glasgow.
  • Gathering Ground, a new social enterprise which runs food-focused events to bring the community together, will design and create a large set of hand-thrown crockery based on people’s ideas, memories and stories of the canal district. To be based at the renovated Old Basin House, Gathering Ground will work with the local community to help design the pieces, create the crockery and use it at a celebratory supper as well as events and workshops throughout the year.
  • Agile City plan to work with local people and organisations to collectively design and build an outdoor cooking and eating area near Civic House on Civic Street.
  • Part of Business Improvement District (BID) Possilpark, Saracen Street Traders will animate the bustling street with a new look and signage inspired by the canal.

Christine Kuhn, Glasgow Canal Co-op chair, said: “Glasgow’s canal is a truly special landscape with a unique history. This pot of funding will help empower people to help capture the strong cultural identity and sense of place that is engrained within communities lying along the edge of the canal, or for those that have lived in, worked near or enjoyed the canal over generations.

It’s fantastic to see such a breadth of projects put forward which put the canal’s heritage at the centre and will engage local communities, attract new visitors and help the continued regeneration of our area, from within. We can’t wait to see them come to life – it gives us lots to look forward after what will have been a tough time for all.”

Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “These projects on Glasgow’s Canal and its banks will in the future be of great benefit to a whole range of people, making use of this treasured open space in the city.  Such schemes will continue the rebirth of the canal when they begin.”

Caroline Clark, Director Scotland of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an incredible power, bringing communities together to protect and celebrate the things that are important to them. The community spirit which we’ve seen across the country during lockdown has been inspiring. Once the restrictions are lifted, the people living alongside Glasgow’s canal will be able to take that spirit and breathe new life into their neighbourhood with the help of National Lottery funding.”

Catherine Topley, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals said “Like the city, Glasgow’s Canal has a proud and rich history. The area has seen a tremendous transformation in recent years, with people and community remaining at the heart of these changes to bring real benefits to the people of North Glasgow and beyond. This funding will allow even more people to experience, enjoy and celebrate the incredible environments and heritage Glasgow’s Canal has to offer. We would like to congratulate all the successful applicants, who we look forward to working alongside when it is safe to do so.”

A message from Glasgow Canal Festival in response to COVID-19

Sadly, we must confirm that Glasgow Canal Festival 2020 has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

Like many other events, we have watched the situation evolve, closely monitored guidelines and worked with partners to review our plans. It goes without saying that the wellbeing of our visitors, partners, staff, volunteers and suppliers comes first and we pride ourselves on putting on a safe event for all, and this can’t be guaranteed this summer.

Glasgow Canal Festival is a place for the vibrant communities of north and west Glasgow, and further afield, to come together in celebration of our unique and iconic waterway, and we hoped this year’s event would be the best yet.

Although we are disappointed not to be able to put on what is a fantastic free event by the Forth and Clyde Canal, we have begun looking at contingency arrangements and hope to be able to bring some smaller events to the area around the canal towards the end of the year, if restrictions have lifted.

We’re also starting work on Glasgow Canal Festival 2021 and ensuring this is a fitting and unforgettable celebration after what will have been a difficult time for so many of us.

We can’t wait to see you all back enjoying the canal in the future and until then, stay safe.

– Sally Hobson, director of Glasgow Canal Festival

Pinkston welcomes Sport Relief

Pinkston Watersports Centre has welcomed a squad of celebrities to north Glasgow as they took to the Forth and Clyde Canal for an almighty Sport Relief challenge.

Jo Whiley and her BBC Radio 2 teammates Reverend Kate Bottley and Richie Anderson tackled the The Radio 2 Dare2Tri Challenge, which included an open water swim at Pinkston Watersports Centre in north Glasgow, to raise money for people living incredibly tough lives in the UK and around the world.

A community paddlesports centre, Pinkston boasts unique urban watersports facilities including Scotland’s only artificial whitewater course and is situated on the banks of the Forth and Clyde canal – an area fast becoming a destination for urban and water sport located just 10 minutes from Glasgow City Centre.

The demanding triathlon challenge saw the team take to the water at Pinkston before cycling a loop around north Glasgow and then running into the centre of Glasgow, finishing at George Square.

Hannah Blair, Pinkston Watersports Centre general manager and Glasgow Canal Co-op co-director, said: “It was fantastic to give the Sport Relief team an infamous Glasgow welcome at Pinkston and to help Jo Whiley, Reverend Kate Bottley and Richie Anderson complete this tremendous Dare2Tri challenge. At Pinkston we’re experienced in hosting all sorts of watersports activities and challenges and the team did extremely well to complete their open water swim in the chilly conditions.”

Glasgow’s corridor of the Forth and Clyde Canal is now a magnet for urban and adventure sport, with The Loading Bay skateparkEveryday AthleteGlasgow Wake ParkGlasgow Kayak Club and Red Bull Neptune Steps Challenge all calling it home.

Opportunity: Heritage & Funding Officer

The Glasgow Canal Co-operative has secured funding to recruit a part-time, freelance Heritage and Funding Officer to support the long term sustainability of the organisation.  The focus will be on the Glasgow Canal area, which stretches from Pinkston Watersports up to Firhill Basin.

The Glasgow Canal Co-operative is a newly established membership co-operative based in the North Glasgow Canal area. The Co-op brings together a diverse mix of groups and organisations with an offer and an interest in Heritage, Sports, Arts and the Environment, facilitating their collaborative working through a range of projects.  

As the Glasgow Canal is entering the final phase of its National Lottery Heritage Great Place Scheme, we are keen to ensure that we fully embed the strands of this scheme and support the legacy of the project.  

For more details on the role and how to apply:

Heritage and Funding Officer Role

Navvies’ Barge joins Glasgow Canal Co-op

Navvies’ Barge – a social enterprise canal boat moored at Applecross Basin – is the latest organisation to join the Glasgow Canal Co-op.

Linking up with the collective of organisations based in and around Glasgow’s Forth & Clyde Canal, Navvies’ Barge is now one of 23 members aiming to unlock the canal’s potential to create a vibrant area in the north of the city for people to live, work and visit.

Accessible waterway

The barge runs boat trips along Glasgow’s stretch of the canal and hosts a café and a variety of workshops, making the waterway more accessible to people in the local community.

Having lived on the canal for many years, owner Sean McNamara, along with co-owners Ania Neisser and Thomas Kelly, wanted to share the untold benefits of a relaxing day out on the cut with others.

Customers can enjoy a day out on the barge, make themselves at home on-board with a buffet and relax their way along the canal.

The barge is also shared with community groups in order to open up the canal and the benefits of time on the water with as many people as possible.

Catalyst for regeneration

Sean said: “We believe the canal should be a catalyst for regeneration that enriches an area and serves the people in it, and we’re happy to get on board with something that can be a force for good.

Navvies’ Barge on Glasgow’s Canal at Applecross Basin

“We’re looking forward to co-operating with local people and businesses to celebrate the canal’s potential to connect people with place and each other, and importantly, highlight the role that boats play in the beauty, heritage and future of the cut.”

Christine Kuhn, Glasgow Canal Co-op chair, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome Navvies’ Barge to our thriving community of organisations who represent the community spirit and breadth of creativity, talent and vibrant activity along Glasgow’s canal.

“All of our Co-op members are connected by fascinating heritage and the canal’s unique environment. As an organisation which is working to bring the heritage of our special waterway to life in new ways, Navvies’ Barge is a welcome addition to the group.”

Established as a workers’ co-operative, Navvies’ Barge pays tribute to the workers who made the canal – the navvies. The social enterprise aims to empower people in their work and remind them of the power of worker solidarity.

Find out more about Navvies’ Barge.

Canal Heritage Project Fund

Deadline for applications 11am 28th February

Posted on 30th January 202020th February 2020 by Anna Young

The Glasgow Canal Co-operative is pleased to invite proposals for funding from the local community in the North Glasgow Canal area that explore and unlock local heritage. 

This 2020 grant is being administered by the Glasgow Canal Co-operative, on behalf of Glasgow City Council, from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  The funding aims to support and empower the local community to undertake heritage activities. 

Under this programme you can apply for a minimum of £1,500 to a maximum of £7,000.  

This scheme has been designed to encourage:

  • the local community, organisations and groups to develop their own initiatives in response to the recently produced Glasgow Canal Heritage and Arts Strategy and its themes; 
  • a variety of innovative projects;
  • ideas to be delivered by community organisations and groups to explore local heritage;
  • empowering local people to research and develop activities that they feel ownership of;
  • to use heritage to connect with, and welcome, existing residents, new residents moving into the area and to attract visitors; an
  • a positive impact on the area, to enhance and promote the Canal and its use by local communities.

The deadline for applications is 11am, Friday 28th February 2020.

Please click the links to four documents which provide more detail on the funding and:

Canal Heritage Project Guidance document

Canal Heritage Project Application Form

Summarised Canal Heritage & Arts Strategy – a summary version of a recently produced strategy which explores the Glasgow Canal area.

Cultural Heritage and Art Strategy – a detailed version of the same strategy which will provide inspiration and suggestions for this funding.

If you are interested in applying please contact Anna Young, Project Manager for the Glasgow Canal Co-operative in the first instance at:

Opportunity: Treasurer

The Glasgow Canal Co-operative, established in 2018, is working hard to ‘unlock the potential of the Glasgow Canals area and create a vibrant neighbourhood for people to live, work and visit.’  The Co-operative represents an incredible mix of members from Sports, Culture, Heritage and Environmental backgrounds.  Much has been achieved to date and the organisation continues to work collaboratively, placing the canal at the heart of community life.  

The Canal Co-operative is exploring options for supporting the long term financial sustainability of the organisation in terms of income generation and fundraising and would like to invite a Treasurer to join the Board.

This role would complement our current Board of Directors who have extensive experience in arts and culture, events, sports and regeneration.

The Canal Co-operative has accounting & financial management in place at an operational level.  The Treasurer would not be expected to be involved in the day to day activities of the organisation.

Please note this is an unpaid position.


  • Maintain and provide, as required, an overview of the Glasgow Canal Co-op’s finances 
  • Ensure appropriate financial systems and controls are in place
  • Produce quarterly financial updates to be presented to the directors and membership
  • Support the project manager in financial planning and budgeting
  • Provide support and guidance with identifying and securing funding and income generation opportunities 
  • Present end of year accounts at the Co-op’s AGM
  • Advise on financial implications of strategic and operational planning
  • Provide guidance and oversight to potential fundraising staff/volunteers.

For more details on the role and how to apply go to:

Role of Treasurer

For further details, please contact Anna Young on Tel. 077944 22659 / or please email a cover letter and CV to Anna by 4pm on Friday 28th February 2020.

Sculpture Club

FREE Workshop for children aged 3-12 years. Saturday 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm