New website makes getting involved with the local community easier than ever

Keep in the loop with community work from Govanhill to the Gorbals, Castlemilk to Pollokshields.

The South East Integration Network (SEIN) have launched their new website, where you can keep up with local goings-on and find out about community organisations in Govanhill and across the south east.

SEIN is a network of community organisations in the south east of Glasgow with the aim of promoting diversity and supporting community integration. Its members include Govanhill Housing AssociationThe Dixon Community and Romano Lav and it funds projects such as Daisy Chain Early Years Project and The Well Multicultural Resource Centre.

You can keep up-to-date on the news and blog pages, Facebook and Twitter, and by signing up to the newsletter. If you would like to contribute to any of these, please get in touch with SEIN.

The new website includes free downloads and links pages, as well as info on SEIN’s library. A small selection of books and other resources are available to borrow from the office at 77 Torrisdale Street. You’re very welcome to visit, just get in touch to check that someone is in.

And if all this inspires you to get more involved with your local community, head to the website to find out about the latest job and volunteering opportunities at SEIN member organisations.

SEIN are keen to know if you have any feedback about their new website. Is anything not working properly? Have we missed something that you feel should be included? If you use a screenreader or have other accessibility requirements, how well does it meet these?

Contact Ruth: / 07749902684

By Jessica Reid

Govanhill bookshop launches new poetry by Harry Josephine Giles

By Jessica Reid

‘Poetry is not a luxury’ reads the sticker on the poetry shelf in Category Is Books. Tonight they’re launching new poetry collection The Games by Harry Josephine Giles. So if poetry isn’t a luxury, what is it?

Giles opens with ‘Thing-Prayer’, in which they repeat the word ‘thing’ so many times it starts sounding more like a strange noise than a word – to deliciously hypnotising effect. This is the pleasure of Giles’ poetry; they make the familiar unfamiliar with their sideways look at the world.

The Games, explains Giles, is so-called because that is what it contains – games, spells and plays. Yet this is play with a purpose – to imagine a fairer future. Giles expresses regret that they are good at writing poetry as opposed to organising revolutions. In Abolish the Police they reflect that, ‘The poem is only a world:/here it is, I only pass you the world/without police.’ It may or may not be about to start a revolution but Giles’ poetry does provide us with the space to imagine alternative worlds.

Another definition of poetry comes from the support act, Etzali Hernández, whose impassioned yet precise ten-minute set includes two poems in their first language of Spanish. Etzali explains that initially they wondered if performing in their own language would be self-indulgent, before deciding that, ‘It isn’t self-indulgent to be myself.’

So what is poetry? Poetry is play, poetry is imagining new worlds and poetry is the freedom to be yourself.

The Games by Harry Josephine Giles is available for £8.99 from Category Is Books at 34 Allison Street, Glasgow, G42 8NN.

Photo Credit Category IS Bookshop. 

Fun For all the Family at GCDT Halloween Party

Lots of fun was had at GCDT Family learning party, held by Esol/family learning tutor Loraine McHendry  with support from Noreen Campbell at Glasgow Life.

The was held at Daisy Street neighbourhood centre on Monday 29th October, and over 20 children dressed in Halloween costumes took part in the festivities.

Children Working hard to create their own scary monsters!

There was a Spooky interactive story, after which the children created their own scary monster! Parents took part in a face painting workshop and the children in game of bobbin apples.

Face-paint Fun

The event finished with a huge treasure hunt for sweets and treats around the neighbourhood centre garden.

The party was just part of our wider community events program, which is in place all year round.

Revamped Govanhill.Info Site Seeks Community Reporters

You may have noticed that has had a bit of a makeover. This site has been revamped so that news and events are brought to the forefront to make it easier to share the latest news and information about what is going on in Govanhill and the surrounding area, in order to keep it as up-to-date as possible. 

As part of this revamp Govanhill Community Development Trust is looking for volunteer Community Reporters to cover local events for the site. 

If you have skills in writingphotographyproof-readingWordPress editing or social media, and are interested in keeping the community informed about local news and events, we want to hear from you. We are also looking for anyone wishing to gain experience or develop skills in these areas.  This opportunity might suit someone interested in a career in journalism or a communications role. Reasonable expenses will be paid and all volunteers will receive mentoring and support from the GCDT Media Worker. 


If you are interested in this opportunity, please send a short email to Liz at with your contact details and why you are interested in the role. Experience is not necessary as volunteers will be supported, but anything you can tell us about your current skills and experience is helpful. 

These volunteer positions are open to all but preference will be given to people who live in the Govanhill area. 

Meet the Tenants: Music Broth

‘It’s really great being here and getting work done. It’s fantastic when people get to come up here and see the space. ‘

We met with Felix Slavin, one half of Music Broth, Govanhill’s brand-new instrument-lending library, who told us about their new social enterprise operating from Unit 7 in Victoria Court.

Felix is surrounded by instruments; there are a large number of guitars, although the library has other instruments too, including a djembe, pianos and even a trombone.

Music Broth was founded in 2017. The idea was conceived as a way to make use of a number of musical instruments Felix had inherited from his late uncle. The aim of the project is to improve access to musical instruments, which are often expensive, to ensure that the widest possible range of people can enjoy the pleasure of making music. 

In June 2018 Music Broth secured space at the Victoria Court Workspaces large enough to safely store their many instruments.

Memberships are open to organisations and individuals. If you wish to find out more information or join the lending library, you can contact Music Broth at or through social media on Facebook @MusicbrothGlasgow or Twitter @musicbroth.

If you have an instrument at home which is gathering dust and would make a useful addition to the library, Music Broth are also interested in hearing from you.

Music Broth rent space from the Govanhill Community Development Trust. If you are interested in renting one of these work spaces, please contact Dave Zabiega at Dzabiega[@]

Parks and Ride: Tour Uncovers Lesser Known Local Green Spaces.

The Southside of Glasgow is blessed with a number of wonderful green spaces, the most well-known of these is undoubtedly Queens Park at the top of Victoria Road. Govanhill Park, where the Govanhill Festival Parade began, is also popular and well-used. 

The Parks and Ride tour aimed to introduce people to the lesser-known green spaces in the area, such as Brennan Square, the Croft and Riccarton Park.

Our first stop was a tour of the South Seeds Croft with Lisa. Half of the community croft is used by Locavore and the other half is filled with raised beds for use by the community. 

After a brief stop off at the Westmoreland Street Gardens, the tour continued to the Allison Street Community Garden, where we learned about how local young people have been involved in transforming the area. 

After this the walk moved on to Brennan Square, a little-known spot surrounded by postwar housing, much loved by those who live around it.

Next to the square one resident has placed a sign with directions detailing the various waves of immigration to Govanhill. 

From Brennan Square followed a brief journey to Riccarton Park. Riccarton Park was created in 1994 as a collaborative project between the Glasgow Development Agency in association with Scottish Enterprise and Glasgow City Council.

This local park offers visitors two synthetic surfaced games courts – one equipped for basketball/netball and the other for five-a-side football. There is also a children’s play area equipped to cater for all age ranges and with ample seating.  This park is one of 27 in Glasgow protected in law through a Fields in Trust initiative, meaning they can only be used for recreational purposes.

The penultimate stop on the tour was the Govanhill Housing Association’s own community garden. The garden itself was closed at the time of the tour as works are taking place to improve the space and make it accessible for disabled people, with the intention to creative a fully accessible space for people with all kinds of physical and sensory disabilities. Participants were able to sneak a look inside and get an update on the works taking place.

The Govanhill Community Garden when it was opened in 2014. 
Flowers at the Hidden Gardens : photo by John Lord

The last stop took us out of Govanhill to one of the better-known local spots, the Hidden Gardens.  Development worker Wing met us with an array of information about how to make the most of their beautiful space. 

The route followed by the tour is detailed below. Govanhill Community Development Trust hope to run this again in the future in order to introduce people to overlooked local spots. In one case, a participant had lived in the area for over 30 years, but was introduced to several new spots through the tour. 

The route taken by the Park and Ride tour – 2.3 miles in total. 

Heritage Coffee Afternoon Explores History of Samaritan Hospital for Women

On the 20th of August the community hall at Samaritan House hosted the Women’s History Archive of the Samaritan Hospital project for an afternoon of sharing stories over coffee and cake. 

The event featured screenwriter Paul Cooke, who introduced the project and his play A Dose of the Blushes

Paul Cooke reads from his play A Dose of the Blushes.

Participants had an opportunity to share stories with each other, as well as listen to some of the many women’s experiences which have been collected as part of the archive. 

Sharing stories over cake.

The play A Dose of the Blushes, featuring the real stories of women who stayed at the Samaritan Hospital for Women, will be touring a number of different venues in September 2018 and Spring 2019. For updates you can follow their Facebook page here.  

Two new residents of Govanhill (one very new) hear more about the history of the hospital. 

The WHASH project has received some attention in the press and continues to look for women’s stories. If you have a story to share or are interested in finding out more about this project, contact

Haggis, Neeps and Chapattis: Over 100 People Attend Govanhill Community Ceilidh

On the 17th of August, the Govanhill Community Development Trust organised another sell-out ceilidh bringing together people from all sections of the community. 

Over 100 people attended the event at the Daisy Street Halls, where they enjoyed traditional dances from around the world, including Scottish favourites such as Strip the Willow and the Gay Gordons, as well as dances from Iran and Romania. 

Children made art work in preparation for the Carnival Parade and Arena Concert the following day.
  A great time was had by all and the dance-floor was busy all night thanks to Colin MacLennan and his band!

Memorial Garden to Commemorate Loved Ones Established

A quiet place for local people to remember those they have loved and lost has been created in Govanhill.

The Govanhill Remembrance Garden is part of the community garden next to the Association’s offices in Coplaw Street.

It is set in a secluded part of the garden close to Butterbiggins Medical Centre and away from the main growing and training spaces. The peaceful spot features benches and soft planting where people can take a quiet moment.

The area features a wall-mounted remembrance tree where simple plaques commemorate the names of local people. The first tree is now almost full, with a second tree planned for installation in the next few months. Getting a name plaque engraved and installed costs £5 from The Cobbler on Calder Street.

The garden has been the work of local residents Rosemary Scott and Association tenant Kathy Graham, who organised a fundraiser in 2016 to get the memorial tree installed. The installation was supported by staff from the Association and Govanhill Community Development Trust.

A remembrance day in the community garden and Samaritan House is planned for late summer or early autumn. The date will be confirmed once accessibility improvements have been completed in the wider community garden. Check the Govanhill Community Remembrance Garden Facebook page for updates or contact Dave Zabiega at or on 0141 636 3665.

English Language Café Extended for Further Year

This summer brought some great news for anyone wanting to learn English in Govanhill. The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Café at the former Govanhill Trinity Church building in Daisy Street will now open for two days a week rather than one after receiving funding from Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government. Govanhill Community Development Trust run the drop-in classes, which teach people to read, write and speak English. People speaking more than 30 languages have attended the classes since they began in October 2015. They will now run on Fridays as well as Tuesdays until at least summer 2018.

Learners will benefit from a free meal as well as a crèche and supervised play activities for children over three years old. Over the summer months there will also be some trips designed to give learners the chance to practise their spoken English out of the classroom.

For more information about the ESOL classes please get in touch.

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