Psssst … Pass It On

Small Packages, Big Love:  A Firefly Arts Lockdown Project

Mairi was deep in YouTube and I was burying myself in work.  Everyone was facing challenges.  One of ours was the intensity of accessing home learning when your reading skills are limited.  It was impacting on family relationships, work commitments and everyone’s mood. We don’t consider ourselves to be ‘vulnerable’, or ‘hard to reach’, or in any way disadvantaged, but there were many new things to learn, negotiate and sometimes just let go of.  On this day, a small package arrived.  There had been other deliveries, but this one was addressed to Mairi. 

The team at Firefly Arts is exceptionally skilful and committed.  They enrich many young lives and address a wide range of needs in West Lothian.  Early on in lockdown they were interrogating how to survive as an organisation and how best to channel their resources to support their community.  They hit on an idea for a project that they hoped would nurture individuals in a safe and manageable way; Small Packages, Big Love was born.

Mairi’s day was transformed when her wee box of inspiration and comfort dropped through the letterbox. She engaged with her sisters to make hot chocolate.  We used knots to make a necklace with the rose crystal and the twine. (Two unrelated items in the small package of big love!)  We were gently bound together; making, creating and playing.

We were encouraged to think of ways to spread the love within the Firefly community and beyond. On the next sunny day we made muffins and invited her Auntie for a walk at Beecraigs.  Her Auntie has always been good at sharing so the love and the muffins were passed on as well!

I was full of gratitude and relief.  Gratitude that her friends and trusted adults were thinking about her, and relief that Firefly Arts is still active. (Funding cuts make survival a constant challenge.)

Connections and creativity have sustained a lot of people in these difficult times.  When the mental health of young people is described as being in crisis, it feels imperative to support Creative Art in our communities.  It is a vital thread in the fabric of our care for each other.

Sending BIG LOVE and thanks to Firefly Arts.

Ellie Stewart

Firefly Home Delivery…

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are sad to announce that Firefly has suspended all workshop, training and project activity. We hope it’s not for too long.

Meanwhile we know how hard some of you are finding the current situation. But you are not alone, and we will come through this!

We wish you and your families all the best for the weeks ahead. Stay safe, keep positive and creative! We look forward to seeing you once life gets back to normal!

Team Firefly xxx


Firefly On Hold…

Following current government guidelines regarding Covid-19, we are sad to announce that Firefly will be suspending all workshop, training and project activity from Tuesday 17th March. We hope it’s not for too long.

Meanwhile Team Firefly will be working on how best to keep our fantastic and talented young people busy, engaged and creative. Time to be resourceful and think sidey-ways!

We’ll be in touch with you all by email and facebook. We wish you and your families all the best for the weeks ahead, and look forward to reconvening once the virus has abated.


Feisty February Update…

Its been mighty wet and windy lately, and we hope you are all keeping safe and dry. Despite the weather, Firefly have lots of exciting projects and partnerships going on across West Lothian this month…

Firefly’s fearsome team are currently leading music projects with Knightsridge and Bridgend primary students. We’re delighted to be working with vocal specialist Morgan Gilday, and welcome  to Zimbabwean artist, Tawona Sithole, who is making his West Lothian debut on these projects!

We’ve more musical happenings through our Small Anthems programme (working this term working with young carers). Meanwhile there are theatrical shenanigans with Beatlie’s Campus’ senior students, and some highly dramatic goings-on with young adults from West Lothian’s New Directions group.

Congratulations to our new young production company members. Not only are Kirsty and Eleanor planning to work you hard, but it promises also to be a very physical production. Firefly Boot Camp time?

Miriam’s Tech Team training sessions restart next month. Meanwhile Firefly’s regular drama and film workshops roll on at Livingston’s Howden Park Centre, Low Port Centre in Linlithgow and Bathgate’s St Mary’s Church Hall. Still room in some workshops, so give us a call or email if you’ve not yet signed up.

Finally, check out this fabulous article by Firefly regular, Nina Gailani, recently published by Children In Scotland. Thanks Nina. We’re delighted to have played such a positive role in your life. Lets hope we can continue doing what we do for a good while yet!