Group of Paisley women to make play about Ferguslie

Group of Paisley women to make play about Ferguslie

SWIFT are a group of ten local woman who share a common interest in Paisley and ensuring a bright future for their children in their home town. SWIFT now wish to produce a drama based on the women’s stories.

The women will be looking forward to working on the paly from writing to directing. Though they are looking for outside talent to act. Clare James Adult Learning and Literacy worker from Renfrewshire council said: “What they were looking to have maybe a play or something similar based on their stories or based on the stories from the area. So it’ll be based around Ferguslie and people’s experiences of living there. It’s a way of getting your voice heard isn’t.”

The funding for the project is partly being provided to them thanks to the bid despite the loss. Ms James,  expanded on SWIFT and how they became involved in the 2021 bid. She said: “Doing some adult learning programmes and from that they became involved with the Paisley 2021 bid. They were doing stuff around International women’s day last year.”

The play will tackle common misconceptions of the area. According to Clare a common misconception of the estate is that people get stuck in Ferguslie often too bogged down by poverty and unable to go nowhere better.

This is yet something else the women of SWIFT have disproven with some of their own member coming from different areas and were pleasantly surprised. Clare said: “Some of the women have come from Glasgow some have come from London. And they were saying they found it a very welcoming place to come into. Although they had lived elsewhere, and they weren’t initially from Ferguslie. They felt very welcomed by everyone that was there.”

SWIFT has previously won an award last year for their work in the community. The group has helped some woman regain the confidence needed to follow long forgotten passions like Mary-Ann Wright, who re kindled her love of art.

With the support she found at the women’s group she kick started an art career after painting a lion sculpture for the Pride of Paisley project. They all worked together in participating in the efforts to achieve the Paisley city of culture of bid.

 

St. Mirren
St. Mirren Football ground in Ferguslie.
Credit: Scott Bevan

With the support she found at the women’s group she kick started an art career after painting a lion sculpture for the Pride of Paisley project. They all worked together in participating in the efforts to achieve the Paisley city of culture of bid.

The group started because they were participating in family learning programmes together. The main focuses of which were parenting and personal development focused as they are all mothers of young children. It was the ladies themselves that took it a step further and came up with their name an acronym for Stronger Women in Ferguslie Together.

Ms James explained that the group had started to feel more activated after the SIMD figures showed Ferguslie Park as the most deprived area in Scotland. The group felt that when those results came out they had to do something to raise morale and pride in the area. She said: “People were feeling a little bit hurt by that. They felt it didn’t represent their community so that’s what got them involved with Paisley 2021 bid. It was all about the community and how it was viewed and how it’s not really like that underneath. You know what’s portrayed in the papers isn’t always an accurate description.”

 

Tannahil centre
Tannahill Centre serves as a shining example of how Ferguslie has regenerated over the years to the benefit of its people.
Credit: Scott Bevan

The group has certainly gained some positive attention in recent due to articles ironically enough from the media. Papers such as the National and the Daily Record covering the groups work in the area and different stories that shows a Brightside to Ferguslie. These will only provide help to the women in the future as they continue their battle against years of negative press and wealth inequality.

 

 

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