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Two women smiling and dancing at an All We Can Do sharing session. Other women can be seen clapping in the background.]

Finding hope in creativity at Elder Street and the Chara Centre

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All We Can Do is our community empowerment project delivering creative workshops for women navigating the interlinking systems of prison, homelessness, addiction, poverty and violence. The project also includes medium and large-scale performances made with, by and for the women involved. 

The programme currently includes our residencies at Chara Centre, Elder Street, Tomorrow’s Women (with Martha’s Mammies) and the Lilias Centre. Of these, Chara Centre and Elder Street projects focus specifically on working within residential centres for women experiencing homelessness. 

The sessions consist primarily of creative workshops, ranging from songwriting to drama, art and textiles. The women are also invited to Citizens Theatre productions and have seen many of our shows in past years.

Chara Centre

Stories and music have a huge role in the creative programme at the Chara Centre, which we have been delivering since 2013.  

A team of artists offer weekly creative arts workshops. The sessions culminate in two end of term celebratory sharings of the creative work achieved by the women during the sessions. A recent project highlight was the Do You See Me? portraiture exhibition in which the participants collaborated with a professional portrait photographer to explore their identity and challenge preconceptions around women experiencing homelessness. 

By sharing our stories and life experiences through drama and music, our work encourages women to reconnect with play as adults. 

The women are also invited to Citizens Theatre productions, and over the years they have enjoyed a wide variety of Citz shows.  

A group of people sitting around a table. The table is decorated with a white table cloth and colourful spring flowers.
Three women sit in a row, all reading from a piece of paper.
Two women sit at a table holding guitars and singing.

Elder Street

Since 2018, our year-round residency at Elder Street has allowed the women of this Govan-based respite shelter to express their creativity through projects ranging from creative writing to, drama, songwriting, art and upcycling. 

Since the first session the weekly workshops have thrived, with enthusiasm from both the residents and staff. The staff have embraced the project by taking part and encouraging the women to develop their creativity during the sessions. 

The group have produced incredible pieces of writing, poetry, art and print work, songs and upcycled clothing and jewellery. Their first sharing performance at the centre took place in June 2019. The event was attended by members of the local community, Women’s support services and MP Alison Thewliss. 

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