Keep up to date with the latest from Artlink Central's programmes and events. Opportunities and news for artists, participants and supporters of our work with education, criminal justice, care and healthcare sectors.


Calling for veterans to sculpt for healthcare settings in Forth Valley

Ex-servicemen and women who would like to re-focus their skills and try their hand at sculpting, are being recruited to make works of art for healthcare settings across Forth Valley.

Poster for The Workshop Project

In what’s known as the Workshop Project, they are being invited to work with sculptor Susheila Jamieson to enhance spaces in a meaningful and permanent way. The scheme will run through the first half of 2016 and is being funded through the Community Covenant Grant Scheme and NHS Forth Valley.

Up to ten volunteers are needed and the veterans will explore the University of Stirling art and sculpture collection to learn about manual and physical fabrication processes such as stone carving and 3D printing. Susheila will help them with design and it’s hoped to involve local school pupils to provide a creative technology element.

Artlink Central Director Kevin Harrison said: “This is our first creative programme with veterans as a focus, an issue that has been highlighted by NHS Forth Valley and the Community Covenant. We will be working with other organisations involved in supporting veterans to help take this forward and are keen to hear from any groups for individuals who are interested in taking part.”

Miss Tracey Gillies, NHS Forth Valley’s Medical Director and Lead for Veterans, added: “This exciting new initiative aims to harness the experience of local veterans to create new artwork which can then be enjoyed by patients, visitors and staff across Forth Valley.”

“It will also give those taking part an opportunity to develop new skills, build new social networks and take part in something which will have a lasting impact.”

Anyone interested in taking part or finding out more about the Workshop Project should contact Sarah Pearson at Artlink Central on 01786 450971 or email by the end of January 2016. The aim is to have the artworks installed in Summer 2016.



Save our Seats initiative donates Songs of Separation's Celtic Connections music tickets to Artlink Central beneficiaries

Songs of Separation brought together ten female folk musicians from Scotland and England, to create a recording which reflects on the issue of ‘separation’ in its many forms, through traditional song.

Taking place on the beautiful Isle of Eigg in June 2015, the musicians spent an intensive week rehearsing and recording, including site recordings at the two sites central to the ‘Big Women of Eigg’ legend.

The SoS musician team brought together the musical skills and ‘big thinking’ of Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart, two of the UK’s most celebrated voices, Mary Macmaster and Kate Young, two boundary-breaking Scots, Hannah James, Hazel Askew and Rowan Rheingans, from the award winning English ensemble Lady Maisery, Jenn Butterworth and Jenny Hill, brilliant backline players who have worked in both English and Scottish trad scenes, and Hannah Read, a New York-based musician who spent much of her childhood on the Isle of Eigg. It was an unforgettable week of wonderful music making and compelling discussion!

Songs of Separation are performing a gig on 24th January 2016, at The Mitchell Library in Glasgow as part of Celtic Connections and are partnered with Artlink Central to offer a unique opportunity to bring Artlink Central beneficiaries, many of home will never have attended a music festival, to this gig through generous acts of musical kindness by supporters of the SoS project.

So how did this come about?

"A random act of musical kindness

Songs of Separation recently received an intriguing email from a lovely man from the States. This is what he said:

My wife and I have been following SoS, and we’re eagerly awaiting your CD. However, it’s not likely we’ll be able to cross the ocean for one of your gigs, so I had this idea, and if you think it worthwhile, I’ll need help with the logistics. It’s an idea of making a connection where there’s separation.

The idea is that we buy tickets to a gig, to be given to someone deserving, who might otherwise not be able to attend…() perhaps the members of SoS could choose the recipients. I can also think of one or two other remote friends who might want to do this, and if they tell two friends, and so on and so on, we might be able to bring quite a few people in out of the cold. Worth considering? Please let me know.

We were really excited about this idea (it sort of ‘fits’ some of our themes around social capital) and we decided to do an experiment. We wondered if other people would like to buy tickets for someone else to attend the Songs of Separation gig on 24th January 2016, at The Mitchell Library in Glasgow?

How will we do this?

We have approached a brilliant, small organisation, Artlink Central, who work with groups of people who have support needs, enabling them to access high quality arts experiences. They run a range of programmes, co-designed with participants, working alongside professional artists, for children and adults with disabilities, mental health difficulties, people who have dementia and women leaving prison. Artlink Central have agreed to help us offer these tickets to people who would love to come along, and would gain something significant from the experience.

Find out more about Artlink Central

We know the arts can have a profoundly positive impact, and we are profoundly thankful to anyone who chooses to take part in these ‘random acts of musical kindness’. The project is called ‘Save Our Seats’, a play on ‘Songs of Separation’s’ acronym. Thanks for saving a seat for someone else, who will really appreciate it."

- Sounds of Separation

Find out more about Songs of Separation - book tickets or save a seat!



New Years' Honour for Carol Daphne Seymour, Artlink Central volunteer and trustee

Artlink Central are delighted to announce that Carol Seymour, who until very recently gave many years of voluntary service to support Artlink Central, both as a trustee from very early on in the charity's establishment, and as an ongoing community fundraiser, has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen's New Year's Honours list 2016, as described in coverage by the Stirling Observer

Julia Donaldson, Patron of Artlink Central, with Carol Seymour, 'Queen of the Volunteers' and Director Kevin Harrison at the 25th Anniversary of Artlink Central.

Julia Donaldson, Patron of Artlink Central, with Carol Seymour, 'Queen of the Volunteers' and Director Kevin Harrison at the 25th Anniversary of Artlink Central.

Carol has been instrumental in so much of Artlink Central's charitable activity working very closely from early on with previous director Sarah Chester to build the organisation's resources and supporter base. Using her talents, dedication and fantastic organisational skills to build up a strong community of volunteers, Carol was key in supporting our biennual Art off the Rock charitable art auctions, many bridge lunches and social events raising money for the charity, developing our annual Green Gallery Christmas Fair fundraiser with Becky Walker from Buchlyvie and even opening her own garden up to the public through Scotlands Gardens scheme.

Prior to supporting Artlink Central, Carol supported Riding for the Disabled for 25 years, introducing donkey rides for disabled children and adults in Stirlingshire.

Carol, her husband Mark and family have supported Artlink Central over many years with greater impact than can ever be quanitified, bringing in a whole range of local supporters and donors, establishing new initiatives and energising Artlink Central's fundraising activity.

On behalf of Artlink Central's board and staff we'd like to congratulate her on the receipt of this wonderful and hugely deserved honour, which recognises not just her own efforts, but those of a whole community of people who have long supported and given to support disadvantaged people in Forth Valley to have the opportunity to express themselve creatively, improve their wellbeing and be recognised for their talents.

Perhaps the best way we can celebrate the contribution of Carol to our organisation is to share in the words of our Patron, Julia Donaldson, who with her husband Malcolm, performed the following original song to recognise Carol at Artlink Central's 25th anniversary celebration recently:

The Carol Seymour Song

By Julia Donaldson (to the tune of the Davy Crockett song)


Artlink Central does sterling work,

Not just in Stirling but from Larbert to Falkirk,

And there isn’t a single shred of doubt

That there’s someone they couldn’t have done it without.

(Chorus, coming after every verse)

Carol, Carol Seymour,

Queen of the volunteers

Little Carol Daphne’s life began

Near a golf course in wild East Lo-thi-an.

She was good, she was happy, but her life lacked spark

Till she went to the races with a feller named Mark.

Before she came to us she made bouquets for brides.

She’s organised hundreds of donkey rides.

She’s the pride of Scotland’s Garden Scheme

And makes thousands of scones with lashings of cream.

She mustered an army round her kitchen table

Making candle after candle and label after label

For the Christmas Fair at the Green Gallery

With only a thank you for her salary.

Many were the sponsors who succumbed to Carol’s charms,

Many the acquaintances with twisted arms,

Many were the folk who drooled and lusted

For her famous sausages with honey and mustard.

Now Carol had a bodkin that was legendary.

It was sharp and stout as a bodkin should be.

It stitched up the Christmas turkey cock

And the screens of postcards for Art Off the Rock.

Carol, we’re gonna miss your friendly face

And all the scraps of paper for the data base.

Our hearts grew warm at the sight of you

Brandishing a newly dead pheasant or two.

For nearly twenty years she’s played a trusty part,

Presiding over Bridge and procuring art

But now she’s handing over those risky chores

While she spends more time with the Labradors.








Artlink Central's new home at Stirling's heart of innovation and enterprise


Central Scotland's leading community arts charity is to venture into product development for the first time in its 27 year history. 

Artlink Central is set to capitalise on its unique insight and expertise in delivering participatory arts programmes by developing commercial art products specifically for people with dementia. 

As part of its bid to become more entrepreneurial in the way it operates, the charity has recently moved its base to Stirling University Innovation Park.

Director of Artlink Central, Kevin Harrison said: "The funding landscape is changing and third sector organisations need to diversify and become more business like if they want to succeed. There is a real push for charities to set up social enterprise trading arms to make their own money and become more sustainable. We decided to draw on our existing skills and expertise in creating art experiences for people with dementia to design our first commercial product, a creativity kit that can be delivered in-house by care home and hospital staff."

Artlink Central has a strong history of innovation in the fields of health and social care and was looking for a business community with a complimentary set of skills.

Kevin Harrison explained: "The real appeal of the Innovation Park is the huge scope for commercial and academic collaborations. The idea for the creativity kit actually came out of a discussion we had at one of the Park's networking events. We are now designing the product in conjunction with the University's Department of Gerontology and are working with another tenant, Alzheimer's Scotland, on testing the kits."

The charities shift in focus towards commercialisation is a transition the Innovation Park is well placed to support. 

Lynn Blaikie, Head of the Innovation Park, said: “Social enterprise is a fast growing and exciting sector, as organisations seek to do good and make a profit at the same time. Our team has direct experience in supporting charities in this way and in guiding companies through the product development process. Artlink Central are now part of an innovative and collaborative enterprise community with a strong focus on health innovation and will also benefit from the University research community's extensive expertise in dementia and social care.”

The creativity kit is currently being tested in 20 care homes and will be launched in summer 2016.


Media contact:
Lesley Wilkinson

Notes to Editors

Stirling University Innovation Park

Stirling University Innovation Park aims to stimulate innovation, product and process development and technology transfer within firms in Scotland. Through assisting companies to establish a continuous improvement culture, the Innovation Park promotes enhanced growth, competitiveness, creativity, customer satisfaction and market share, both nationally and internationally. For further information on the Park please visit
You can also follow the Park on twitter @suipltd and Facebook.

Artlink Central

Artlink Central is a charity and social enterprise that specialises in designing creative experiences in conjunction with artists, public bodies and led by disadvantaged or marginalised people particularly in health, social care and justice contexts. It operates within a wide range of institutional and community-based settings (from care homes to prisons) and across art forms, working closely with artists, statutory and voluntary sector and the people who access its programmes. For further information see:


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Call for Artists for Stirling School Transitions Programme

We are seeking artists from all arts forms: visual arts, drama, dance, photography, film, music, crafts and digital arts for our Arts and Transition projects in Stirling Council Schools

As part of Artlink Central’s work with Stirling Council there is the opportunity for primary seven pupils, with additional support needs, which it is felt would benefit from additional support in their transition from primary to high school to participate in an arts based project in their future high school.

This will be in addition to the usual high school’s transition programme. The focus of these transitions is to develop relationships with peers; developing relationships with staff at secondary school and a willingness to attend and participate

This year, Artlink Central has invited the learning communities to decide the theme of their programme and the art form.

The young people participating in the project are aged between 10-12 in P7 of primary school, although there will be high schools pupils participating.  All participants have additional support needs and have been identified through the staged intervention framework, this means a number of processes have been put in place to meet learning needs of children and young people.    

The arts and transition artist are expected to deliver the following:

·         To develop and deliver 7 arts based sessions for up to ten children in a high school setting, working closely with the identified learning community to meet their aspirations on theme and format.

·         To facilitate the young people to create a final product(s) to exhibition level and to install within the school.

·         To develop the programme taking into account the individual needs of participants and their learning outcomes and access needs. 

·         To administrate the evaluation process from start to finish, ensuring all information as identified by the programme manager is completed.

·         To complete a self reflective evaluation process of their own processes as an artist.

·         To purchase and supply materials for delivery and exhibition. (budget supplied)  

Artists should have experience of delivering in participatory settings.  Ideally you will have experience of working with young people, and or additional support needs.  The additional needs can include complex needs, autism, global learning needs, social and emotional behavioural needs. Artists should be able to create a workshop plan that is flexible in its nature.  The artist will be supported in the project by a member of staff from the participating high school.

Although dates are still being finalised all projects will be delivered in school hours, most likely in the weeks between 15th February to 1st April 2016, with installs in June 2016.

There will be 9 projects delivered in 7 high schools across Stirling local authority, the locations include: Stirling:  Stirling High, Wallace High, St Modan’s, Ochil House (Wallace) and Autism Base (St Modan’s);   Bannockburn: Bannockburn High;  Balfron: Balfron HighCallander: McLaren High;   Dunblane: Dunblane High


·         The fee for seven workshops is £130 per day including prep and travel

·         There is an additional £130 available for install of the exhibition

·         There is six days at £75 per day to allow for administration, prep and finishing.

·         There are two meetings allocated at £50

·         Travel is inclusive in the fee.

·         There is a £100 materials budget.

Total Fee: £1’590 plus materials refunded via receipts.

How to apply?  Please send a CV (2 Pages) and a short artists statement about your practice and your experience of delivering in a participatory settings, and participant groups you have worked with.  You are welcome to submit images.   Please email to by Monday 4th January by 5pm


Interview date: Friday 15th January at Artlink Central office



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Christmas Fair - Success and Thanks

Artlink Central is delighted to have raised nearly £3,000 at the Green Gallery Christmas Fair last weekend. Heartfelt thanks must go to Green Gallery owner, Becky Walker and her family, to the wonderful Artlink volunteers for their tremendous effort in the kitchen and on the door, and  to the businesses that generously supported the Pamper Prize Draw on Ladies Night, including:

One Allan Park Wellness Clinic

The Gleneagles Hotel

The Meadowpark

The Rainbow Room

Bridge of Allan Sports Club



Craft Scotland meet your maker opportunity

Apply for Meet Your Maker with Artlink Central, Stirling

Deadline: extended till 7th December 2015

Location: HMP & YOI Corton Vale, Stirling FK9 5NU


Phone: 0131 466 3870


In 2015/16 we have offered venues and other settings the opportunity to host and run their own Meet Your Maker programmes, and we are currently looking for four makers to take part in a pilot programme at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) and Young Offenders Institution (YOI) Cornton Vale in Stirling, as part of Artlink Central’s Freedom to Create programme.

Artlink Central has worked in HMP and YOI Cornton Vale for nearly twenty years. The three year Freedom to Create programme has offered socially engaged artists the opportunity to develop women-centred cross-art form practice in partnership with Scottish Prison Service and New College Lanarkshire who operate the education service in the prison. The Freedom to Create programme is funded by Creative Scotland, The Robertson Trust and The VOLANT Charitable Trust through Foundation Scotland. The programme has been highlighted as a case study in a recent King’s College Cultural Enquiry into the value of cultural partnerships.

For Meet Your Maker, Artlink Central would like to host four makers across four days in January 2016 to showcase their work and demonstrate their craft. The prison will host one maker each week, and is looking for makers who have a strong individual contemporary style, and who are able to demonstrate and communicate their making skills. The selection will be judged on the quality of the work and how the work fits within the broader selection of makers nationwide. Makers will be supported to prepare for their session and will be supported by one of the Freedom to Create artists. This is an opportunity for makers who are new to the field of criminal justice, but have good transferrable skills from other settings.

Meet Your Maker at Cornton Vale will take place over four weeks, with dates to be confirmed for January 2016. We will host an introductory session to meet the team and support planning and preparation. The venue requires makers to be present from 8.30am to 5pm each day.

The deadline for receipt of applications to take part in this event is 5pm on Monday 7th December 2015

For full submission guidelines and to apply for Meet Your Maker with Artlink Central, please download the application pack. Please read the application guidelines carefully before filling out the application form. Download and complete the application form and Equal Opportunities form when you are ready.

All application forms should be saved as a PDF and returned by email. The 'Submit Form' button will not send your application form. Please note: you will need Adobe Reader to read and complete the application form. This is free software, and you can download the latest version of Adobe Reader here:

We are unable to accept ANY incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline. These will not be considered.

To find out more about Craft Scotland's Meet Your Maker programme, please visit

Should you have any questions regarding the programme or the application process, please direct them to Natasha McLaughlin, Project Assistant at or on 0131 466 3870.



£1k for 10k – An artist and a volunteer run for cash for mental health and arts

Two local creatives entrepreneurs have raised a cool £1000 running in the Great Scottish Race for Artlink Central.

 Lesley Anne and Alison have never run a £10k race before, but set themselves the challenge and a target of £1000 to support Artlink Central’s vital work with people experiencing mental health issues. The Artspace programme gives people who are experiencing mental health problems a safe space to meet and take part in creative art sessions. They can self-refer or are referred by a GP , health or social work professional. Participants set their own goals which can relate to reducing isolation, improving their confidence or wellbeing and increasing their arts skills.

Local Grangemouth artist Lesley Anne Derks has run Artspace, Artlink Central’s arts prescription service for mental health and supported our schools programmes for many years and Alison Wardop of Milton of Campsie, has volunteered and worked with Artlink Central on a number of projects.

Lesley Anne Derks and Alison Wardrop running for Artlink Central

Lesley Anne Derks and Alison Wardrop running for Artlink Central


Alison Wardrop said:

“Lesley Anne and I decided to take on a truly epic challenge. We have thrown down the gauntlet by running the Glasgow 10K. We took on this mighty feat in the aid of a special charity that is very close to our hearts.
Artlink Central is an arts organisation providing access to the arts across communities in schools, hospitals and community spaces to support people with mental health problems, disabled people and other marginalised communities to experience the arts through opening opportunities for learning, expression and social inclusion.”
Kevin Harrison, Director of Artlink Central said,
“There is a genuine, positive impact when we are lucky enough to have donations to our charity and Lesley Ann and Alison have certainly put in a huge amount of effort and time to raise valuable funds for our work. We want to thank them and every friend, family member and associate that they encouraged to give through their stellar efforts.”


For more information about our Artspace mental health programme in Stirling please contact Catherine Middleton Findlay on 01786 450971.



Support Artlink Central with your Christmas Shopping in Green Gallery, Buchlyvie


Support Artlink Central with your Christmas Shopping in Green Gallery, Buchlyvie

Please join Artlink Central at the Green Gallery Christmas Fair this weekend, 28th – 29th November, 10am – 4pm.

Discover an array of beautiful and unique handcrafts, homewares, gifts, fashion and accessories by local crafts people and traders. Over twenty stalls are presented throughout the stunning gallery and the adjoining farmhouse. The £5 entrance fee (kids free) includes teas, coffees and gorgeous homebaking served in the inviting kitchen and dining room. 

Invitation to Green Gallery Christmas Fair

Cards by Ingrid Petrie will be on sale

Cards by Ingrid Petrie will be on sale

Ladies Night on Friday 27th November, 7-9pm, is a real treat with festive bubbly and gorgeous nibbles served while you shop and catch up with friends. The £8 entrance fee includes a ticket in a spectacular ‘pamper lucky dip’ with beautiful pampering prizes from some leading retailers, restaurants and health and beauty salons.

Handmade high quality stock card decorations produced by Artlink staff, artists and volunteers on our Cricut with card donated generously by D & G Smith in Hull.

Handmade high quality stock card decorations produced by Artlink staff, artists and volunteers on our Cricut with card donated generously by D & G Smith in Hull.

The Green Gallery can be found just off the Main Street at Buchlyvie. All proceeds of the weekend support Artlink Central’s ongoing programmes for people experiencing illness, disability or disadvantage.

For more information please contact Fiona Taylor, Artlink Central, 01786 450971 / 07515 168224

Green Gallery, The Coachhouse, Ballamenoch, Buchlyvie, Stirlingshire FK8 3NX tel: 01360 850180


Notice of Annual General Meeting


Notice of Annual General Meeting

Artlink Central's Board of Trustees hereby give notice of our Annual General Meeting.


TO BE HELD ON Tuesday 24th November 2015

AT 6.00 pm Dumyat Suite, Scion House, Innovation Park, Stirling University

Refreshments will be served and there will be a chance to meet staff and trustees.

There will be short presentations of our work of the last year. Please feel free to attend. Estimated to last approximately 1 hour.

If you would like to attend then please let us know at or call 01786 450971 so we can produce papers for you on the night.


Artlink Central | Cowane Centre, Cowane Street, Stirling FK8 1JP
Telephone: 01786 450971 | Email:
Registered Scottish Charity No. SC008158