Celebrating our 25th Birthday

Around 150 people turned out Thursday night for a showcase event at the award-winning Forth Valley College, Stirling campus, to celebrate 25 years of popular local charity Artlink Central.

Artlink Central is well-known for its work across Forth Valley with people in prison, hospitals, schools and communities who face barriers to expressing themselves, to their health and wellbeing or to their learning.

Artlink Central took the opportunity of its 25th Birthday to present a showcase exhibition highlighting the broad range of creative and engaging, participatory projects it delivers.

Guests listen as Chair Anita Smiley addresses the gathering

Guests listen as Chair Anita Smiley addresses the gathering

The event, hosted by Artlink’s Patron and much-loved children’s author Julia Donaldson and the company’s Board of Trustees, was attended by Stirling Provost Mike Robbins, NHS Forth Valley Chairman Alex Linkston, funders, donors and supporters and an array of local artists and project participants.

NHS Forth Valley Chair Alex Linkston talks about the role Artlink Central plays in healthcare

NHS Forth Valley Chair Alex Linkston talks about the role Artlink Central plays in healthcare

A highlight of the evening was a musical performance by members of Artlink’s Artreach programme for adults with learning disabilities. The group, lead by Artlink artist Claire Doherty, performed Sounds of Freewheeling, a five minute piece they wrote and rehearsed specially for Thursday night’s celebrations.

Guests were moved and inspired by a speech by Artlink participant, 19 year old Lauren Bremner , who shared her story with an enthralled audience. Lauren described her involvement with Artlink as ‘a lifeline’ which has helped her overcome the lasting impact of a road accident at the age of 11. Through working closely with Artlink artists, Lauren spoke of how she has developed a new way to express herself, found direction and been able to see a future for herself as an artist.

The evening was topped off with a rousing performance by Julia Donaldson and her husband Malcolm, of an original tribute to Artlink Central’s most dedicated volunteer, Mrs Carol Seymour of Arnprior. To the tune of Davey Crockett, Julia had the whole audience joining in for the chorus of “Carol....Carol Seymour...the Queen of the volunteers” and was a wonderfully fitting was to recognise the 20 years of tireless service that Carol has given to Artlink, all in a voluntary capacity.

Malcolm Donaldson accompanies our Patron, Julia Donaldson in her rendition of 'Queen of the Volunteers' celebrating twenty years of dedication by our own Carol Seymour

Malcolm Donaldson accompanies our Patron, Julia Donaldson in her rendition of 'Queen of the Volunteers' celebrating twenty years of dedication by our own Carol Seymour

Julia Donaldson, Carol Seymour and Kevin Harrison celebrate twenty five years of Artlink Central and Carol's massive contribution to Artlink Central's success.  

Julia Donaldson, Carol Seymour and Kevin Harrison celebrate twenty five years of Artlink Central and Carol's massive contribution to Artlink Central's success.  

Director of Artlink Central, Kevin Harrison, said

“The opportunity to bring together everyone who shares our commitment to using the arts to make a difference to people’s lives on our silver anniversary was generously supported by artists, funders, participants and current and ex-staff and board members. We were delighted to bring our supporters and work together in a stunning location with wonderful contributions from speakers and performers. It was truly a wonderful evening for all involved with Artlink Central.”

David McQuatt1 Comment