Buddy Beat Wins National ‘Epic Award’

Paisley based community drumming group The Buddy Beat has won a national voluntary art award. They have been announced as the winners of The Scottish Epic Awards 2011 for their inspiring film “Keep the Beat…Our Journey in Rhythm.”
The Buddy Beat is an adult drumming group for people with mental health issues, born out of a musical making project at Paisley’s Dykebar Hospital and was created by Lead Occupational Therapist Jeanette Allan, Karen Auld, Senior Occupational Therapist and Community Musician Dr. Jane Bentley. Created to promote social inclusion, its aim has always been to involve people at all stages of their mental health journeys, from the hospital ward to the wider community.

Buddy Beat group has gone from strength to strength and have played at more than 100 events from as far as London to Edinburgh. The group decided to tell the story of its members by means of a short video documentary, hoping this would not only tell their own story, but encourage others to get involved in arts activity for the sake of their own mental health.
The entire process took five months to complete and the film was privately shown to the group in December 2010 and then at a premiere event and in April 2011 attended by around 100 invited guests including councilors, health workers, family & friends.
The film has taken on a life of its own, leading to further partnerships between the group and several organizations. It has been sent out in newsletters and shown at conferences (of both health and arts organizations) and used in professional training to broaden engagement with arts practice.
Community Musician Jane Bentley’s response to the award: “Buddy Beat was initially set up as a social inclusion project –– and you can’t get more inclusive than winning a national arts award! It’s a real testament to the tenacity and enthusiasm of the group members, who funded the film project by their own efforts, as well as developing the courage to tell their own stories.”
Buddy Beat member Tom Chalmers was heavily involved in the film making process. “I have never done anything like that before. There was a tremendous amount to take in, I was interviewer, interviewee, narrator, location manager, producer, wardrobe – you name it I did it! When I first heard about the awards I was told we had made the final six which stunned me, but then when we got that magic call to say that we had won The Scottish Epic Award I just couldn’t believe it and I was on such a high. My head was somewhere between Saturn and Mars, and I don’t think I have come back down to orbit yet. When I see the film I am immensely proud of it, and it was the willingness of my fellow drummers to take part that makes it so special. Like the rest of our great group, I am totally thrilled at this honour.”
Jeanette Allan, Lead OT is “delighted that Buddy Beat has gained the recognition it deserves and especially as the award is in main stream arts not mental health! The Buddy Beat model has been highlighted as a good practice example in a report ‘Realising Potential: our own and others’ being produced by Scottish Government. The model has also been adopted in Dundee who have their own group now called ‘Drumdee’. Buddy Beat are musicians in their own right, raising awareness by sharing their recovery stories and are an amazing group of people who continue to support new people into the group. Some members are now workshop assistants coming back into Dykebar to deliver sessions.
You can learn more about Buddy Beat and gain the link for the film at

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How to Vote for Paisley on the web

Here is a video tutorial showing you how to register and vote for Paisley on the web on the RBS Community Force website, its step by step so please pause it if necessary, your vote really does matter to our organisation for some desperately needed equipment to promote the town of Paisley, its events, its buildings and its people.

The RBS Page direct link is here 

but please follow this video which is much easier. Read more

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Glasgow’s airport scoops top national award

Glasgow’s airport scoops top national award

Glasgow Airport was last night crowned Best Airport in front of its peers at a prestigious awards ceremony in London.

The annual Airport Operators Association (AOA) Awards recognise excellence in a number of areas, and attract hundreds of senior delegates from UK airports and associated businesses.

Glasgow Airport was named Best Airport With Over 6 Million Passengers, for which Manchester and Birmingham airports were also nominated.

The award was voted for by major UK airlines which are members of the British Air Transport Association (BATA).

Terminal Operations Manager Ronald Leitch received the award from Simon Calder, Travel Editor of the Independent and a well-known media commentator on travel and aviation.

Amanda McMillan, Managing Director of Glasgow Airport, said: “It is a great honour to be recognised in this way by the airlines who use our airport every day. The award is testament to the fantastic effort that our terminal and airfield teams put in when they come to work.

“We have faced some difficult operational challenges this year such as the prolonged cold snap and volcanic ash disruption, but the response from our people was exceptional.

“I’m sure the focus on supporting our airlines and working as a team to provide the best possible product for our passengers has helped us in winning this award.”

Simon Buck, Chief Executive of BATA, said: “BATA is again pleased to be nominating the two ‘Best Airport’ awards. Both categories were extremely competitive and the winners well deserved.

“The strong field of nominees highlights the good working relationships that exist between UK airlines and airports.”

The AOA Annual Awards Ceremony, which is the centrepiece of the AOA Annual Conference, took place on Monday evening at the Hilton Metropole London.

Newcastle Airport won the category of Best Airport With Up To 6 Million Passengers.

Picture shows (l – r) Ed Anderson, Ronald Leitch, Simon Buck and Simon Calder.