Merry Christmas from KPC
Merry Christmas, happy holidays and season’s greetings to all! It’s been quite the rollercoaster of a year at Kinning Park Complex. To see us off into 2019 we wanted to take a look back on some of the events and special occasions (as well as some of the disasters) that kept us on our toes, filled with community spirit, and grateful for everyone who has supported us over the last twelve months.
Much love from the KPC Team xx
We reopen on Monday 7th January.
Kicking off January 2018 with celebrations galore, we hosted a ceilidh to mark the graduation of Code Your Future’s class of 2017. The organisation does amazing work training refugees in web development, and it was a joy to join the students as they graduated, before welcoming a new class to to the course later in the month. In February we spent Galentine’s Day with Girls Rock, with a full all-ages fundraising day of young bands, karaoke, poetry and massages. We also held a particularly musical KPC Rummage, with generous donations of vinyl from Rubadub Records joining the usual jamboree of bargains, and screened the cult queer film Screaming Queens in support of LGBT History Month.
Little did we know the Beast From The East was about to shut us down, along with the entire country! As the temperatures dropped and the snowdrifts piled up, we stayed open for as long as we could, but had to cancel one of our Thursday community dinners due to adverse weather. Worse luck still, the building sustained some real damage: our roof caved in under the weight of the snow. This caused even more problems to our top floor, but galvanised Kinning Park Complex in our mission to buy and completely renovate the building.
Still, it’d take more than that to dampen our spirits, and spring came (albeit still cold and damp) with a smorgasbord of sensory delights! With Glasgow Film Festival screenings of Bride & Prejudice complete with Bollywood dancing lessons, Puppet Animation Festival performances for children, and Sensatronic Lab’s interactive workshops building accessible musical instruments for young people with additional support needs, there was something for everyone to get involved in. It wasn’t all fun and games, though - we also hosted the launch of Repair Cafe Glasgow, a brilliant group of make-do-and-menders dedicated to helping folk fix their broken household items.
But then: calamity. Just as we were finding our groove again, Kinning Park Complex suffered a break-in that did tremendous damage to the building. Our alarm system was ripped out of the wall, windows were broken, all of the doors inside damaged, and offices raided. Our donation boxes were destroyed and emptied. It was the worst possible setback in a mixed year of highs and lows. However, our community pulled through for us. As news of the break-in spread, our emergency fundraiser soon exceeded its £5000 target. It may have taken four months to get all the repairs done, but we couldn’t have done it without the love and support of the community, and we can’t express how thankful we are!
As a result, much of the summer was spent picking ourselves back up, but our regular community events - community lunches and dinners, Sunday Socials, bike repair workshops, yoga and children’s dance classes - all continued uninterrupted. We were even able to host workshops with Glasgow Science Festival, with families putting gravity to the test with home-made rockets, and Mind & Draw, a community art project helping people express themselves through creativity. KPC also pitched in with protests against the private housing provider Serco using the Home Office’s hostile environment policies to evict asylum seekers from their accommodation.
In September, KPC rang in Ethiopian New Year in style, with an Ethiopian meal, dancing, a traditional coffee ceremony and activities for the kids. September also saw the graduation of the 2018 class of Code Your Future, as well as the Conscious Catwalk. The day-long event brought together designers, community organisations and vintage clothing shops to discuss sustainability and ethics in fashion - all capped off with a fashion show of garments and looks put together by our very own KPCouturé.
Finally, November proved some kind of cosmic karma must be at work. At the tail end of a year featuring some very great setbacks, we were completely bowled over to secure almost £1.2 million in funding from the Scottish Land Fund and the Big Lottery Fund. This funding was secured through some very diligent work on the part of our entire management team, but is also a reflection of all of Kinning Park Complex’s members and volunteer’s unwavering support. Without everyone doing their bit to keep us going, we wouldn’t have been so lucky! The funding was marked by a visit by none other than Nicola Sturgeon. The First Minister took part in a community meal, met the team, and supported us in our ambitious fundraising campaign for 2019.
In late 2019, we’ll be temporarily shutting Kinning Park Complex. This is so we can take care of the storm-damaged hole in our roof, fix the electrics and heating, and refurbish other parts of the building. In the meantime, we’ll need support and funding while we move our community cafe to a temporary location. Hopefully, we’ll also be able to finally buy the building, so that future care and restoration can take place quicker and easier. This will also provide more opportunities for the community and our residents to guide us in supporting them. We would hugely appreciate it if you could keep us in mind over the holiday period, and keep supporting us throughout the new year!