Villages drum up exhibition

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AN exhibition based on recently completed projects by communities around Peebles can be viewed at the Eastgate Theatre until July 18.

Scottish Borders Council’s LEADER programme awarded a grant to the theatre two years ago to create six outreach projects in surrounding villages.

It resulted in a host of visiting artists working with residents in Lamancha, Broughton, Caddonfoot and other villages, on projects ranging from printing to dancing to puppetry and African drumming.

The Eastgate’s outreach co-ordinator, Mandy Durkin said: “This has been a fantastic two years of creative activity.

“The communities involved have embraced every idea with energy and enthusiasm and the response has been terrific.”

Mandy was involved in the final dance project – This is Hafla – with Claire Garnett, the Peebles Players and Celia Buchan.

Claire added: “Celia really inspired them and all but one were up and dancing at every session. More joined until the group numbered nearly 50.

“We saw amazing development in many of our members and two girls who have been in wheelchairs for many years and whose carers have been working to get them out of the chairs and on their feet, with help, were both up dancing enthusiastically throughout. They were so happy and loved every minute of it.”

Interest Link, a befriending service for young people, took part in drumming sessions in the Big Beat.

Another initiative, Heading Upstream, helped Kingsland Primary School during themove to new premises. Primary six pupils made three large fish puppets which travelled around the new school accompanied by pupils drumming.

Teacher Catrina Stark: “I have noticed some really positive effects in my class from their drumming experience for the Kingsland performance. They have developed a real sense of being a team and are co-operating with one another so much better.”