Although the Govanhill Baths Community Trust (GBCT) is still a long way off from achieving the ultimate aim of a fully integrated ‘Wellbeing Centre’, they have made significant achievements towards this goal. One key element of the importance of the Baths to Govanhill was that it brought together the richly-diverse community into a facility that they could share.
Since the opening of the centre in February 2012, the community meeting room, the workshop space and community kitchen have been used extensively by a wide range of groups, reflecting the cultural, ethnic and social diversity of Govanhill. There are 57 different organisations using the spaces. These range from craft groups such as ‘Cast-Offs’, the weekly knitting and crocheting group, to church groups, such as a Romanian Christian group and a Hindu prayer meeting. A partnership with Castlemilk Law Centre provides much needed welfare and financial advice.
The Trust’s own community programme, taking in cooking classes; yoga sessions; the ‘Rags to Riches’ upcycling project; the Emporium charity shop; and other health related activities, has successfully reached out to the locals, offering many people a step back into their community, building confidence and skills. These aspects of GBCT’s activities have recruited volunteers who go on to add to the range of assets and skills we have at our disposal.
However, ticking the box for community use or the sharing of the space by diverse groups, is only a small, if significant, step.
The future lies in realising the goal of a Wellbeing Centre, a community resource that caters for the social, mental and physical health of the community. This development will restore the swimming pools and Turkish baths to their former glory, establish a permanent arts and events space in the Steamie (the former public laundry), and create indoor and outdoor gardens on the upper floor and roof of Govanhill Baths.
For more information please download pdf Our Future