Detroit, Glasgow Kolkata

Govanhill Baths is happy to be participating in an upcoming free event that examines the relationships to land and connecting voices in Detroit, Glasgow, and Kolkata (formerly Calcutta)  to explore pluralities and common areas of concern in community development and organising, strategic activism, and cultural sustainability at neighbourhood level.

The event takes place online on Saturday 12 June, 12:00 to 2:30pm.

Click to find out more and book a free space. 

Three localities across the world with varying commonalities and historic connections come together. Despite their uniqueness, there is much to tell, share and (un)learn from. This project seeks to provide a context to meet, exchange and listen. Conversations will delve into deep community wisdom, knowledge and lived experience. The discourse will shed light on nuanced and often complex relationships to land.

Other contributors:
Eastside Community Network

Based in Detroit’s Eastside, the Eastside Community Network spearheads initiatives that promote social cohesion, neighbourhood sustainability, community participation, and resident empowerment.

The ECN’s team implements and facilitates programs and projects to support the local community, with a specific focus on climate equity, community organising & planning, business & economic development, youth development, and wellness & resilience hubs.

The ECN’s own podcast Authentically Detroit, hosted by Donna Givens Davidson and Orlando Bailey, takes a comprehensive look at contemporary issues such as housing, spatial racism, economic development, neighbourhood planning, self-care, and community trauma, and how they impact Detroit.

Southern Avenue street vendors with Mansara

Mansara, Centre for Study, Conservation, and Development of the Built Heritage – a non-government organisation based in Kolkata, seeks to bring out the complex relationship around the use, ownership, and dispute over land, both urban and rural, through engagement and amplification of people’s voices. The overall objective of Mansara is to provide support to projects related to education, research, planning, and management of sustainable services and infrastructural development (both rural and urban) in the social sector, along with research, development, and conservation of historic sites, housing, and environment.

Happy Volunteers’ Week to all of our wonderful volunteers!

Govanhill Baths thanks all the volunteers who have helped us in this very difficult year and to all who have been in touch are now able to bring their time and dedication to helping the fantastic Govanhill Baths Community.

Click to view some information on volunteering with Govanhill Baths.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please get in touch and email


We are happy to announce the chosen illustrator of our recent open call to create an illustration of the Battle of Calder Street.

We had almost 60 submissions and after a tough decision-making process we chose Aoife O’Toole to carry out the commission.

Aoife will create an illustration of the moment in 2001 when police used greatly disproportionate force to evict protesters from the Baths’ building.

The illustration will feature in a new book about the history of Govanhill Baths by local historian Bruce Downie. The book will be launched at Govanhill International Festival and Carnival in August. It is a follow-up to Bruce’s book “Loved and Lost: Govanhill’s Built Heritage”, which takes us on a journey through the ever-changing landscape of Govanhill. Click to view it in our online shop.

Aoife O’Toole (AKA DJ Egg) is an illustrator and creative designer from Co. Kildare, Ireland and is now based in the southside of Glasgow. They get their inspiration from music and community and are constantly between the lines of sharing music and creating art. They are resident DJs of @hausofsidhe drag collective and have a monthly show on Dublin Digital Radio. Their work is inspired by personal experience, memories and the people around them.

Click to view their Instagram account.

Line drawing of two people embracing on a sofa

Graffiti portrait of George Floyd with text "I can't breathe"

Combating racism is something which should matter to all of us and is central to the work and principles of Govanhill Baths and all that we do. We recognise our role in Govanhill in combatting racism, bigotry and discrimination, and working with others to aid the defeat of such prejudice.

We define ourselves by a commitment to anti-racism in everything we say and do. We stand in solidarity and common cause with all those in Govanhill and beyond who share such similar values. Central to this is listening to the voices of black and ethnic minority individuals and communities and understanding their experiences.

We stand for a Govanhill without racism, discrimination and prejudice and will work with others to aid bringing this about. We invite others to work with us to bring about a world defined by equality, justice, and respect for all. Together we know that we are stronger and that what unites us is more important than what divides us.


Click to download our antiracism poster.



Aboveis a new video of the Glasgow Southside Socialist Choir singing “Song for George Floyd”.

Song For George Floyd

lyrics by D. Lees and L. McKinnon. Melody originally from the song ‘Joe Hill.’

I dreamed I saw George Floyd last night
Alive as you and me
For though they took the breath from him
I never died, said he
I never died, said he

From Minnesota to Kirkcaldy
we sing all their names
for George is one of many who
died at the hands of hate
died at the hands of hate

Racist coppers killed you George
pinned you to the ground
And when you died, across the world
The voice of justice sounds
The voice of justice sounds

[humming verse]

From New York to Glasgow Green
In every street and square
We take the knee, we stand our ground
Your spirit lingers there
Your spirit lingers there

For George and for
all of the names
rise and heed the call
for there can be no peace until
there’s justice for us all
there’s justice for us all

Our Wellbeing, Arts and Health programme in partnership with Govanhill Doctors Surgery is currently piloting a 6-month social prescribing initiative.

Throughout lockdown we’ve been working with Community Link Practitioners to create arts and crafts, gardening and wellbeing packs for patients.

We’re now running two tailored classes and have commissioned custom-made distraction boxes for anyone using self-harm as a coping mechanism:

Social Prescribing Walking Group (weekly on a Friday)

Gentle outdoor exercises with a friendly group of people. Also learn more about birds, trees and plants as you walk. Walks will be both on and off paths.

Social Prescribing Gardening Group (weekly on a Saturday)

Gentle morning of gardening, chatting round a fire or walking in the nearby woods. For anyone new or experienced in gardening, whether for growing your food or to spend more time outside.

Distraction Boxes: (Designed by artist Sarah Leal)

Sarah says: “I have based this box around the concept of wellbeing. Now what is wellbeing? It really compromises two things, one is feeling good and the other one is functioning well. They sound pretty simple and straightforward but most human beings will admit that they are far from being simple. Personally, what makes me feel good and function well is a combination of little things which include self care, connecting with myself and others, being active and learning.”

The box contains different tips, objects, words and kindness to help people understand what it is that they enjoy doing or making, what makes them feel hopeful.

To book onto any of these activities, people speak to their Community Link Practitioner at Govanhill Doctors Surgery, or email to self refer.

Here is some text that you could share about Community Link Practitioner’s and how to access them

About Community Links Practitioners

Community Links Practitioners  work with people to help them address the issues that matter to them. They find out what’s happening in the community and can help people to access services, support or activities that might be of interest to them. They talk about what is going on in a person’s life, taking the time to listen and identify concerns or issues. Practitioners can discuss what’s in a person’s area and whether they’d like to access anything.

To meet a Community Links Practitioner, people should ask the GP, nurse or receptionist at Govanhill Doctors Surgery to make an appointment.

Community Links Practitioners are based in Govanhill Health Centre Practice A, B and C.

Click to view Practice B’s Facebook page

Click to view Practice C’s Facebook page

(Practice A doesn’t have a page yet.)

Click for more information on Govanhill Baths’ Wellbeing, Arts and Health Programme.


The community banner (above), made for last year’s Govanhill International Festival made by local artist Sarah Leal and over 40 members of the community, is now on display in Practice A of Govanhill Doctors Surgery. There will be some newly commissioned Art going up in the surgery over the coming months.

We have five vacancies for artists or creative practitioners to help deliver an exciting new arts programme as part of the national Culture Collective project of Creative Scotland!

In response to the ravaging effect that COVID-19 has had on the creative sector, Govanhill Baths Community Trust (GBCT) will provide stable PAYE employment to five artists for 12 months to embed them within the Govanhill community. Each of the artists will be paired with a community group, to co-design and co-create an artistic programme of work over the course of a year, as part of GBCT’s Occupy, Create, Resist! Programme.

Govanhill Baths has a unique history of working collectively to inspire social change, with art and creativity at the heart of our approach. These new roles come at an exciting time for Govanhill Baths. 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the community occupation of the Govanhill Baths building, the longest occupation of a public building in British history and what led to the creation of Govanhill Baths Community Trust.

The re-opening of the Govanhill Baths building as a community-led Wellbeing Centre is due to take place in Summer 2022 following major capital redevelopment. Creativity and art play a key role in the vision for the Centre.

The closing date for applications is Monday 7th of June.

Click for more information 

This last year has been an overwhelming whirlwind. Some of us might have had, or still do, very strong feelings that are difficult to put into words and handle even in the best of times. There are different coping mechanisms that people might use in to try and control these feelings or express them.

Govanhill Baths Community Trust, in collaboration with Govanhill Health Centre Practice A, has commissioned artist Sarah Leal Studio to create distraction boxes for people who self-harm. A distraction box is something that allows you to distract yourself from how you are feeling.

We would like to include in each of these boxes a note from a stranger. A note to show that we are not alone, and that we care for each other in our community. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of kindness to change someone’s perspective.

You can write a paragraph or a letter (one page only please) and post it to:  Govanhill Baths Community Trust, 126 Calder Street, Glasgow G42 7RA. Please mark the envelope “A letter from a stranger” for the attention of Joanna Young.  You can also drop it off through our letterbox,  or send an email to with the subject “A letter from a stranger”.

Self-harm can be a very lonely and isolating experience, which is why we want to pass on these letters of support. If you or someone you know is currently using self-harm you can find support and advice with the following websites and helplines:

NHS Mental Health Information: Self-Harm
Mind Charity: Information on Self-Harm


Young Minds: provides information on coping with self-harm and suicidal feelings. Crisis Text service is also available 24/7 . Text YM to 85258 and a Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544 Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 4:00pm.

Self-Injury UK: Telephone  Helpline – 0808 800 8088. For women of any age or background affected by self-injury, whether their own or that of a friend or family member. Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 7:00pm – 9.30pm.

Samaritans: Telephone Helpline 116 123. A free and confidential support to anyone, any age. Call any time day or night.

Breathing Space: Telephone Helpline 0800 83 85 87. A free confidential phone and web-based service for people experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety. Monday to Thursday 6:00pm – 2:00pm, and weekends Friday 6:00pm to Monday 6:00am.

Keeping Safe

Remember, if you are concerned about an individual’s mental health and wellbeing and feel they may be in distress, their doctor should be the first point of contact. If you feel the individual is in immediate danger, please call 999.


Govanhill Baths Community Trust is an activist-based organisation run from and by the grassroots of our community. We were formed from two community campaigns against closures of public services, Southside Against Closures and Save Our Pool. We have shown by example, over years, the effectiveness of genuine community-led action.

As such, we offer our full solidarity to campaigns across Glasgow currently fighting to save their vital cultural and sports resources. These services are not a luxury, they are at the heart of any cohesive community. Our community assets should not be regarded as a cost to the public purse but an investment in the health and wellbeing of our community for generations to come.

We will stand in solidarity with these communities and offer our help in any practical way that we can.

Please get in touch and let us know if there is anything we can do to support your local campaign.

Contact our Community Engagement Officer Alexandra at

Please click for the poster we are sponsoring in support of the Save Our Libraries campaign.

Click to visit Save Glasgow Libraries’ Twitter account.


This year our upcycling social enterprise Rags to Riches is taking part in the worldwide campaign Fashion Revolution. With its brand of workshops and products, they consistently aim to highlight the plight that waste has on our environment and its effect on climate change.

The number of garments produced annually has doubled since 2000 and exceeded 100 billion for the first time in 2014. An estimated 92 million tons of textile waste is created annually from the fashion industry. Shockingly, every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned globally.

Fashion Revolution was founded in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, when a building with a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed killing over 1,000 people and injuring 2,500.

Fashion Revolution has become the world’s largest fashion activism movement, mobilising citizens, industry and policymakers through our research, education and advocacy work.

So to take action, get involved and join the conversation.

Rags to Riches is running the following events:

Who Made your Clothes?
Zoom Discussion with Gail Power Design
Monday 19th April -8pm
Join the conversation and hear about Gail’s journey as a textile upcycler and tutor. Get inspiration, tips and tricks to create an upcycled garment to enter in our competition.

Did You Make Your Clothes?
Upcycled Fashion Competition
Deadline Sunday 25th April – 5pm

Take part in our upcycled garment competition, use tools and materials you have in the house to create a spectacular, showstopper upcycled garment and win a fabulous prize.

Garment Showcase
Rags to Riches Big Zero Waste Market
Saturday 1st May – 11 am to 4pm
The winning 3 garments will be showcased at the Deep End during our Big Zero Waste Market.

Click to learn more on Facebook.

Click to visit Fashion Revolution website.

The Big Waste Zero Market will be held on the first Saturday of every month. The next one will be on 1st May, 11:00am to 4:00pm, at The Deep End, 21 Nithsdale Street, Glasgow G41 2PZ.

From innovative zero-waste design and creative collectors to vintage, antiques and hidden treasure, everything sold is made from waste, upcycled or secondhand.

Join and celebrate that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!

Click to learn more on our Facebook page.