Creative Citizens Project: In Cahootz, Glasgow

Fund: Business Support in Scotland
Amount:  n/a
When: 2015
Region: Scotland
How the money was used:
  • Developing a business plan
  • Facilitated workshops

In Cahootz is a charity and company limited by guarantee which uses the arts as the main tool to create a safe, productive and creative environment, devising issue-based theatre and training to support marginalised people, particularly those who are recovering from addiction, who are or have been homeless, have been involved with the criminal justice system or who are otherwise socially isolated.

Social Impact

The Creative Citizens Project, which forms the largest element of In Cahootz’ work, grew out of work focused on tackling sectarianism working with marginalised people who attended different recovery projects and rehabilitation centres in Glasgow.  Today, Creative Citizens works with around 30 people at any one time (around 140 in a year) and produces 2 major theatrical events each year as well as drama workshops and creative writing workshops focusing on important and current issues and production skills development. The project works closely with a number of addiction and homeless services. The project is very much led by and influenced by its participants, who take the lead in many aspects of the project’s work.

How we helped

The support provided was to assist the project to produce their first ever business plan, helping them to identify the way forward for the project for the next 3 years, to enable the project to develop at an appropriate pace and in a way that could be manageable and sustainable. It needed also to help to frame and support funding applications.

Recognising the importance of the process, we worked with the key staff members through a series of meetings and held a workshop with the project’s advisory group. Creative Citizens key staff also ensured regular feedback was given to the advisory group and ensured that there was significant input from participants. The process supported the development of a document which should assist Creative Citizens in future funding bids as well as helping them to identify and set out key issues for future progress.  We also met with the board of In Cahootz, who also inputted into the process, and provided them with a session on good governance and roles and responsibilities, which enabled them to identify issues for further board development and actions. In addition, and as an integral part of the process, we helped Creative Citizens to develop an approach to identification, recording and management of risk, a process that will be taken up by the board, and discussed possible funding options and approaches.  

What was the outcome?

The work progressed well, with all those involved engaging fully, and working hard to ensure that the final document would suit their needs. The board and advisory group were committed and involved and it was clear that the needs of and view of participants were fully included. With their current Lottery funding coming to an end, it will be important for Creative Citizens to seek replacement and additional funding. Following the support, Creative Citizens should be better placed to successfully apply for these resources.

"The vital thing for In Cahootz was to produce a Business Plan that truly reflected the needs of the participants of our Creative Citizens project.  Anne Brooks gave us excellent guidance in what should go into the plan and from this we discussed these areas with the participants, the Steering Group, the Board, and the staff.  We also identified some priority areas for us to focus on through these consultations and discussions, e.g. communications, fund-raising and creating a risk register.  Front line recovery workers also gave us feedback so that we could gauge how our activities complimented and augmented their work – which we now know that they do.

The result is we all have a very clear picture of what we want to do and how we will do this over the next three years.  The crucial element is how we can sustain our work and we have identified sources of income to support our vision of helping to build an empowered, creative and confident society. 

Anne’s guidance and advice have been invaluable throughout the whole process of writing our first Business Plan for Creative Citizens.”

Phyllis Steel, Company Manager


Photo by Rob Laughter on Unsplash

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