On Tues 14th June, the DEEP gathering was on in Edinburgh and I (Paula) helped out with facilitation.
We arrived late on Monday night after a long day travelling and met with Agnes Houston, Paul Thomas, James McKillop and had a quick drink and planning session that ended at almost midnight and headed up for bed.
The next morning, we had an interesting detour around Cowgate via Greyfriars and old Edinburgh while we realised that the road we were walking along was actually underneath the one we wanted but as Agnes helpfully pointed out, we would never have seen the amazing Cowgate wall sculpture or mural without going this way. A quick taxi ride took us to Edinburgh Festival Theatre and we spent some time setting up and making up packs for the people coming along.
Around 40 people arrived over the next hour or so and enjoyed coffee/tea and breakfast in the cafe bar area before coming through and having a wonderful welcome from Philly Hare, Paul and Agnes.
I took along the DEEP poster of the Lazy Corner image we did with Norman at Blar Buidhe Care Centre in Stornoway. Everybody loved it when I told the story of how it was funded, the questions I brought to the DEEP gathering in Inverness and the process of conversations and decisions, designed colourwork and collaboration that took place before it could be printed.
We had a quick introduction session and made some notes about what is important to us and then talked about that as a group.
We took a group photograph and I took a little snap when everyone broke away from it for tea and cake.
The incredible SEWA group from Derby sang a gorgeous song they have composed about memory, everyone loved that. A very emotional song but performed with joy!
There was a little ceilidh in the foyer at the end of the day, Paul played and sang and there was plenty of dancing! Cathy couldn’t make this gathering, so all of her friends made her a little video to say hello.
Everyone planned what to do with a pot of funding, which was agreed to be spent on more gatherings. Community, friendship and togetherness were strong themes throughout the day. Archie invited everyone to the Western Isles 🙂
Well done to everyone who came along, planned and worked so hard to make this happen and thanks to all of the funders and organisations involved. It felt powerful in the theatre. Strong. And joyful.