AN innovative arts project is enabling the stories of sheltered housing tenants to be seen across Renfrewshire.

The initiative, dubbed 'We’re Still Here,' is being delivered by H-Arts and funded by Creative Scotland and aims to enable those who are shielding to reach out to the wider community through creative writing.

Led by the H-Arts team, tenants participated in a variety of workshops and performance projects through video technology, telephone calls and paper activity packs and are now seeing their work featured on billboards and bus stops across Renfrewshire.

Anne Quinn, who is a tenant at Fulbar Court, in Renfrew, is among those who have taken part in the project.

She said: “I can’t believe something I’ve written is on a billboard.”

For many tenants, one of the main benefits of the project has been learning how to use digital messaging and video call technology and they are now using those skills to keep in touch with loved ones.

The writing produced through We’re Still Here has also been developed into a book and showcased through an online event on Facebook.

Sally Logan, health and wellbeing co-ordinator for Renfrewshire Council, said: “The project was so worthwhile. It gave a purpose to many of our tenants living isolated from friends and families and, for some, it helped them through the grieving process of loved ones they have lost.

“Writing down their thoughts and feelings created a coping mechanism, so not only did the project give them something to focus on, it also helped to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

"It has left a long-lasting legacy for these tenants and their families.”

Karen Herbison, director of H-arts, added: “Working with Renfrewshire Sheltered Housing was vital to the project and it has been a true team effort.

"Together, we’ve managed to find some new writing talent – engaging those who hadn’t engaged with similar activities previously and introducing new technology.

"I’ve been so privileged to receive their creative work and stories. It’s been a true joy.”

The next phase of the project will see the work printed on postcards and posters that will be displayed at local shops and other Renfrewshire venues.

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire's communities, housing and planning policy board, said: “The past year has been incredibly challenging and this project has given our tenants an opportunity to engage with the community in new ways and provided the tools and resources to help them stay in touch with family and friends.

“Taking part in cultural activities has a positive effect on health and wellbeing and I’m glad our tenants were able to have a creative outlet during the lockdown period.

"Well done to everyone involved."

Work submitted by the tenants can be seen on billboards in Glasgow Road, Wellmeadow Street, Moss Street, Underwood Road, Gleniffer Road, Abercorn Street, Gauze Street and Gilmour Street, all in Paisley, as well as High Street, in Johnstone.