Youngsters from Edinburgh creative hub release Shakin Stevens Christmas single through Reel Youth Media

Nora Winstanley, Bob Heatlie, Mhari Laidlaw, James Moran and Brad GibbNora Winstanley, Bob Heatlie, Mhari Laidlaw, James Moran and Brad Gibb
Nora Winstanley, Bob Heatlie, Mhari Laidlaw, James Moran and Brad Gibb
Reel Youth Media in collaboration with young people from Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre have produced their very own Christmas video of ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’.

The 1985 Christmas number one for Shakin’ Stevens, was picked by the youngsters, but unbeknownst to them at the time, the track was actually written by a son of Craigmillar, Bobby Heatlie

This is the first piece of work devised by the Goodtrees Creative Hub and features young singers and performers from Moredun and the surrounding areas.The project is part of Inspiring Scotland and is a component of the vision of the creative community programme implemented by the Scottish Government.

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Their aim is to target areas where arts engagement is limited whether due to geographical remoteness or deprivation in terms of social class..

Mhari Laidlaw, 17, the lead vocalist on the track from Liberton High School, said: “I am very happy to be involved with this project and really hope it can put a smile on peoples’ faces after a really hard year. Everyone at Goodtrees has been doing so much to support our local community and it is really special for me to be involved in this small way to bring a bit of fun and silliness at Christmas time. It has been lots of fun!”

The Goodtrees Creative Hub was funded by Inspiring Scotland’s ‘Creative Communities’ funding award which will see young creatives from Goodtrees devising a series of digital media projects with support from Reel Youth Media tutors.

Comment from Stephen Tierney, Reel Youth Media Project Coordinator: ““Following our funding award from Creative Communities, Reel Youth Media has begun work at Goodtrees producing some digital media to celebrate Xmas and spread a bit of fun across South East Edinburgh. Working with the young people who are delivering essential supplies to vulnerable families, they decided they wanted to make a xmas music video and ask folks to video themselves miming along, dressed up or do a silly dance and create a shared video piece.

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“Current Covid guidelines for youth work makes delivery a real challenge for engaging young people in creative projects. This remote video project was an ideal solution to get everyone involved and spread a bit of joy and fun across the Goodtrees Community. The young people have been great sports and, in between packing bags and delivering essential services for vulnerable families in the area, they have been getting their Santa hats on and making silly videos and helping to create our Xmas video.

Mhairi LaidlawMhairi Laidlaw
Mhairi Laidlaw

The song was selected by young people at Goodtrees and they had no idea that it was written by an Edinburgh native, local to Moredun.

Bob Heatlie, said: "It is excellent. Seeing what’s going on at Goodtrees has really restored my faith in humanity. It’s not even so much the singing but the passion behind it.

“It’s great seeing the young people getting involved in and their version of the song is really excellent.”Anyone wishing to view the music video and partake in some festive cheer can do so here.

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