My name is Silvia and I am a community worker based in Glasgow, Scotland.
Originally, I am from Sicily (Italy) from where I take my bubbling personality. Since a young age, I have been interested in art, but in school I didn’t have the opportunity to explore it further.
When I moved to Glasgow in 2009 (for the weather of course!) I decided to finally fulfill my biggest desire and I enrolled in an Art course. That's when I started my creative journey.
My decision to study art was not met with enthusiasm, but I did not give up and I followed my heart.
Now here I am the founder of ARTernative
I started ARTernative after volunteering in Guatemala where I saw the amazing impact art made in people's lives. I wanted to continue to use art as a tool to facilitate expression, resilience, understanding and kindness.
“There must be a creative alternative to problems” that’s how the name ARTernative came about.
I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.
I successfully completed the HND in Visual Communication in 2013. In 2014 I joined the 3rd year university course in BA Graphic Design for Digital Media in GCU.
I have learned so much from studying art. It helped me to develop my problem-solving skills. Art taught me that things never turn out the way we picture them in our mind and that we have to spent lot of time trying to find creative solutions to make things work. However, the outcome is still something special.
While studying, I volunteered in different community art projects. I also received some grants to deliver my own short projects with young people.
I really wanted to combine my passion for art to my other passion: helping others. As a result, I attended a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Learning and Development, 2015.
After this postgraduate I decided to challenge myself further, and I volunteered in Guatemala for a year with Street Kids Direct. We worked with people living on the street (addicted to solvents) and those in rehab centre. I managed to secure a grant and I created a “Art First Aid Kit". We reached out to people in the street and invited them to focus on something positive and creative. In rehab centre we focused on strengthening the path ahead. We delivered a fantastic art project with the support of many amazing people.
This experience was very impactful in many levels. Especially, it motivated me to further educate myself. I attended a three years long distance degree in Art Therapy which I completed in 2019.
While studying I have been working in many different community projects in Scotland, including:
Youth, Family and CLD Worker for East Kilbride Universal Connections (South Lanarkshire Council) responsible for DofE, Arts4All (Art with ASN Adults and their carers), host and organizer of the local network which I created from scratch and more.
Family Service for Central West Integration Network, responsible to deliver family activities with refugees and asylum seekers
Group Work Leader for YPeople, designed and delivered emotional wellbeing projects in secondary schools
Inclusion worker for Fuse Youth Cafe, delivered wellbeing project for young people at risk of social exclusion
In 2017 I founded ARTernative and now I am fully dedicating myself to it, because I believe we need to start making radical changes in our society, and creativity can support that change.
Training and Other Qualification
Currently, I am undertaking training in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and Mindfulness Teaching.
In the years I have been attending numerous training, such us:
Teaching Self-Compassion to children and young people
PIE (psychologically informed environments)
Working with challenging behaviors
I am a fully certified Lowland Leader (Mountain Training) and Cyclist Leader. Moreover, I have a valid Outdoor First Aid certificate.