"Make It Happen Angus!" Community Café Initiative (June 2016 - ongoing)

 Our Facebook page: Make It Happen Angus

Make It Happen Angus!

‘Make It Happen Angus!' is an exciting community initiative run by SSAMIS. Through this initiative, we are trialling the idea of a community cafe in Angus that would provide a family-friendly space for people from various communities to come together. ‘Make It Happen Angus!’ kicked off with a series of 30 events and activities organised for and with the local community in Arbroath between 4th and 16thOctober 2016.

WEBSITEmappeople2Most of the ‘Make it Happen Angus!’ activities were based in the former OB’s which we renamed ‘Make It Happen Café’ for the time we were there. The ‘Make It Happen Café’ provided a creative, multilingual space where attendees could speak English as well as learn other languages such as Polish or Russian, take part in one of our creative art and music workshops or advice sessions, learn knitting or belly dancing, swop books, toys and clothes, and meet new people. Together with our café attendees we also created a ‘living map’ of Europe and the world where people could mark where they were from and where they have settled or where they would like to be and write a little about their life journeys. We also had a logo competition for ‘Make It Happen!’

Our two winning logo design entries - one by Martyna (on the left) and one joint entry by Shona and Sahar (on the right)

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Our new Make It Happen! Angus logo created by artist Martin Ayres on the basis of the winning entries. 


‘Make It Happen Angus’ was visited by Eastern Europeans as well as local Scottish people and Syrian families. All our participants were very positive about the initiative and wanted to come back for more! Hence, we will be continuing to run ‘Make It Happen Angus!’ on a regular basis in 2017.


Some of our activities included: 

  • Cartooning for beginners with Frank McDiarmond
  • Music workshops with Stepan Zatkulak
  • Illustrating workshop with Filip Rasinski
  • Belly dancing
  • Arts and crafts


Interested in what happened at ‘Make It Happen Angus!’ between 4-16th October 2016? 

See our media coverage:

Detailed programme in other languages: Click here for detailed programme and information on venues: MIH Angus Programme

Join our "Make It Happen Angus" Event on Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/events/143486126107394 

Background to the 'Make It Happen Angus!' and future plans

One of our key findings with regards to the Angus area has been that the migrant populations living there tend to be quite isolated and there is little scope for establishing meaningful links with the local community. At the same time, there is a large need for language learning yet prospective learners face a number of barriers in accessing existing provision (such as working hours, childcare responsibilities, or transport issues). Moreover, there is a need for more volunteering opportunities. In view of this, the SSAMIS team has come up with the idea of an ‘Angus community café’ which would:

  • provide a safe, family‐friendly and open space where people from the whole community (both newcomers and long‐term residents) could meet, establish interest groups and share skills and activities (such as crafts, sewing, photography, kids activities, etcetera.)
  •  provide volunteering opportunities for students of D&A College (currently there is a lack of such opportunities), including those training in child care, catering, community development etcetera.
  • provide additional daytime ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses run by volunteers.  

This idea has been strongly supported by the participants of the Arbroath Community Consultation and welcomed by local stakeholders.

The SSAMIS team has been successful in securing additional funding of £4,600 from the University of Glasgow’s Impact Acceleration Account towards developing the café, through the programme of activities outlined above. We have constituted a Steering Group with which we are currently working on creating a vision for the café with a view to applying for funding towards its establishment. Fingers crossed for its success!



First published: 1 September 2016