Culture Radar – Angharad Williams (Heart of Glass)

Strong Women of Knowsley artwork, kirkby shopping centre_Heart of Glass_ photo Anna Levin2
Angharad Williams (Third from the right) at the Strong Women of Knowsley artwork launch


This week our Culture Radar guest is Angharad Williams, the Head of Programme: Creative People and Places, (Knowsley & St Helens), Heart of Glass.

Loved: I recently went to see Stuffed by Ugly Bucket Theatre in Shakespeare North Playhouse. An incredible fresh and powerful piece of clowning theatre exploring food banks.

Looking forward to: Our Strong Women of Knowsley artwork was unveiled this weekend in Kirkby Shopping Centre. Like many places Knowsley lacks major public art which celebrates women, and especially working class women! Artist Carrie Reichardt has been working with hundreds of residents from across the borough since last year, collecting memories and stories of inspiring women past and present. Together, they have turned these stories into art, creating 540 ceramic tile hearts dedicated to a strong woman who inspires them.

Trivia: People like to refer to Knowsley as the sausage that hugs Liverpool : )

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2024: Preview

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival - Family Day
Liverpool Arab Arts Festival’s Family Day at Sefton Park Palm House

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) 2024 promises to be a vibrant and enriching celebration of Arab culture, arts, and heritage. Set against the backdrop of Liverpool’s rich cultural tapestry, this year’s festival offers a diverse programme of events that includes music, dance, film, visual arts, literature, and engaging discussions. Running from 12 – 21 July, LAAF 2024 is set to captivate audiences with a blend of traditional and contemporary Arab artistic expressions. Here’s a preview of some of the highlights of this year’s festival.

Port Cities (12 – 20 July)

The Liverpool Arab Arts Festival will celebrate Liverpool’s unique identity; a city, with a global community and brimming with artistry, that looks outwards across the world. Highlighting the importance of this shared humanity, Port Cities, a brand-new visual arts project in partnership with British Council – MENA, will premiere newly commissioned artwork by four internationally renowned Arab artists exploring the social, historical and cultural links between Liverpool and the Arab region.

Port Cities symposium (15 July)

Join LAAF for an immersive day featuring talks, performances and screenings led by Port Cities artists Mohamed Abdelkarim, Laila Hida, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Siska, and featuring special guests. Delve into the themes and concepts that have inspired their work for the project. Find out more here.

Slow Listening (12 – 21 July)

As part of the Port Cities project, Slow Listening is an initiative inviting you to pause and immerse yourself in the unique sounds of port cities around the world.

Port cities possess a unique identity and culture, reflected in their distinctive soundscapes. In Liverpool, the distant horns of ships, the cries of seagulls, and the gentle lapping of the River Mersey form the sonic backdrop of daily life. Each port city has its own auditory signature, offering a deeper understanding of its character.

Experience the sounds of Liverpool, Alexandria, Tripoli, Casablanca, and Tunis from wherever you are. Whether you are in Liverpool, one of the other participating cities, on the east coast of America, or the west coast of Africa, tune in to the sounds of these port cities to discover how they shape their cultural identity.


Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2024 - Yalla Neحky storytelling with Hadi Badi Books
Yalla Neحky storytelling with Hadi Badi Books


Yalla Neحky storytelling with Hadi Badi Books (13 July)

Liverpool Central Library will host this storytelling workshop with Yalla Neحky on Saturday, 13 July with arts and crafts activity for children aged 4 – 8.

Janette Ayachi: Exploring Heritage Through Poetry (17 July)

London-born Edinburgh-based Scottish-Algerian poet, Janette Ayachi, will read from her outstanding second collection Quick Fire, Slow Burning, published in May 2024 in partnership with the University of Liverpool’s Centre for New and International Writing.


Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2024 - Oranges and Stones
Oranges and Stones

Talk / Workshop

Alia & Dani, in one another’s presence (13 July)

If freedom were a verb, how would we manifest it in our day-to-day? Especially as we swim against a tide of erasure and silencing in our attempts to uphold dignity, where do we find the resource to keep going? Join performance-maker Dani Abulhawa and Artistic Director and CEO of Shubbak Alia Alzougbi as they sit together with participants to imagine our potential futures through attending to our feelings as individuals, and in dialogue with each other as a form of collective care and sense making. Find out more here.


Oranges & Stones (18 July)

Oranges & Stones is a play without words, told solely through physical action and original music that conveys a moving image of occupation and settlement in Palestine spanning over 75 years.

Now more needed than ever, Oranges & Stones was last performed in the UK in 2013, it has been performed all over the world in countries including, Brazil, France, Germany, Jordan, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the USA. 

Marina Barham: A Voice for Theatre and Culture in Palestine (18 July)

Marina Barham, General Director of Al-Harah Theatre in Bethlehem Palestine, brings a voice from the theatre and performing arts sector in Palestine through the story of Al Harah Theatre and its work in the West Bank. Marina will be speaking at the festival about the current situation in Palestine and the role of theatre in helping children, young people and the community overcome trauma. She hopes it will provide an opportunity for Liverpool audiences to hear firsthand from a Palestinian activist in the cultural sector and to support the establishment of new partnerships and collaborations.

Chambers of the Heart (19 – 20 July)

Three women confront love, desire and memory in stories spanning East and West in the first staged performance of Chambers of the Heart. Newly divorced and adjusting to living alone in lockdown, 30-something Yasmine turns to online dating but there is something oddly familiar about who she meets. Reem is a Syrian refugee in her early 40s fleeing her country but unable to let go of the memory of an unrequited love. Mother is in her early 70s and reluctant to be on stage as she is interrogated by her son who is trying to unlock the past.

Unity Theatre: Arabs are Not Funny


Arabs Are Not Funny (13 July)

Widely regarded as one of the hottest comedy nights among the Arab community and beyond, Arabs Are Not Funny! sees comedians with roots in the Arab world showcasing their talents.

Comedy workshop with Maria Shehata (13 July)

Award-winning comedian Maria Shehata will deliver a comedy workshop for those keen to try their hand at stand-up. Attendees will learn how to develop a funny story, generate ideas, and make it their own.

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2024 - At Home In Gaza and London
At Home In Gaza and London


Arab Film Night: At The Library x LAAF (14 July)

LAAF join forces with At The Library for a special summer evening of Arab film at the Plaza Community Cinema in Waterloo, with films chosen by founder of The Arab Film Club, Sarah Agha, and women from The Colour of Pomegranates group. See details about the films being screened here.

At Home In Gaza and London (15 July)

The festival will host a special fundraising screening of At Home in Gaza and London at Bluecoat on Monday 15 July. In 2016, a group of artistic collaborators in Gaza and London began a series of digital workshops as an alternative means to defy the blockade. This special screening of the performance in Liverpool will include messages from Gazan contributors, with all proceeds going to the project collaborators in Gaza trying to survive unimaginable circumstances.


Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2024 - The Ayoub Sisters
The Ayoub Sisters


The Ayoub Sisters (20 July)

Award-winning instrumental duo The Ayoub Sisters present an evening of live music including songs from their critically acclaimed album, Arabesque.

Scottish/Egyptian instrumentalists and composers, The Ayoub Sisters rose to stardom after their debut album premiered at No.1 in the Official Classical Charts. The sisters are recognised internationally for their chemistry on stage, as well as their ability to unite different musical genres and cultures together through their unique compositional style.

Family Day (21 July)

Taking place on the final day of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, The Family Day is a celebratory showcase. A moment of togetherness and community, Sefton Park’s Palm House will play host to a free afternoon of music, performance, authentic Arab culture, food and drink. There will be over 20 stalls featuring authentic crafts, traders and so much more. Family Day is an unmissable highlight in Liverpool’s cultural calendar.

To find out more about Liverpool Arab Arts Festival visit

Africa Oyé 2024: Preview

Africa Oye Stage - Credit Mark McNulty
Photo Credit: Mark McNulty

Africa Oyé, the country’s biggest celebration of African and Caribbean music and culture, will take over Sefton Park for two packed days of live music, dance, workshops, DJ stages, food stalls, traders and more on 22 & 23 June 2024.

Here we’ll give you the rundown of this year’s headliners, international acts and local talent, as well as highlighting what’s happening in the Oyé Village and Active Zone.

Africa Oyé 2024 Headliners

Les Amazones d’Afrique

The powerful and creative force of Les Amazones d’Afrique will headline Africa Oyé on Saturday 22 June.

Les Amazones d’Afrique is a dynamic collective formed in Bamako, Mali, in 2014 by Malian music stars and social change activists Mamani Keïta, Oumou Sangaré, and Mariam Doumbia. The group champions the rights of women and girls, blending heritage and new talent with international voices. Their membership includes notable artists such as Angélique Kidjo, Nneka, and rising Malian star Rokia Koné.

Their music, a powerful blend of pan-African styles and contemporary pop, supports their campaign for gender equality and the eradication of ancestral violence. Les Amazones d’Afrique have been recognized in The Guardian’s Top 50 albums of 2017, NPR Music’s best albums of 2020, and even featured on Barack Obama’s playlist. They have performed on Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid stage and appeared on the BBC music show Later… with Jools Holland.

Julian Marley

Fresh off his Grammy win for Best Reggae Album for his collaboration album with Antaeus, Colors of Royal (2023), Julian Marley will headline on Sunday 23 June with his band The Uprising.

Born in London in 1975, Julian Marley is the son of reggae legend Bob Marley and Barbados-born Lucy Pounder. Immersed in a musical environment from a young age, the Grammy Award-winning musician, singer-songwriter, producer, and humanitarian quickly mastered the bass, drums, guitar, and keyboards.

In 2005, Julian and the Marley family launched the ‘Africa Unite’ concert series, starting in Ethiopia and continuing in Ghana in 2006 and Jamaica in 2008. He and his band, The Uprising, also performed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, celebrating with Jamaica’s Gold medalist, Usain Bolt. Known for his contributions to the consciousness movement in music, Julian is a devout Rastafarian, drawing inspiration from life and spirituality much like his father.

Africa Oye - People Enjoying Food Credit Mark McNulty
Photo Credit: Mark McNulty

International Acts on the Africa Oyé 2024 Lineup

Also announced for the main stage;

  • Senegalese electronic rising stars Def MaMa Def,
  • Tanzanian folk-fusion singers, The Zawose Queens
  • Congolese eco-friendly punks Fulu Miziki
  • frafra gospel talent, Florence Adooni
  • Canadian hip-hop contingent, Super Duty Tough Work.
  • Congolese rumba royalty, Nyboma
  • Haitian multilingual poet and MC, Vox Sambou
  • Senegalese griot, Batch Gueye

Local Acts

Young artists from Liverpool will kick off the daily musical line-up at the Africa Oyé festival this summer.

Launched in 2015, ‘Oyé Introduces’ sees local artists open the musical programme on both days of the festival – following community performances by cultural organisations from across the city region – giving some of the area’s brightest young talent the chance to share the stage with international stars.

Angolan rapper and songwriter Yilly Ruel performs a unique fusion of Hip Hop/Rap and Angolan rhythms, captivating audiences with his exhilarating sound. Based in Liverpool, Yilly has been making waves in the local music scene and achieved a significant milestone as the 3rd winner of the prestigious Open Mic UK 2019 competition held at the iconic O2 Arena in London.

Born and raised in Luanda – the capital of Angola – Yilly’s passion for music blossomed during his formative years. Balancing part-time employment with his dedication to crafting exceptional music, he transformed his home studio into a creative sanctuary, producing music that resonates with the themes of self-love and self-motivation.

Yilly – who will perform on the Saturday of the festival – has recently joined forces with Rax Vibes, a band featuring members with roots from Nigeria and Jamaica.

Fraya Ofoeme is an aspiring artist from Liverpool who has been singing since she was 4 years old. She describes it as her passion – and is determined to make it her future.

The young singer is involved in various events in the city, and is currently on Sound City’s Training and Development Programme.

Fraya, who will open the music programme of the Oyé festival on the Sunday, is currently working on her own original material – embracing her Nigerian and Senegalese heritage.

Africa Oye Crowd - Credit Mark McNulty
Photo Credit: Mark McNulty

Community Acts

The Community Acts for Africa Oyé 2024 have also been revealed, with MD Productions opening proceedings on the Saturday and Liverpool Hip Hop Festival presenting a showcase on the Sunday.

Since their inception in 2001, MD Productions has built up a well-respected professional repertoire in the entertainment industry as well as being well known in the Liverpool City Region for their community-based project “See you see Me”. The dance company’s journey has seen them become semi-finalists on Britain’s Got Talent three times, close the entertainment at the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2016. In addition, MD have performed for Michael Jackson, The Royal Family and supplied artists for the likes of MTV.

Liverpool Hip Hop Festival’s youth music group is a talented group of musicians and vocalists who have grown from their Access All Areas project, supported by Liverpool Royal Court. This year at Oyé, audiences can expect to see ‘an interesting collective of different musical vibes to get you in the mood for a good time’.

Africa Oye Trenchtown Stage - Credit Mark McNulty
Photo Credit: Mark McNulty

Africa Oyé Village & Active Zone DJs

The Oyé Active Zone returns for 2024, and will once again be hosted by Liverpool’s world dance charity Movema. Audiences can expect the usual array of multi-arts workshops across the whole weekend, for all ages and abilities.

The increasingly-popular DJ stages Trenchtown and Freetown are also confirmed to return with a line-up of local selectors and MCs to be announced very soon. Africa Oyé’s ethos of being ‘free and open to all’ also means that as well as the festival remaining free entry, the popular Access Tent, on-stage British Sign Language translators and the Accessible Viewing Platform will all return in 2024.


This year’s Africa Oyé festival will take place on 22 – 23 June 2024, in Liverpool’s Sefton Park from 12:30pm til 9:30pm both days and entrance is FREE.

Win Tickets To On The Waterfront at Liverpool’s Pier Head 20 – 23 June 2024

On The Waterfront Credit - Anthony Mooney
Photo Credit – Anthony Mooney

On The Waterfront is back this month! The 4 day open-air festival forms part of a long weekend of entertainment with Liverpool’s iconic Three Graces and the River Mersey as its stunning backdrop.

The lineup for the long weekend of events is looking incredible. Kicking off On The Waterfront on Thursday 20 June will be the comedy night headlined by Paul Smith. He’ll be joined by JoJo Sutherland, Mick Ferry, Jamie Hutchinson, Daniel O’Reilly and Kane Brown.

Friday will see Ocean Colour Scene headline with support from Cast, The View, Embrace, Republica, The Sway, and Keyside.

Headlining Saturday is one of electronic music’s hottest breakthrough artists, Ben Hemsley, with support from very special guest blk, plus Denis Sulta, Billie Gillies, and Amarra.

Sunday sees multi-platinum-selling Deacon Blue, who will headline as part of their UK tour ‘All the Old 45’s – The Very Best of Deacon Blue’. They will be supported by Lottery Winners, Rianne Downey, The Cheap Thrills, Delights, and East Exchange.

We’ve teamed up with On The Waterfront to run this competition to give away a pair of tickets to each of the following events:

Paul Smith + The Hot Water Comedy Club
Thursday 20 June
Pier Head, Liverpool
More info

Ocean Colour Scene + Cast, Embrace & more
Friday 21 June
Pier Head, Liverpool
More info

Ben Hemsley + Very special Guest blk & more
Saturday 22 June
Pier Head, Liverpool
More info

Deacon Blue + Lottery Winners, Riane Downey & more
Sunday 23 June
Pier Head, Liverpool
More info

***Enter to win On The Waterfront tickets here***


Competition Terms & Conditions

  • This competition is open to Uncover Liverpool Arts Bulletin email subscribers. As an Uncover Liverpool Arts Bulletin subscriber you can enter to win a pair of tickets to each event, winners will be drawn at random, with four different winners selected (one for each event).
  • If you’re not already a subscriber you can subscribe for free to the Uncover Liverpool Arts Bulletin here and then enter the competition.
  • You must be 18+ to enter as each event is 18+ (Challenge 21 is in operation and valid photo ID is required).
  • The competition opens at 9am on Monday 10 June and closes at 5pm on Sunday 16 June. We will use Wheel of Names to randomly pick the winners of each event and we will contact the winners directly via email shortly afterwards.
  • Uncover Liverpool (a project of Open Culture) will use your personal information for the purposes of administering this competition, informing you if you have won and if so, issuing your prize. Your personal information will be properly safeguarded and processed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018.
  • Please also refer to On The Waterfront’s Competition Terms & Conditions.

Swiftmania: Taylor Swift-Themed Events & Craft Workshops In Liverpool

Taylor Swift Tour Poster

Liverpool is buzzing with excitement as Taylor Swift’s visit draws near, sparking a creative wave across the city. For Swifties with a passion for arts and culture, Liverpool is offering an array of Taylor Swift-themed events and workshops that are not to be missed.

From immersive craft workshops to unique cultural experiences, the city is transforming into a haven for fans to celebrate and express their admiration for the pop icon. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, dive into Liverpool’s vibrant arts scene and join fellow fans in crafting, creating, and celebrating all things Taylor Swift.

Liverpool Loves Taylor

Visit Liverpool has unveiled a number of special events happening across the city to mark Taylor Swift’s arrival. There’s the Taylor Town Trail with 11 art installations, each inspired by a different Taylor Swift Era, Swift-themed craft workshops and the University of Liverpool’s free Tay Day.

Liverpool Loves Taylor
Various Liverpool Locations
More info

Taylor Swift Screen Printing Workshops At Bluecoat

Bluecoat are running Taylor Swift Screen Printing Workshops where you can create your own Taylor Swift-inspired tote bag and poster print under the expert guidance of local artist and print specialist, Ivy McIntyre. Select from a range of unique designs inspired by Taylor Swift, each featuring a marked date, ensuring every print becomes a cherished keepsake. After the printing session, participants will be invited to sit, relax, and craft personalised friendship bracelets.

Taylor Swift Screen Printing Workshops
8 June

Swiftie Friendship Bracelets Workshop

Get ready to connect with fellow Taylor Swift fans and make new friends while creating your own friendship bracelets. This workshop delivered by Make CIC, is part funded and delivered in partnership with Culture Liverpool as part the Liverpool Loves Taylor programme. Led by Cloverlea Crystals, join for an unforgettable afternoon of creativity and camaraderie, all inspired by our shared love for Taylor Swift.

During the workshop, you’ll receive a personal kit that you can take home, including wiring and beads. The kit contains enough materials to create bracelets inspired by all 11 albums and more.

Swiftie Friendship Bracelets Workshop
13 June

Taylor Swift Fanpark Ft Swiftogeddon At BOXPARK Liverpool

From Thursday 13 through to Saturday 15 June BOXPARK Liverpool will be creating a Fanpark dedicated to all the Swifties, with Taylor Swift Club Night Swiftogeddon. There will be DJs, live performances, glitter stations and more. Open each day from 11am – 11pm you can soak up the Taylor vibes before heading to the big show, or if you don’t have tickets then you can continue to dance the day and night away at BOXPARK.

Taylor Swift Fan Park Ft Swiftoggedon
13 – 15 June
BOXPARK Liverpool
Tickets (Free)

Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift

Experience the music of Taylor Swift as you may have never seen or heard it before, at the stunning St George’s Hall. Under the glow of candlelight, a string quartet will play an hour-long programme of some of Taylor’s best and most-loved tracks, including Love Story, You Belong With Me and All Too Well.

Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift
St George’s Hall
Saturday 22 June

Drawing Classes In The Liverpool City Region

Life Drawing Classes & Workshops In Liverpool

If you’re looking to explore your creative side and discover drawing classes in the Liverpool city region this feature is for you. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned sketcher, this article has all the details on drawing classes from across the city region so you can find the perfect class or course for you.

We’ll detail some general drawing classes as well as specific life drawing classes for those looking to hone their skills in capturing the human form. So grab your pencils, find a class and have some fun on your drawing adventure.


Drawing Classes

dot art online drawing classes

dot art offers a wide variety of online drawing classes to choose from based on your interests, so you can hone the skills you’re most excited by. Packed with practical learning activities, these courses encourage you to explore and experiment with different art forms.

The Liver Sketching Club

The Liver Sketching Club is the oldest continuously active club in England, having been hosting drawing classes since 1872. They have classes where they host both portrait and life drawing classes, allowing members to practice techniques and express creativity through their sketches. These classes not only serve as opportunities for skill development but also as a means for members to express their unique artistic voices.

Smithdown Social Arts Hub art classes

Smithdown Social Arts Hub hosts art classes inspired by iconic styles and techniques of artists such as Frida Kahlo, Maria Lassnig and Mary Cassatt. These classes are hosted to induce relative exploration and self-expression in participants. Smithdown Social Arts Hub is committed to forming a creative, supportive, and inclusive atmosphere to apply their unique perspective into their artwork.

Creative Art Courses

Creative Art Courses are led by experienced instructors and often incorporate hands-on projects, allowing participants to delve into innovative techniques and styles, creating a deeper understanding of artistic expression. These courses provide a supportive and inspiring environment for personal and artistic growth. There are many different options of courses catering to various interest and skill levels.

Cass Art Courses

Cass Art’s course allows students to learn different techniques and procedures usually used with pastels and/or graphites. It ensures students learn and take inspiration from techniques used by renaissance artists such as Caravaggio, Raffaello and Tiziano, and adopt them within their art.

dot-art Drawing Class
Credit: dot-art

Joe McGillivray Still Life Drawing & Painting

Located at West Kirby Arts Centre, this Still Life class is a great opportunity to delve into drawing and painting that focuses on practicing representational skills. The introductory course is designed to inspire creativity and improve key painting and drawing skills.

Knowsley FACE Drawing & Painting

This drawing and painting course will give you the chance to use a variety of drawing media to explore various approaches to objective/measured drawing.

Drawing & Painting Short Course at St Helens College

Suitable for students aged 19 and over, during this short course, you will be introduced to various approaches to drawing and painting. You will develop your observational skills, creative thinking, personal visual language and printing processes. This can be taught at beginner, intermediate or advanced levels, depending on your skills and previous experience of art and design or art history.

Roy Munday Art Classes in Southport

Artist and tutor Ray Munday hosts drawing classes in various locations in and around Southport. Find more information about his classes here.


Life Drawing Classes

Make CIC Drink and Draw
Credit: Make CIC

Make CIC Drink And Draw Event

If you enjoy sketching and are passionate about life drawing, Make CIC offers this in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Their classes include a cheese board and wine, and are for anyone over the age of 16, whether you’re a complete novice or a regular at life drawing classes.

Life Drawing at 92 Degrees

The life drawing classes are formed in a relaxed, supportive environment to make people comfortable, no matter their level of experience. The models are brilliant and tuition is offered to all within the classes.

LEAF Life Drawing Classes

LEAF’s Life Drawing classes are a great way to immerse yourself in Life Drawing, this class will  provide you with a comfortable space to express your creativity and develop your skills.

Shakespeare North: Life Drawing

Prescot’s Shakespeare North Playhouse theatre hosts regular life drawing classes with a nude model to draw from in a variety of poses. The sessions are suitable for beginners as well as more experienced artists. Materials and support will be provided for those who need it, but you are also welcome to bring your own sketchbooks and dry materials to the sessions (i.e., pencils, pens, graphite, charcoal in pencil form).

Shakespeare North Life Drawing
Credit: Shakespeare North Playhouse

Sudley House Life Drawing

They use a diversity of models to explore different body types and present shorter and longer poses to give you the opportunity to develop your skills. The sessions are suitable for absolute beginners as well as more experienced artists and are held in a relaxed, intimate atmosphere.

Sefton Art Group Life Drawing

Sefton Art Group’s Life Drawing class encourages you to use different medium, from drawing, pen, and painting, to develop competence within the drawing process. They help you to draw to the correct proportions and encourage interpretation and experimentation, all within a safe and comfortable space.

If you’re looking for more arts and crafts classes check out our guide here.

Have we missed anything in this article? Let us know! Get in touch with Clare at We strive to make our features as inclusive as possible, so we’re keen to hear your suggestions.

Blossoming Communities: Gardening Clubs In Liverpool And The City Region

Gardening Clubs in Liverpool and the city region

Unwind, reconnect with nature, and escape daily stress through gardening. Joining a gardening club in Liverpool offers a fulfilling opportunity to nurture green spaces while fostering a sense of community. By collaborating with like-minded individuals, you not only enhance your local environment but also cultivate lasting relationships that promote mental wellbeing and overall quality of life.

Embrace the beauty of nature this Spring and relish outdoor adventures while exploring the diverse range of activities our community has to offer. With numerous gardening clubs scattered across the Liverpool city region, there’s a perfect fit for everyone eager to dig into the joys of gardening.

Friends of Parks and Gardens

Friends of Parks and Gardens are voluntary groups of local residents, workers or visitors who are looking to give back to their local community through caring for and improving their local park or green space.

They carry out practical conservation or management tasks such as clean-ups, community planting projects and events. Friends of Parks and Gardens can be found in over 20 parks in Liverpool, from Sefton Park to Croxteth Hall and Country Park, Anfield Cemetery, Warbreck Moor and so many others, there’s plenty to choose from.


Grow Speke

Grow Speke is a community garden in South Liverpool, created to engage both children and adults in community projects. Local school and youth groups use Grow Speke to deliver fun, healthy, outdoor activities, where young people can develop their gardening knowledge and skills. It’s a great opportunity to get back to nature and create a space that can be enjoyed by the whole community for years to come.

Their beekeeping project is one of the many exciting opportunities at Grow Speke, along with their vegetable gardens and a fruit tree orchard. There’s great facilities such as a Polytunnel for growing fruit and veg all year round, a BBQ and firepit and kitchen facilities open to all gardeners too.


The Florrie Gardening Club

Community arts & heritage venue, The Florrie, host over 30 hours of cultural activities every week for people to get involved in. Their gardening club is just one of their offers that gives everyone the chance to meet new people, learn new skills & have fun. Take a look at their Community Hub Activities timetable to find out more and email Tim on to join in or for further information.


Liverpool Organic Gardeners  

Liverpool Organic Gardeners meet eight times a year at at Elm Hall Drive Methodist Church in Liverpool and they visit members’ gardens or other places of interest. In the past, they have visited Incredible Edibles at Todmorden, Chorlton Open Gardens and the Green Dream Project in Bootle. This is great for nature lovers who want to get to know other like-minded individuals while visiting beautiful gardens.


Gardening Clubs In Liverpool and the city region - Watering Can

Thornton & Crosby Gardener’s Club 

Thorton & Crosby Gardener’s Club host monthly guest speakers, as well as going out on day trips to beautiful local gardens such as Harlow Carr and share useful gardening recommendations. This is a great way to gain an insight into the world of gardening and learn from one another in a friendly environment. All are welcome to join for a fee of £20 per year and £1 per visit. For visitors it is £2 a visit. Fees include tea/coffee and biscuits.


Hoylake & District Gardening Society

Hoylake & District Gardening Society is a friendly club, with members ranging from experienced gardeners to complete novices. Club meetings comprise of a talk by a professional on different aspects of gardening. The programme is very varied from head gardeners and Chelsea Gold medallists to talks on wildlife, herbal medicines, foreign lands, and beekeeping.

Guests are very welcome to head along to meetings, there’s no booking required and the cost is just £3. The club’s annual membership is £15.


Marine Place Gardener’s Club

Marine Place Gardener’s Club at Marine Place wellbeing hub and cafe (run solely by Age UK Wirral) is a social activity club for people interested in all things gardening. You can go along and have a chat and get advice. You can also help them look after their BeeWell Together Garden. Make some new friends, share and swap hints and enjoy stress free gardening.


Moreton Gardening Club

Moreton Gardening club meets on the 2nd Monday of each month where they welcome a guest speaker covering various different gardening topics, such as ideas for planting and winter gardening. They also arrange garden open afternoons and nature walks for members. Club membership is £20 per year, including refreshments at each meeting.


Gardening Clubs in Liverpool and the city region - People planting


Irby & Thurstaston Gardeners Club

Irby & Thurstaston Gardeners Club meets on the first Tuesday of each month (with the exception of August) in Irby Village Hall and holds an Annual Flower and Vegetable Show in July. The club has excellent and varied speakers each month, with some illustrated talks, some ‘hands on’ workshop-style talks. They also organises days out, garden holidays and hold plant sales at meetings. It is noted as a very sociable club, part of the Irby Village atmosphere and always welcoming to new members and visitors.


Southport Chrysanthemum and Gardening Society

Join Southport Chrysanthemum and Gardening Society for talks, shows and plant sales. Each year, they stage spring, summer and autumn shows in Southport, with many exhibitors and hundreds of people visiting. A Christmas Floral Art demonstration by eminent flower arrangers is also held at the beginning of December.

In addition, the group organises trips through the year to other shows more further afield, such as the Harrogate Spring Show. A friendly society, they meet on the last Tuesday of the month, Emmanuel Church, Lord Street, Southport.


Make CIC (Liverpool & Wirral)

Make CIC hosts a range of classes related to gardening. Make CIC focus on the importance of collaboration and creative environments, and this definitely translates within their exciting, diverse classes. Keep an eye out on their Garden page for upcoming events.


Royal Horticultural Society Community Garden Groups Locator

You can also discover community garden groups via the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Find A Group’ interactive webpage.


Additionally, keep an eye on our What’s On listings to find local gardening events to get involved in too.


Have we missed anything in this article? Let us know! Get in touch with Clare at We strive to make our features as inclusive as possible, so we’re keen to hear your suggestions.

Photography Courses in Liverpool and the City Region

Photography class

Looking to level up your photography skills? Whether you’re a novice or you’re looking to advance your photography skills this article has plenty of useful information to help you find photography courses in Liverpool and the city region.


Liverpool City College Photography and Imaging Class

This ten-week practical course (2 hours per week) is taught by practicing photographers and will enable you to develop your skills and knowledge in Photography. The course covers Compact and DSLR cameras, shutter application, aperture application, composition, an introduction to the MAC environment and an introduction to Photoshop.

The programme is delivered through practical demonstrations, mini tasks, presentations, investigative studies and group critiques. You will be expected to work independently and engage in group tasks in order to develop your skills and knowledge. You will also benefit from working in well equipped specialist studios and workshops. Students are required to purchase and provide programme materials and must have access to a digital camera. Find out more about the course here.

Open Eye Gallery

Open Eye Gallery hosts workshops on sustainable photography, cyanotype photography, photography for wellbeing and an annual Crossing Sectors course on socially engaged photography, as they take a lead on socially engaged photography. They also host courses with their partners in Life Rooms and Community Integrated Care. The results of their community projects make up their annual autumn Socially Engaged Photography show. All the announcements can be found on their Opportunities section.

Neon Light Photography

Neon Light Photography’s beginners photography workshops equip you with new techniques through an interactive, small group-oriented approach (max 4 people). You’ll learn about your basic camera functions, “the exposure triangle” and why it’s important, compositional techniques, how to use & control depth of field to enhance your composition and more.

This 3-hour workshop takes place along Liverpool’s famous waterfront, making it perfect for those who are new to photography and want to take advantage of capturing some amazing images of the docks, three graces and waterfront.

Street Snappers Street Photography Workshop

This street photography workshop is developed to take your street photography to the next level. With a maximum of 6 participants, the workshop is designed to help you become a creative, competent and confident street photographer. It will combine structured shooting with coaching from your course leader, Brian Lloyd Duckett.

This workshop covers both the artistic and technical aspects of street photography. You’ll learn new techniques and creative approaches to produce stylish, distinctive images that capture 21st-century street life. It focuses on three key shooting styles: capturing the moment, storytelling, and mastering the fine art/aesthetic approach.

Well Lit Photo Club

Well Lit Photo Club use Traditional Photography as a way to inspire, uplift and engage through their meet ups where you can shoot and develop your own images, no matter what your photography expertise or experience. They also run Pinhole photography meet ups where you can take your own pinhole images in inspiring locations and develop your own paper negative pinhole prints in their portable pop up darkroom.

Liverpool Photography Group

Liverpool Photography Group offers a variety of photography courses in Liverpool, from beginner classes to street photography and nature photography classes. The sessions are aimed at developing your skills based on key interests.

The Photography Academy’s Workshops

These photography courses are offered for a variety of skill level and photography styles. Whether you want a beginners class or to develop your artistic style, black and white rendering, portrait, Lightroom or Photoshop courses, you’ll find them all here.

Dot-art Darkroom

Dot-art operates an open access Darkroom in Liverpool City Centre, enabling you to learn more about Darkroom through either their Introduction to the Darkroom course or their Analogue Photography Weekend course. Also, if you are already experienced you can become a member to gain unlimited access to the Darkroom. View all of their classes here.

Photography Courses in Liverpool and the city region


Wirral Photography Group

Wirral Photography Group offers a wide range of photography classes from beginners classes to street photography, natural light portraits and more. Have a look at the classes on offer here.

Ness Gardens Photography Workshops

Photographer Stuart Robinson delivers two photography workshops in the incredible surroundings of Ness Gardens; Mastering The Basics & Next Level Digital Photography. The workshops will give you the opportunity to capture a wide variety of subjects in a beautiful setting, including landscapes, wildlife, macro, abstract and journalistic images. Included with both workshops are free access to the gardens, impartial advice on purchasing camera equipment and accessories, and email support.

St Helens

St Helens College

This course covers basic digital photography techniques, through the means of a bridge or DSLR camera. The course can be taught at beginner, intermediate or advanced levels, depending on your skills and experience of photography. Find out more here.


Prescot Photography Club

The Prescot Photography Club aims to promote the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of photography and the improvement of photography skills. If you’re interested in sharing your photography skills and knowledge or you want to learn more, join them at their fortnightly meet ups in Prescot. All levels are welcome.

Knowsley FACE – Family And Community Education

The photography courses offered at Knowsley FACE covers a range of essential skills for budding photographers. From mastering camera settings to understanding composition, lighting, and post-processing techniques, this course equips you with the knowledge and skills to capture stunning images. With both theory and practical sessions, students will gain hands-on experience to enhance their photography skills and unleash their creative potential.

Knowsley FACE offers both a NCFE Level 1 and Level 2 course. Find more details here.


Halton Photographic Society

If you’re in the Halton area, the Halton Photographic Society are a friendly group of around 25 people who meet every Monday evening (7.30pm) at The Jaguar Club, 77 Cronton Lane, Widnes WA8 5AJ. Their syllabus is a mixture of guest speakers, internal club nights and competitions. New members are always welcome, whether your are new to photography or a seasoned professional.


Matthew Rycraft Photography Workshops

Learn from an international multi award-winning photographer with this photography workshop session. The workshop gives you the invaluable opportunity to improve your photography skills with Matthew, as he shares his extensive knowledge of lighting, posing and composition techniques, technical skills and more.


Have we missed anything in this article? Let us know! Get in touch with Clare at We strive to make our features as inclusive as possible, so we’re keen to hear your suggestions.

Liverpool Makers’ Bazaar Spotlight on The Cat’s New Pyjamas

By Pauline Neville

Cats New Pyjamas 4

Karen is the powerhouse of creativity that is The Cat’s New Pyjamas. She designs and produces a wonderfully eclectic range of jewellery made in a range of metals incorporating found sea glass and sometimes, semi precious stones.

Born and raised in Stoneycroft, Old Swan, Karen now resides in Huyton. She is not the first parent to learn from her children and it was her son, Jed who set her off down the path she currently follows.

He was studying photography and found himself focussing on homeless people, she tells me. He became aware of the plight of refugees and what was being called the Calais Jungle and decided to photograph the area to raise awareness of the situation. He reasoned that if he was going to France to do this he might as well volunteer at the same time and after some time there, he retuned home only to leave university and return to France where he has been helping for the last 7 years. 

He has founded a charity Mobile Refugee Support (MRS) initially driving a generator camp to camp and allowing refugees to charge their phones, a vital communication link with estranged family members. This charity has developed into a support for Kurdish Refugees at Dunkirk.

So, what’s the link? Karen became aware of the plight of the refugees through her son and when a refugee charity online was selling elasticated beaded bracelets, she bought one. Studying this one day she realised that she could do something similar and so made her own version using Moonstone, Rose Quartz and Sandstone, mirroring the charity’s initials MRS. She sold these at an affordable price and donated all profits to the charity raising just under £1000.

Cats New Pyjamas 3
A selection of Karen’s rings

This was the start of her jewellery making journey. When a brief foray into beaded jewellery proved not for her, her husband booked two places on a a ring making class as a gift and she was hooked. Karen still wears the first ring she made there and explained that although a comparatively simple piece, its production ensured that she was introduced to many essential techniques necessary in silversmithing; filing, hammering, sawing and soldering.

Next she began trawling YouTube, hungry for instructional videos and acquiring new techniques, learning by doing with the very basic tools she had at her disposal. As her interest deepened, she treated herself to more and more tools and now boasts more pliers than her husband. In a final act of commitment to silversmithing she sold her bead stash. Investing the funds into converting her spare bedroom into a practical and specialist workshop. Her husband built two workbenches; one with an oxygen converter and propane cylinder which affords a hotter flame for working larger surface areas and she was good to go.

Initially working in copper to keep her mistakes less expensive, Karen especially enjoys working with silver now. Her pieces are stamped 925 but not hallmarked she explains that having a piece hallmarked is a costly process and she is trying to keep her jewellery affordable.

Karen works only with recycled silver which she buys in sheets or as wire depending on what she is using it for. In turn she collects and keeps even the smallest offcuts from her work and the company she buys her recycled silver from pay her for these to smelt down and produce more sheets and wire which Karen then buys back…in a shiny silver circle of life. She finds silver the easiest metal to work with as it gets to the right temperature more consistently and can be soldered without damaging the surface pattern that she has just created.

She often incorporates copper and brass, this mixture of metals is often put to best use in her fabulous fidget rings. These are rings that spin freely on top of base rings, great for those of us with ADHD. She also uses recycled copper pipes which she transforms into copper cuffs which may be stamped or engraved, engraving is a new adventure for Karen.

Following jewellers online for inspiration and to extend her repertoire of techniques Karen came across the use of sea glass set as a stone and coincidentally had recently acquired some when walking on Crosby Beach earlier that same week. Sea glass is often collected due to its vibrancy of colour and the seeming glow of light that even the tiniest fragment can sometimes afford.

Karen smiles when talking about her studio, she tells me “It is my happy place. I pop in there to do a five minute job and sometimes emerge four hours later with a handful of pieces!”

Cats New Pyjamas 6
Karen working in her studio

Her favourite task is creating unique settings for each piece of glass or stone as no two are the same and she often pierces the metal backplate to pendants to add interest and allow more light to shine through the piece. A technique that I can confirm is very effective judging by the beautiful necklace she was wearing when we met.

I wondered what the first piece Karen sold was. She told me that sawing is not as easy you might think, you cannot just pick up a saw and do it, you have to hone your skills so by way of a practice piece she made a chip fork!  It sold in 10 mins and more followed sometimes stamped with initials or names. We have some very fancy chip eaters here in Liverpool! So, if you’re looking for a gift for the person who has everything, there’s an idea for you.

Her best sellers at the moment are her delicate stacking rings and the fidget rings which sold out at her last visit to the Liverpool Makers’ Bazaar at the The Old Police Station.

Karen is looking forward to retirement when she can focus all her attention on experimenting with new processes and designs…when babysitting duties allow! Her youngest granddaughter  considers her “mumum” very cool, as she plays with hammers and fire and has already shown an interest in following in her grandmother’s footsteps.

All profits from Karen’s jewellery goes to support the charity Mobile Refugee Support.

The Cat’s New Pyjamas can be found as follows;

Etsy: TheCat’sNewPyjamas

Facebook: The Cat’s New Pyjamas


Or telephone 07411 621 293.

Or swing by and try things on at Liverpool Makers’ Bazaar at the Old Police Station on Sunday 3 March.

LGBTQIA+ Guide To The Liverpool City Region

Homotopia's Queer the City: Drag Cabaret
Homotopia’s Queer the City: Drag Cabaret. Photo Credit: Mark McNulty

From the groundbreaking moments that shaped the community to the establishment of organisations and inclusive spaces, we take a look back at Liverpool’s LGBTQIA+ history and share information on organisations, resources and events that celebrate and support the LGBTQIA+ community.

Liverpool’s LGBTQIA+ History

Liverpool has been at the forefront of many different LGBTQIA+ movements throughout the years, and currently stands loud and proud with the LGBTQIA+ community. 

  • In 1994 the first (pre watershed) lesbian kiss was featured in Liverpool soap opera Brookside and broadcasted on national television.
  • In 2005 Liverpool Registry Office became the first to include a gay couple in promotional material.
  • In 2011, Liverpool was the first British city to officially recognise a Gay Quarter, with the introduction of rainbow street signs along Stanley Street. 
  • In 2012, Liverpool Pride was the first in the country to have a football club ‘officially’ represented at an UK Pride event, which has continued ever since with the clubs’ proud supporters marching in solidarity with the cities LGBTQIA+ community.

LGBTQIA+ Organisations, Events & Safe Spaces


Founded in 2003, Homotopia is a Liverpool based arts and social justice organisation making a cultural impact through art and activism. They aim to support and platform local, national, and international LGBTQIA socially engaged artists and creatives.

Every November they present Homotopia Festival, where they feature a wide variety of LGBTQIA art across multiple venues and outdoor spaces in Liverpool. This is the UK’s longest running LGBTQIA festival and a great safe space to express your creativity and be your authentic self.

Additionally, year round they have multiple projects aimed at supporting national LGBTQIA+ culture and community. Their various projects include:

These projects create a safe, creative space for everyone to express their individuality. They also host various Queer Creative Meet-ups, a powerful opportunity to connect with likeminded individuals and seek career advice. 

Homotopia: Bluecoat, L1


The Pride Quarter

The Pride Quarter, that encompasses Stanley Street and surrounding areas, provides a safe space for a great night out.

Liverpool’s first ‘gay quarter’ was based around the original Queen Square, until its demolition to make way for St John’s Shopping Precinct in the 1960s. By 1972, Stanley Street was established as the new quarter, with the opening of the legendary Paco’s Bar. In 2011, Liverpool City Council officially recognised the area as the city’s Pride Quarter.

The area features many iconic venues and drag nights that simply cannot be missed. Bars such as OMG Liverpool, GBar and Heaven are just a few of the amazing venues in The Pride Quarter, and undeniably offer some of the biggest and best nightlife in the city.

Pride Quarter: Stanley Street, L1  


GYRO LGBTQ+ Youth Club

Founded in 1976, GYRO (Gay Youth ‘R’ Out) is the UK’s longest running LGBTQ+ youth group, setting out to provide support to youths who may be questioning their sexuality and/or gender identity. They create a safe space for vulnerable youths, offering a 1 to 1 service and various group activities to try to make sure that nobody feels alone and improve their self-esteem, self-acceptance, and confidence.  

They have a support group running for 11-16 year olds every Tuesday from 4:30pm – 6pm, and for 16-25 year olds it’s held every Thursday at 6pm – 7:30pm.

GYRO: YPAS Central Hub, Lyndene Road, L25


Pride In Liverpool

Pride in Liverpool aims to position the Liverpool city region as the most LGBTQIA+ friendly region in the UK. They aim to do this by highlighting the daily barriers that LGBTQIA+ people living in and visiting the region face, and by creating an inclusive culture where people feel they can fully participate and contribute.

The official Pride In Liverpool celebration takes place in Liverpool city centre every summer and you can check out their website for details.

Pride in Liverpool: LCR Pride Foundation, Mann Island, L3


Museum of Liverpool LGBTQ+ audio trail

The Museum of Liverpool has partnered up with the Bottoming Podcast duo, Matthew Riley and Brendan Geoghegan, to create a special LGBTQ+ audio trail to listen to as you walk around the museum.

The Bottoming Podcast looks at mental health in the LGBTQ+ community and how this affects people on a larger scale. The audio trail includes an artwork of Pete Burns by Ben Youdan, the Villanelle outfit from Killing Eve and a Football Equalities Display. Download the floor maps of their LGBTQ+ exhibits here.

National Museums Liverpool also have a wealth of LGBTQ+ art history and activism coverage online, which includes many articles, videos and images. Artists featured include, David Hockney, Leonardo Da Vinci and Edward Lear.

Museum of Liverpool: Mann Island, L3, 10am – 5pm, closed Mondays.


Mersey Marauders FC
Mersey Marauders FC

Mersey Marauders FC

Mersey Marauders FC are Merseyside’s LGBTQIA+ football club, offering LGBTQIA+ people in Merseyside the opportunity to play football in a supportive and inclusive environment.

Since 2005, Mersey Marauders FC have provided a friendly, inclusive space for LGBTQIA+ people and allies to play football in the Liverpool City Region. They run weekly training sessions for players of all abilities – everyone is welcome. Players come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience – some have been playing most of their lives, but others come having barely kicked a ball before. They cater for both these groups, and everyone in-between.

You can find out more about the team and join them here.


Reel Queer by First Take

Reel Queer is a FREE 5 year film project (2023-2028) by award-winning not for profit filmmaking and digital arts organisation First Take, working with people from the LGBTQIA+ community living in the Liverpool City Region.

Describing their Reel Queer project they says: “Together we will produce high end drama, documentary and art films for screening, socials, streaming, exhibitions, festivals and broadcast; giving a voice to our community and championing queer film.”. 


Sefton Pride

Sefton Pride CIC was founded in May 2023 and held their first event in July 2023. Their aims are to provide an annual Pride event as well as year round education and community support.

Sefton Pride originated after Southport resident, Jennifer Corcoran, attended Joe Lycett’s More, More, More! show in 2023 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.  Part of the set was dedicated to how the comedian and LGBTQIA+ activist had curated a Pride event in his hometown. Jennifer came away from the gig determined to bring an event to her home borough of Sefton.

Visit their Instagram for more information.

Sefton Pride: Walnut Street, Southport, PR8

Wirral LGBT Network

Wirral LGBT Network offers information, advice, support, advocacy, training and volunteering opportunities for LGBTIQA people. The Network was set up in September 2012 as a result of an LGBT Needs Assessment carried out by Wirral NHS.

Their vision is a thriving, diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community on the Wirral. A place where LGBT people feel safe and are free from discrimination. Visit their Facebook page to find out more.

Wirral LGBT Network: 5 Bridge Street, Birkenhead, CH45


GLOW Halton Youth LGBT

GLOW provides access to youth worker support, information and advice. They provide a safe space for young people to socialise with access to informal educational opportunities and positive activities.

GLOW run two clubs on Tuesdays – one for 11 – 15 years (5 – 6.30pm) and another for 16-24 years (7 – 9pm) – from their centre in Widnes. They also provide trips out and activities including arts and crafts, sports, film nights, music and more

GLOW: The Studio, Lacey Street, Widnes, WA8


Over The Rainbow St Helens

Over The Rainbow is a social support group in St Helens for 13-19 Year olds who are LGBTQIA+. They run a closed confidential youth group based in St Helens, Merseyside. At Over the Rainbow, you will find a group of likeminded young people that you can socialise with safely.

They offer information, advice and guidance on a range of issues relevant to young people in general and LGBTQIA+ young people in particular, including coming out, bullying, sexual and emotional and mental health and well-being.

Follow them on Instagram for information and updates.

LGBTQ+ Guide To The Liverpool City Region - Queer & Proud


Comics Youth LGBTQ+ Trail

With the help of 14 queer icons from in and around Liverpool Comics Youth have created this LGBTQ+ Trail highlighting spaces and places most LGBTQ+ people feel they belong.

Creative Community Organisation, Comics Youth, do incredible work for young people in the city. Empowering youth across Merseyside to flourish from the margins of society, they offer a wide range of opportunities for people, from zine creation and comic book workshops to youth-led publishing hubs and social campaigns.

Comics Youth CIC: Make CIC, Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, CH4


Sahir House

Sahir House provides vital frontline services to communities in Liverpool and the Merseyside area, including sexual health services and LGBTQIA+ support services.

Their LGBTQIA+ Peer-to-Peer Groups offer the opportunity to meet and share experiences and become more involved in Merseyside’s LGBTQIA+ community. All groups are free and welcome new members. Find out more.

Sahir House can also signpost you to a variety of independently run local groups.

Sahir House: 151 Dale Street, L2


Have we missed anything in this article? Let us know! Get in touch with Clare at We strive to make our features as inclusive as possible, so we’re keen to hear your suggestions.