Crossing Countries 2016 Annual Ceilidh

Macsween’s haggis, the Collumcille Ceilidh Band, the talented caller and the warm, welcoming atmosphere of the hall at the Church of the Good Shepherd made our 2016 ceilidh a truly inclusive and community event. Raffle prizes which added up to the value of over £600 from Will Power, Indie Venture Marie Flynn, Invisible Edinburgh, the Tool Library and Pop Up Scotland heightened the excitement.  From 7 years to 70 years, in wheelchairs or on two feet, from Scotland or elsewhere everyone was up dancing and having fun.

Crossing Countries Annual Ceilidh 2016

Yes it’s that time of year again…

Time to dance you socks off to the Collumcille Ceilidh Band, munch a haggis supper (kindly donated by Macswean) and to have a thourghly energetic and fun packed evening.

The Church of the Good Shepherd in Murrayfield have been good enough to support out project in so many ways including letting us use their hall as our new venue. Hope you will be able to come along on the 23rd April 7-11pm!!

You can get your tickets here

Wheelchair user dressed and ready for Crossing Countries Ceilidh
Dressed for Crossing Countries Ceilidh

Science Festivals and Craft Fairs

The more often I explain what Crossing Countries does and why we do it the more I am convinced that it is the ‘why’ rather than the ‘how’ that is important. This became even clearer when we were invited to be part of the Social Dimensions of Health Institute stall at the Dundee Science Festival earlier this month. Their theme was ‘Perceptions’ and included information about optical illusions, perceived identities and vulnerabilities. ‘Change your thoughts, change the world’ was the catalyst for our display which asked people to question what they saw. Was the kite made out of a black bag and straws, rubbish or a kite? Was the model of a car, wire or a toy and were the people in the fashion show, models or wheelchair users?

Dundee Science Festival_edited

Last weekend we did our very first craft fare for WHALE at St Cuthbert’s Episcopal Church in Colinton. It was a delightful introduction into the word of crafters. We met lots of lovely people who were so positive and supportive of our enterprise. The Ikwhezi Welfare Organisation’s ceramics sold very well so we will definitely bring some of those back next year. I have a feeling this won’t be the last craft fair we do.

Craft Fair Nov 2015_edited

The Image Challenge…videos, photos and a fashion show…

Keeping the blog up to date is a challenge but that is what we are all about. So today I am rising to that challenge and attempting to get the page up to date and explain why there has been a lack of updates in the last few months. I am going to divide up what has been happening so that people can pick and choose the titles they want to read.

First of all I would like to say to Laura a huge thank you for getting the video finished. It was no mean task as we had hours and hours of film which brought back such wonderful memories it was difficult to not show you them all. The same can be said of the hundreds of photographs we have taken. We have divided our trip this year in to a video diary, a photo diary and a verbal description diary under the 2015 Trip tab. As usual we would love to hear your comments about this. Do you like it or is there an alternative format you would prefer?

While we were in South Africa we were asked by the students at the University of KwaZulu Natal to be part of a fashion show for disabled people, unfortunately it was on after we had returned to Scotland. Another challenge faced and overcome… we made a video which focused on fusing Scottish and African fashion and was show at the end of October in Durban, the organiser said it was a great success.

Pub Quiz & Ceilidh: Two Successful Events: August 2015


We have been a bit busy with our recent trip to SA so apologise for not having kept the blog up to date.

The pub quiz hosted by Goose at the Links Hotel turned out to be a busy and somewhat competitive evening. Last year’s winning team was pipped at the post and a metaphorical gauntlet was thrown down. Looks like this will be an annual event. Tension was high and Silvia (one of our raffle prizes) had to take a moment with a wee glass of red wine.


The ceilidh also looks like it will become an annual event. Any concerns that we wouldn’t cover our costs were dispelled as we had to turn people away at the door. The Collumcille Ceilidh Band and their caller kept everyone dancing all night. Fueled by Macsween’s haggis and clapshot the dancing got more and more energetic as the evening went on culminating in a dance where the lads lifted the lassies of the ground as they twirled, just like the blades of a helicopter. There were crafts and jam and tablet to buy, games to play, the ever popular raffle and a silent art auction. The evening was a huge success outstripping our wildest dreams. SO a HUGE THANK YOU to all those who contributed their time or goods and to all those who attended.

2015 Trip News & Two Exciting Events: May 2015


April has been a mixed month for us, with both good and bad news. Unfortunately, Beth and one of our Travelers have dropped out of our 2015 trip for various reasons. We are sorry they will not be joining us this year but their cards are marked for 2016!

The good news is that the trip plans are all coming together. Flights have been booked (leaving on 23rd July and returning 10th August!!) and accommodation is being booked this week. Plans are also being made for placements in Durban; this year there will be an artistic slant to our volunteering. Partially because this is where the team’s interests lie, but also because Crossing Countries wants to launch an online shop that will sell the work of young South African arts and crafts people. By doing this we will be able to build Crossing Countries while also supporting new art in Durban. Our small team will also give us the flexibility to research new and varied placements and look for accessible accommodation for 2016 as we have a number of wheelchair users interested in next year’s trip.

We have two events planned.

Crossing Countries Pub Quiz with Edinburgh’s hottest Quizmaster Goose.

Pub Quiz Flyer


Our second Crossing Countries Pub Quiz is at the Links Hotel, from 6pm on 26th May. Bring a team along and win one of our amazing prizes either at the quiz or the raffle.

Crossing Countries Ceilidh with the Cracking Columcille Ceilidh Band

Our first ceilidh will be at the Columcille Centre (2 Newbattle Terrace) on 3rd July 2015 at 7.30 pm till 11.30pm Tickets are £10 which includes haggis, neeps and tatties provided by Macsween.

We are delighted to have the Columcille Ceilidh Band with us whose members include musicians with and without learning disabilities, another social enterprise who believe in equal opportunities.

crossing countries flyer_edited