The 'Hidden Treasures' project, funded by Awards for All,  has been devised by The Spartans Community Football Academy, and working with North Edinburgh Arts, and Stills, Scotland premier photography gallery. It embraces the positive aspects of the changing community in the north of Edinburgh and share them with the wider community of the city.  The project aimed to develop participants' skills in photography whilst enhancing young people's abilities to discover and showcase a more optimistic aspect of their community, and of course, themselves.

Through a series of photography workshops local young people from the Spartans Community Football Academy collaborated with a professional artist, Craig Maclean, to take a series of photographs, which reflect the 'hidden treasure' of the local area, what football means to them, the places they played before the academy opened, the people who live there, and the landmarks of their locality.

Through the use of photography this project aimed to:

* Challenge negative attitudes regarding the community of Greater Pilton and promote the positive identity of the community.

* Use photography to document social changes and regeneration ofthe community
* Building and strengthening communities identity
* Contribute to the development of individuals' artistic skills, self-confidence, teamwork, and communication skills

Over 30 local young people took part, and all the photos in  exhibition were taken by young people, who also learned how to process and develop the black and white images in the dark room at Stills, while some attended the Photoshop workshops, again at Stills.

The first exhibition opens on Wednesday 3rd February at North Edinburgh Arts Centre (7-9pm), before moving to the National Stadium, Hampden Park to be exhibited at the Scottish Football Museum.

Young peoples Comments:

"I never thought I'd go in a dark room"

"I took a great picture, eh?"

"It's great now the acadmey's there 'cos we dinnae get moved or moaned at"

"This is where I learned to play fit'ba'"

From an academy point of view, we see Hidden Treasures as being an example of how we can use football to excite young people about other opportunities open to them. Photography isn't easily accessible do to the costs involved but is a great way to show young people just what they can achieve, and allows them to look at themselves, and their community through a different lens, so to speak. Some of the young people took a lot out of the project from our point of view we're delighted that they enjoyed it so much.


The Greater Pilton area figures extensively in the worst 15% data-zones within the Scottish Government's deprivation statistics. SCFA is located in the City of Edinburgh Council's Forth Ward which is rated as significantly below average compared to the rest of Scotland in terms ofeducation, skills & training and crime prevention, and below average in terms of health, housing and employment.

The area has high levels of social housing, 36 % of families are lone parent, 42% of children live in workless households, and 45% of adults in the area have no qualifications. This level of disadvantage is further compounded by clearly discernible poor levels of heath, which are amongst the worst in Scotland. 

Scottish National Statistics recorded that a fifth of the local Greater Pilton population is income deprived; with hospital admissions resulting from alcohol misuse nearly double those for the city as a whole, with admissions from drug misuse more than double those of the city.

In the period to 2006 Communities that Care developed and piloted a self-completion youth survey, 17,476 secondary school pupils (S1 to S5 only) who live and study in Edinburgh, were surveyed. The survey as identified in the table below identified that within the community the key concerns for young people where crime, drugs, safety and fighting.

For more information please contact Kenny Cameron on 0131 552 7854.