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Jody Raggo


I saw Transported’s On Your Doorstep programme and thought the B&M Walkway would be a really good area that we could work on. Its official title is Central Walkway or something like that, but we call it the B&M walkway – it’s a passageway, a way of getting into town. It was very downtrodden. There was crumbling brickwork; it wasn’t well maintained; the grass wasn’t cut. I just felt it needed something – a bit more care given to it – so I nominated the area for the programme.

Transported has helped transform that entire area. It’s unbelievable really. And through being involved, I’ve learnt to believe in myself; that I can do arts-based projects in the area. I’d never done anything like that before. 

I was never great at art as a kid to be fair, but Transported’s helped me learn that it’s not all about drawing, it’s not all about painting; it can be quite easy to do. And even things like horticultural design and gardening can be classed as art. So Transported has really helped me learn about the arts. It’s given me the confidence to get involved. 

Once we’d done that project, we thought can’t we do a second project? We worked with Transported to put an Arts Council bid in as a community group, independently, to do a project essentially from the end of B&M all the way along the riverbank. We were lucky to get £15,000 for the project, with a lot of support from Transported in writing the bid. We came up with the idea of having these aluminium fish along the bank. I essentially led on it, working with residents and community groups, helping commission the artists, going through the entire process from start to finish. We engaged with a lot of people. We had about a hundred people design and create fish through our workshops. They’re all going to go along the bank so that will engage with a lot of people too.

Photo: Stephen King