Dance Leader Becky Rich has been involved with DanceSyndrome since 2014. She completed our Dance By Example leadership training which has enabled her to deliver her own independent weekly workshop as well as co-leading many DanceSyndrome activities at community events.
As part of Volunteering Week, we want to celebrate the amazing work that Becky does as a DanceSyndrome volunteer.
The last 6 months have been incredibly busy for Becky Rich, age 26 from Fulwood, Lancashire!
In November 2016 Becky was chosen as the winner of the Volunteer of the Year award at the Lancashire County Council Pride awards as a result of a dance workshop that she runs in one of their days centres. The award celebrates volunteers who have made a marked difference to the life of an individual or community and consistently deliver outstanding service.
Speaking about Becky, Garry Dawson ( Manager at Gerrard Street Day Centre, Preston) said “She is an exuberant and vibrant volunteer delivering sessions that continuously grow and develop…. She has provided people with disabilities the opportunity to learn and develop skills, confidence and enjoy meaningful activity and has been a role model to the group…. Ultimately, each person involved is always excited to see Becky and fully participate and engage in something of great worth and positivity.”
Winning the Pride award led to Becky being signed up as a representative for Lancashire Volunteering Partnership, which requires her to attend and speak at special events, as well as appearing on billboards and in promotional videos promoting the work that they do with volunteers.
Here is the Lancashire Volunteering Partnership video which Becky features in:
Here is a video of Becky speaking live at the recent launch of the Lancashire Volunteering Partnership:
Next up is another of our fabulous volunteers
Posted by Lancashire Volunteer Partnership on Friday, 12 May 2017
In 2017, Becky has increased the amount of volunteering that she does with DanceSyndrome. She has been performing at special events encouraging members of the public to join in with inclusive dance routines, she has been co-leading workshops in care homes for the elderly, school settings and social groups, and she has been a valuable advocate for the work that DanceSyndrome do at every opportunity!
In February this year, Becky gave an impassioned speech about the need to end discrimination against people with learning disabilities at City Hall in London:
Becky is a valued member of the DanceSyndrome team and we feel incredibly lucky to have her volunteering with us!
DanceSyndrome Managing Director Dawn Vickers said “We are so incredibly proud of Becky! She has gone from strength to strength since joining us. She really excels in leadership, she’s a fantastic spokesperson and she’s a young woman on a mission to make society take notice of the assets of people with learning disabilities. We have always known Becky has a lot of skills and talent to offer, and it is wonderful to see other people recognising that outside of her work with DanceSyndrome!”
Of course, volunteering is a two way relationship and Becky has seen the many benefits of volunteering. Becky’s confidence is continually growing, she is benefitting from new experiences, constantly learning and having brilliant ideas for future work, some of which have come to fruition already, a good example being a workshop with children at Spectrum and Me, a group for children with autism. Becky is happy because she loves her work, she is healthier because she is so physically and mentally active. Perhaps the greatest benefit though is that she has formed a wonderful bond with DanceSyndrome founder Jen Blackwell. Their friendship is a touching story that highlights the importance of being part of the community and making friends (you can read the story here).
Talking about her role as a volunteer, Becky said ” I am really happy and very confident that I am in good health to carry out my dream job, to work with my dancing family in my role as a dance leader in Dance Syndrome. In Dance Syndrome we are changing perceptions about people with disabilities and special needs and raising awareness. I also feel very involved and accepted.
“I am enjoying the various visits to care homes for residents to join in with my dancing, and to deliver workshops in schools and to perform in great places. In my volunteering position I hand out leaflets and help Dawn and Jen at our Dance Syndrome information stand and I have the great honour and pleasure to speak to the people.
” Volunteering has made a real difference to my life and I want to get people to support us to hopefully get others meaningfully involved in Dance Syndrome.”
If you would like to know more about Becky, you can read her case study in the Case Studies section of our website.
If you would like to know more about how you can volunteer with DanceSyndrome, please visit the Become a Volunteer page.