A group of dancers dancing through a pink triangle. The words on the image say "double the difference" and there is a Big Give logo

Countdown to the start of the Big Give Arts For Impact Campaign!


A life-changing weekend dance retreat – ENCORE 2024!

Please can you help support a life-changing weekend dance retreat for people with learning disabilities? This unique opportunity will bring individuals from across the UK together for the very first time since being socially isolated throughout the Covid pandemic! The dance retreat will create an abundance of new social connections and spread the joy of dance to everyone!

For one week only, any donations made will be doubled by the Big Give.

To donate, visit the Big Give Arts For Impact campaign. Every donation will be matched for 7 days from midday 19th March – midday 26th March, ensuring twice the impact.

Exclusive Giovanni Pernice Prize Draw for Donors!

Our wonderful Ambassador, Giovanni Pernice has kindly donated 2 tickets to see his 2024 tour at Symphony Hall, Birmingham on Thursday 4th April (this is a BSL performance) as a prize draw for our donors.

To be in with a chance of winning:
– Visit our campaign page between 12pm on Tuesday 19th March and 12pm on Tuesday 26th March
– make a donation of £10 or more via this link: Big Give Campaign Page
– tick the box agreeing to share your contact details with DanceSyndrome, (so we can contact you if you win the draw)
– Follow us at @DanceSyndromeUK on social media to find out who wins the tickets when we make the draw on Thursday 28th March!

A picture of Giovanni Pernice's face with stage lights in the background behind the words
Win Giovanni Pernice tickets

About The Campaign

A group of dancers dancing through a pink triangle. The words on the image say The Need

The Department of Health confirms that people with learning disabilities face many barriers including ill health; low confidence; poor self-esteem; significant isolation & boredom. The impact of the pandemic exasperated this even more so. Those living with a learning disability being 5 times more likely to be admitted to hospital & 8 times more likely to die compared with the general population (BMJ Research, July 2021). There are an estimated 50,000 people with learning disabilities in the UK and 80% don’t undertake physical activity. Opportunities to access, engage with and progress within the performing arts are also severely limited. All of this makes the life-changing work of organisations like DanceSyndrome more important now than ever.

The Project

Our online sessions were established to reduce the risk of social isolation and inactivity during the pandemic and a thriving online community has been created. Through these weekly Zoom sessions, friendships and bonds have been created as a result of a shared love of dance. However, the majority of the people attending these 4 weekly sessions have never had the chance to meet each other, or dance together, in person.

Through the Big Give Arts For Impact project, we hope to raise funds for our project “ENCORE 2024: A DanceSydrome Retreat.”  After 4 years of dancing online together, we want to bring our online & in-person participants together for the VERY first time! This life-changing weekend dance retreat will offer a rare opportunity for dancers who have been socially isolated to create new social connections and share the joy of dance.

An online participant’s parent tells us why this opportunity is important:

“Sessions have developed from a welcome opportunity for positive engagement with others (during an anxious and alienating time) to a supportive, life-affirming community.”

“DanceSyndrome has been particularly insightful in keeping the Zoom sessions going beyond the pandemic lockdowns. It is respectful of the way [dancers] have forged friendships and consider themselves part of a team. Not a temporary alternative to ‘real life’ but an acknowledgment that our young people are able to create something pretty amazing if they are given the chance!”

A picture of Jiexi Shen with the quote

A picture of Aimee with the quote

A picture of Saleta and the quote

How you can help

The retreat will cost in the region of £10,000 to deliver so DanceSyndrome needs to generate £5,000 of public donations during the campaign to be able to make this project a success.

So… we need your help! Can you donate to support our work? Or can you run your own small scale campaign for cash donations which can then be donated online during the campaign?

You could:

  • like and share our story on your social media and with friends and family
  • ask colleagues in your workplace to donate the cost of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine
  • run a 50:50 draw, raffle or tombola
  • do a sponsored activity
  • host a bake sale, quiz night, film night or table top sale

If you need any support with your fundraising, please contact our team at info@dancesyndrome.co.uk

To donate, please set a reminder on your calendar to visit our Big Give Arts For Impact campaign between 12pm on Tuesday 19th March and 12pm on Tuesday 26th March.  You can also support us by sharing our appeal on social media. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, X and LinkedIn to see regular updates during the week, which is also Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week – what better time to support our work?

CategoryFundraising, News
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