Funding from the Tackling Inequalities Fund (National Lottery funding from Sport England) will enable us to offer outdoor dance sessions to bridge the gap between online dancing via Zoom, which has been the core activity for most of 2020, and safely returning to indoor dancing.
The Tackling Inequalities Fund exists to help to reduce the negative impact of coronavirus and the widening of the inequalities in sport and physical activity. Research by Sport England at the start of the pandemic showed that certain groups of people were being disproportionately affected by the crisis and it was significantly impacting their ability to be physically active.
DanceSyndrome supports many vulnerable adults across Lancashire who are currently shielding due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We are hoping be able to offer a phased return to indoor community dance sessions in community centres soon after closing suddenly in March. We had to adapt quickly with a view to online sessions becoming the norm for most of 2020. The DanceSyndrome team wanted to limit the impact of isolation on participants and decided to take the workshops online using Facebook, YouTube and Zoom to bring the sessions to regular participants and anyone else who wanted to use them to stay active at home during isolation.
The National Lottery funding from Sport England will enable us to respond to the current situation by offering outdoor dance workshops for those who have barriers to participating online and are not able to return to indoor sessions yet. The aim is to ensure that participants of all ages and abilities can still access creative, physical activity in one form or another. The sessions will be co-led by Dance Leaders with a learning disability to demonstrate the importance of providing inclusive opportunities for people with learning disabilities to be visible leaders, to have their voices heard on important issues, to follow their dreams and succeed in their ambitions.
DanceSyndrome MD Dawn Vickers said, “As a small local charity, DanceSyndrome has had to adapt quickly and creatively at every stage of the pandemic and funding like this has enabled us to do that. Many of our participants face barriers in all aspects of their life and at DanceSyndrome we pride ourselves on removing as many of those barriers as we can. We know many people have found it difficult to use the technology needed to dance online and may still not feel comfortable going back to indoor sessions because they are vulnerable. We need to make sure those people aren’t excluded and can still access physical dance activities to help them maintain good physical and mental health. We are thrilled that we are able to expand this vital work thanks to this funding!”