Malcolm and Jen Blackwell

Malcolm and Jen BlackwellThis year Father’s Day falls in Learning Disability Week so we wanted to share some words from a father on the theme for this year of “getting creative”. Who better to share their thoughts than Malcolm Blackwell, father of our Founder Jen?


For Father’s Day, Malcolm (pictured with Jen) reflects on this year’s Learning Disability Week (#LDWeek21) theme of creativity:


“We all know how creative activities have been a bedrock for many as we all navigate our way through the challenges of the past year. They have provided a focus and purpose that has helped people deal with this. In many cases, creative activities have helped with isolation, provided connections and, in DanceSyndrome’s case, also provided physical activity through dance and opened people’s eyes to what inclusion and people with a learning disability who are well supported can do.



“It has been remarkable to witness how the Dance Leaders quickly mastered Zoom and a new way of delivering the workshops, as well as continuing to develop their own talents. Leading these sessions has provided structure, purpose and a valuable contribution to society. The frequent Zoom sessions have given an opportunity to reach a wider audience on an international level, demonstrating what inclusion can really do. It is what Jen gets up for in the morning and I think she has never been busier and as her father it is great to see her thriving!



“However, getting creative is not just about activities but also how one goes about solving the issues that we all face as parents of a person with a learning disability. One can accept the status quo or one can find creative solutions. As a father my aim has been to support our children to do what they want to do and hopefully be happy, healthy and fulfilled. We could have easily stopped at ‘there was no training for Jen to become the dancer she wanted’. Instead we set up the dance company to provide that opportunity with no expectations of how it would turn out. We were surprised to find a lot of other people wanted to join and it has gone from strength to strength. All the way through Jens life we have had to be creative to enable her to be fulfilled and I do not think it will stop!”


If you’re inspired by Jen’s energy and passion for dance, why not join us in a Zoom session? You can find the full list of upcoming sessions on our Events page. If you would like to support the work that we do and enable our small charity to grow it’s life-changing impact, you can donate directly using the form below, or visit the Fundraising page for information about how you an get involved with our fundraising campaigns. 


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