DanceSyndrome is thrilled to have received a grant of £39,750 from The National Lottery Community Fund to support the work of our Dance Leaders with learning disabilities during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund on behalf of the Government, will enable us to continue to offer weekly Zoom dance sessions for both adults and children, with and without disabilities. We also hope to build provision by offering bespoke dance sessions for schools, universities and businesses. The funding will also support us as we consider the challenge of safely returning to face-to-face dance sessions in the community. Social distancing and changing government guidelines mean that dance sessions will need to be continually adapted as guidance changes over the coming months and the funding will support us to do this successfully.
DanceSyndrome supports many vulnerable adults across Lancashire who are currently shielding due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We are hoping be able to return to offering community dance sessions in community centres from September onwards after closing suddenly in March, just before lockdown started. We had to adapt quickly and 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 continue to make them feel a part of our “dancing family”. We 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 Facebook and YouTube sessions are free to access and the Zoom sessions have a low charge of £2.50.
The funding provided by The National Lottery Community Fund is allowing DanceSyndrome to respond to the current situation by continuing online dance workshops for those who are not able to return to the community yet, as well as offering sessions that will bridge the gap between the online sessions and regular group workshops in community venues – such as outdoor dance sessions for small groups. The aim is to ensure that participants can still access creative activity in one form or another, even if they can’t leave their homes. The funding will also support us to be able to plan a new strategy for moving forward after the pandemic. By evaluating the success of these new online platforms during the crisis, we can decide whether online sessions could be part of a long-term creative approach in the future, after the pandemic is over.
DanceSyndrome MD Dawn Vickers said, “This funding is vital to DanceSyndrome’s participants. It allows them to start adjusting to getting back into the community at their own pace, whilst offering a safety net of online sessions to those who need to continue to stay at home for any of a number of reasons. It also allows us to keep engaging with new participants who have not been involved with us before. DanceSyndrome’s inclusive approach is quite unique and online dance has allowed people across the UK to be included in our work, regardless of geographical barriers. Many of those people have never had access to truly inclusive dance sessions before and they are thrilled that we are able to continue this vital work thanks to this funding!”
If you would like to find out more about our online sessions, please visit the Events page of our website.