OnwardDanceSyndrome are thrilled to have received a donation of £2,645 from Onward to support the work of Dance Leaders with learning disabilities in Clitheroe.


Onward is a leading provider of quality, affordable homes for rent and sale in the North West. They own and manage over 35,000 homes right across the region. As well as providing housing, they also work to make a difference in their communities.  They offer help and support to vulnerable people facing a range of challenges, and create strong and vibrant communities for their customers can be proud to be a part of. The funding that they have provided to DanceSyndrome is a part of this commitment to communities.


DanceSyndrome is a multi-award winning dance charity that delivers inclusive dance workshops and dance leadership training, as well as inspiring performances that demonstrate a focus on ability rather than disability. The charity was founded by Jen Blackwell, who happens to have Down’s syndrome, because she found it difficult to find opportunities in community dance due to her disability. DanceSyndrome’s ethos is that disability should never be a barrier to following your dreams. Dancers with and without disabilities work together to inspire people to see what can be achieved when we all become more inclusive.


DanceSyndrome supports many vulnerable adults across Lancashire who are currently shielding due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  The charity is hoping be able to offer a phased return to indoor community dance sessions in community centres soon, after closing suddenly in March. The charity 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 funding from Onward will enable DanceSyndrome to respond to the current situation by offering indoor, outdoor and Zoom dance workshops for people in Clitheroe who have been isolated by the pandemic.  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, “We are very grateful to Onward for supporting our work with this donation. At DanceSyndrome we empower adults with learning disabilities to gain skills not just for dancing and dance leadership but for living independent lives and being part of their community.  Onward’s focus on community values makes for a great partnership that I’m sure will benefit many vulnerable adults at a very challenging time”.


If you would like more information about our current dance sessions, please visit the Events page of our website.


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