DanceSyndrome was first started in November 2009 by Jen Blackwell. Since then we have changed the lives of hundreds of people with learning disabilities but we now need your help to enable us to continue to deliver these life changing opportunities.
In times of austerity, people with learning disabilities are becoming increasingly dependent on the third sector for support and budgets to support them are being drastically cut. Research shows that people with learning disabilities are more likely to be lonely, more likely to suffer mental health difficulties, less likely to be in paid employment and have a much shorter life expectancy than the general population (Source: Mencap). The work that DanceSyndrome does is vital in reversing these trends, but we need your help.
Based in North West England, DanceSyndrome is a small local charity providing inclusive dance workshops & leadership training for people with and without disabilities. Our dancers also perform live at special events across the UK with the aim of inspiring people and demonstrating that people with disabilities can live a life of their choosing and follow their dreams.
DanceSyndrome was founded in 2009 by Jen Blackwell, with help from her parents. Jen has Down’s syndrome and after attending a mainstream school she felt that her disability shouldn’t stop her from having the career of her choice. She wanted to be a community dance leader but found it very difficult to find training that was appropriate for someone with a learning disability. After 10 years of searching unsuccessfully, she took matters into her own hands and started DanceSyndrome to allow her, and other people in the same situation, to follow their dreams of having a career in dance. That was 10 years ago and DanceSyndrome still stands apart from other dance sessions with all activities being co-led by people with disabilities, who are all trained through our unique Dance By Example leadership training course.
The pioneering, innovative approach of DanceSyndrome is that if you include people of all abilities and empower them to take part in a way that means something to them, then they will start to believe in themselves and achieve things that they never thought possible. We use dance to unlock potential but the skills that people learn can be transferred to other aspects of life beyond the arts. We are empowering people with learning disabilities to become visible, active members of society who are changing accepted beliefs about what people with learning disabilities are ABLE to do.
People are empowered for life after taking part in our sessions and there isn’t any other provision like it in the North West, or further afield. We want to be able to continue this provision and even expand it, but to do that we need your help. In the current economic climate we are faced with increased pressure on our resources. Competition for funding is fierce and the major funding that we have had in recent years is coming to an end. We are now relying on the generous support of individuals and businesses to carry out our vital work. If you appreciate the work that we do and want to see more of it, please support us in any way that you can.
As we approach our 10th anniversary we are appealing to our supporters to help us to make even more of a difference. Regular giving allows us to plan future activities and programmes with confidence and your support can make that possible. We welcome donations of any size and every single one makes a difference. With your help we can change the way that people think about disability and create a brighter future for people who might otherwise be excluded by Society.
We appreciate your support and are grateful for all donations! You can donate directly using the form below, or via our Just Giving page.