Creative Dance Residency
A story by Indepen-dance
Indepen-dance facilitated a creative dance residency for disabled adults in Findhorn. This offer the parents and carers a well needed break from their caring role.
What Creative Dance Residency did
Indepen-dance organised a five day creative dance residency which took place from Monday 18th - Friday 22nd Oct. 21 people in total attended the creative residency this included 14 adults with a learning disability and 1 person with a visual impairment. The disabled participants are members of our Adult Performance Company the majority of whom have attended similar creative residencies in the past.
This project did not work directly with carers but rather gave the carers a short break to do what they wanted with their own time, from the evaluations gathered many of the carers just enjoyed having a break from the caring role. Overall we believe the project was a success, we managed to deliver the project with our own team of staff and freelancers, we didn't require to purchase any equipment with the exception of some games to keep us entertained in the evenings.
This project meets the Creative Breaks priorities by offering Mutual benefit to the lives of carers and the people they care for by improving their quality of life and well being by participating in a high quality creative dance activity which makes a positive difference to both the disabled participants and their parents and carers to support them in the caring relationship.
On the whole we believe we did do our very best to deliver our intended project, all of our disabled participants really enjoyed their time away from home, for some it has been a long time since they have had any time away from family due to the Government guidance and instructions to shield at home. This trip brought back some sense of normality again, sharing a meal out with close friends, travelling and enjoying dancing together again.
The project did go to plan, we had less disabled participants than we would normally accommodate this was due to some parents not feeling confident about their disabled son/daughter risking catching COVID 19. As it happened on the final day of the dance residency one of our disabled members tested positive on a lateral flow test for COVID 19. They were isolated from the rest of the group and collected by a family relative, unfortunately another 5 people in the group tested positive.
What Indepen-dance has learned
We have learnt that we have needed to adapt our planned activity to ensure the safety and best interest of our disabled participants.
We tried our best but in the end one of our disabled participants tested positive for COVID 19 whilst carrying out the routine lateral flow test before we returned home.
The only thing we could do was remove this person from the bigger group and have a relative pick them up so they didn't travel back on the bus with everyone else. Unfortunately 5 other people who attended the creative residency also tested positive on return. Fortunately no one was hospitalised or had any serious ill effects from contacting the virus, this could have been due to the fact that everyone attending was double vaccinated. Nevertheless we did feel disappointed that this happened, we feel we did do everything in our power to ensure everyone's safety.
How Indepen-dance has benefitted from the funding
The creative breaks funding allows us to support our disabled members and their family members that care for them a break from their caring role and a fun activity for our disabled members, they absolutely love going away together and really look forward to this activity. The Creative Breaks funding fits well with our aim to offer a creative break for our disabled members.
50 carers from Glasgow and other areas in the central belt will have more opportunities to enjoy a life outside of their caring role.
A total of 30 carers from Glasgow and surrounding areas had more opportunities to enjoy life outside of their caring role whilst their son/daughter or cared for person was attending our five day creative residency. We have gathered feedback from our disabled participants family members which demonstrates this.
It has been highly documented that people with a learning disability have been disproportionately worse off due to the restrictions imposed by the Government during the pandemic. Sadly this has had a profound effect on some of our disabled members mental well being, causing anxiety, depression and for one of our disabled members in particular they have become very withdrawn. They stopped talking and interacting with others and for this persons parents they thought long and hard about whether they should attend our creative dance residency. The parents put their trust in our brilliant staff and sent their disabled son on the trip. although it took some time and it is by no means a completed journey the creative residency gave this disabled adult the opportunity to come out of there self, There were moments of real progress when we witnessed their old personality coming back again. He was using his voice again and it was lovely to hear him speak and chat to others. I believe this creative residency gave him the opportunity to step back into a familiar activity with his friends and our creative team.