Creative Movement Workshops
A story by Indepen-dance
Indepen-dance provided 3 x weekly creative movement and dance sessions over 43 weeks for 45 adults with learning disabilities in Glasgow and 1 x 6 day dance residency for 25 disabled adults.
Both activities offered the participants an opportunity to develop new skills and friendship.
What Creative Movement Workshops did
Funding from Creative Breaks allowed us to deliver 3 x weekly creative movement classes for disabled adults over a period of 43 weeks. This included weekly dance classes for our Adult Performance Company members which met every Wednesday 10.30 - 2 pm at Scottish Ballet Education Suite within Tramway. The disabled participants participant in this weekly dance class which includes exploring a variety of dance techniques, creating dance pieces to perform at a variety of events throughout the year.
This class is attended by up to 28 adults with a learning disability and as well as offering a weekly dance activity, the participants share lunch together and use the facilities with in Tramway and The Hidden Garden by visiting exhibitions and enjoy the garden in the summer months. This is more than just a dance class it is a weekly activity where disabled people have the opportunity to meet friends, explore the beautiful surroundings in the Tramway and the Hidden Garden and have the opportunity to improve their dance skills.
The other weekly creative movement class is pitched slightly differently, the Friday Night Social class is a fun creative movement class for adults with a learning disability to take part in a weekly dance class and following on from the 1.5 hour class the dancer go to the pub together for an hour. The emphasis on this class is a fun dance activity with an added social activity added onto the session at the end, the weekly Friday Night Social Class takes place in at the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance building in the Westend of Glasgow between 6.30 - 9 pm.
The final project delivered was a creative dance residency which took place from the 8th -13th July, we took our adult performance company members to Hollywood, Belfast, this residential activity included daily inclusive yoga sessions, daily creative dance sessions, a visit to the Belfast Folk and Transport Museum, nature walks, arts and craft activities and at the end of the week the participants hosted a talent show where everyone got to perform their own dance, song or act. All the activities we provided were attended by disabled adults the activities offered a good break for the parents/carers.
What Indepen-dance has learned
We have delivered this project for a couple of years, there hasn't been much change in the delivery and project planning and delivery, we have listened to and used the feedback gathered from the participants to ensure we are delivering a service suited to the needs of the disabled adults and their families. The disabled people that attend our service are often excluded from mainstream dance activities in their own community because the dance tutor/leader lacks the skills to include disabled people in their sessions or the space the class is held in isn't accessible.
As the project runs similarly each year there is little or no requirement to change the budget, only to meet staff salaries increments and increases to running costs, venue costs etc. We ensure that our classes are held in fully accessible spaces and delivered by a specialist inclusive teaching team. We know from gathering feedback from our participants and their parents and carers that there is a great need for the service we provide, it is more than just a dance class, our service provides a place where people can make friendships which tackles social isolation this can benefit both the disabled person and their parent/carer.
One of the parents had mentioned in the feedback form that it can simply be the fact that you don't need to say anything that helps you feel supported, being amongst other parents and carers that care for disabled people offers it's own support. As an organisation we continue to promote the service we provide at a variety of events for example the Abilityfest, Glasgow Disability Alliance information day, Bobath's annual conference and awareness raising events such as Purple Tuesday at Silverburn Shopping Centre, we provide information to Social Work Link officers and to other third sector organisations to ensure we are targeting families of disabled people and those most in need of support.
Our Facebook page and our new website (due to be launched very soon) continues to reach out and engage with new families as well as promoting our service at a variety of events. Indepen-dance continues to evolve, over the last 23 years we have added new activities, following feedback from our service users, this usually entails finding project funding to develop an idea, the difficulty comes when we establish a service and then the funding stops/comes to an end. Indepen-dance historically has always tried to continue the new service and add it to our core programme of activities, hence why our programme has grown over the last 23 years.
Funding however is becoming more difficult to source with many organisations trying to get funding from the same lot of trust funds and foundations, as a result when we don't get a successful funding application it puts pressure on our organisation to continue to provide the service we do.
Indepen-dance has developed some really good partnerships with venues who give us space in-kind, this works as a win win arrangement for both our organisation and the partner organisation, partnership working is an ongoing activity we are constantly looking for new partnerships where both organisations can benefit from each other.
For this particular funded project we had no unexpected challenges or opportunities we do have a contingency plan for when venues are not available which does happen from time to time. We have a list of alternative venues to contact to ensure we don't have to cancel any of the planned activity.
As previously mentioned we have ran this project for a few years now, we were really disappointed to receive the news that we weren't successful with our most recent funding application to the Creative Breaks Fund. We will endeavour to find other funds to carryout the planned activity included in the application. We have a part time fundraiser (16 hours) and will employ a freelance fundraiser in the new year to attempt to reach this shortfall.
How Indepen-dance has benefitted from the funding
Our organisation benefited greatly from the Creative Breaks funding it has enabled us to provide a sustainable long term service to disabled people with parents and carers benefiting from a break from the role of carer. The funding towards the creative dance residency allows us to offer a new residential activity for our disabled adults each year, the Creative Breaks fund has supported match funding for the core programme of activities we provided from other funders.
60 carers and people they care for from Glasgow and other areas in the central belt will have improved well being .
We have achieved our project outcome by providing a consistent weekly creative activity for disabled adults to participate in which has improved the disabled adults well being as well as improving the well being of the carer by providing them with a good break from the caring role. Many carers have noted the regularity of our planned activity enables the carer to plan their own free time giving them the opportunity to look after their own well being and to choose to do what they want whilst their cared for person is participating in the activity we organise. Carers have told us the regularity of our activities really helps.
John is a regular attender of our Friday Night Social class, he has Down Syndrome and after a serious accident effecting his mobility returned to the our Friday Night Social Class to support himself to improve his physical fitness. John lives with his mother who due to a visual impairment would not be able to support John to get to his weekly class, one of our freelance staff members befriended John and his mum and takes him to his class every week. John really enjoys the creative movement class but also really enjoys the social aspect of the class visiting the pub after class is a particular highlight. He often used to go to the pub with his dad but since he passed away some years ago he really enjoys going to the pub with his friends at Indepen-dance. John's mum really appreciates this activity for her son, the friendship he has developed with the freelance staff member who accompanies him to the session and really enjoys sometime to herself whilst John is at class.
60 carers from Glasgow and other areas in the central belt will have more opportunities to enjoy a life outside of their caring role.
We have achieved our project outcome by providing a 6 day dance residency for our disabled adults who regularly attend our adult performance company class. The 6 day dance residency gives the carers more opportunities to enjoy life outside of their caring role.
Emma is a young lady with Down Syndrome who attends our Adult Performance Company classes on a weekly basis 43 weeks of the year, Emma attended our creative dance residency this year in Belfast. Emma's parents took this opportunity to take short break aboard while their daughter was attending the dance residency. This enable Emma's parents to enjoy a break away from the caring role giving them the opportunity to recharge their batteries and have a sustained break from the caring role.
60 carers from Glasgow and other areas in the central belt will feel better supported to sustain their caring role.
We have achieved our project outcome by providing a regular weekly creative activity as well as a creative residency for 6 days. Both activities together have contributed to carers feeling better supported to sustain their caring role. It is important to mention that because our activity is a regular weekly activity it allows parents and carers the opportunity to plan their own personal time.
Andrew attends our regular adult performance company class, he has a learning and physical disability, he really enjoys going to class it provides a place where he can take part in a regular dance activity which is suited to his needs, he also has the opportunity to make and build friendships, Andrew would regularly be restricted from attending a dance activity due to his physical disabilities, our classes are specifically aimed to support a variety of needs suited to both adults with learning and physical disabilities. His mum was so pleased to find a dance class that can provide an activity suited to her sons needs which supports his physical and emotional well being, Andrew has been attending our Adult Performance Company on a regular basis for some time now and has made friends, he really enjoys coming to class and as a result of this his mum feels able to enjoy and plan her own time when being relieved from the caring role, as this activity is consistent activity is also give the carer a sustained break from the caring role.