Believing that participation in arts is an entitlement for everyone, Headway Arts is dancing into the sunset thanks to a recent announcement that it has secured £7,460 from the Coalfields Community Investment Programme.
The funds will be used to deliver weekly dance sessions in the Old Church on Waterloo Road in Blyth for adults who are learning disabled, have special needs or endure other complex health issues.
With a range of activities that are scheduled throughout the week, this will add to the extensive programme of arts and creative-based sessions that are already on offer to residents in Blyth and the surrounding community.
Development Coordinator for Headway Arts, Paul Denton, said: “Dance is such an expressive and inclusive activity. Bringing people together to listen to music, to dance freely and to have a good time in a safe environment is magical. It makes such a difference and the benefits go beyond general health.
“Not only are we able to keep people active, we can get them out of the house to meet with friends that understand the frustrations that they have.
“Thanks to the funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust we have been able to extend our dance sessions and to provide a community resource that we know is very much in demand. Furthermore, the practical support they have given us will assist in our future projects and funding applications.”
Development Manager for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Steve Abson, added: “It is an absolute pleasure to work with organisation like Headway Arts that break down barriers and create activities that are fully inclusive for the benefit of all residents whatever their background.
“Hearing about the impact that these dance sessions have is further reassurance that our funding is delivering against our key priorities; employment, skills and health and wellbeing, which lead to lasting change for our communities.
“While we know that this model works, we are also aware that with greater resource we could make a life changing difference for generations. That is why we are calling on government to create a ring-fenced Coalfield Investment Fund so that we can scale-up what we do and the impact that we have.”
As Headway Arts has become a member of Coalfield Community Investment Programme it will continue to be supported by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and will receive bespoke practical support that includes everything from access to resources and services such as help with third-party funding applications and bid-writing, to tips on effective promotion and marketing.
The Coalfields Community Investment Programme supports organisations and programmes of activity that meet with three key criteria; to address skills, employment or health and wellbeing.
Over the years it has helped more than 2m people. More than 25,500 people have been supported into work, 5,500 jobs have been created or safeguarded, 1.3m people have received the necessary support to help improve their skills and gain qualifications and over 250,000 people have participated in activities that have improve their health.
For further details about the Coalfields Community Investment Programme (CCIP) click here.