BAND is seeking funding to the amount of £425 to pay for a free children’s inclusive dance workshop to take place during the school holidays. We aim to run 10 throughout the 20-21 financial year.
The workshops are aimed at children aged between 4-13 years of age and each one will last 3 hours. They will be offered free to inclusive childcare settings that are supporting non-disabled and disabled children. Currently, these settings are supporting children who have Downs Syndrome, Autism, limited mobility, and complex health care needs including: tube feeding, use of oxygen, and epilepsy. The workshops will be scheduled on the day that most disabled children attend. 50% of settings we work with will be based in disadvantaged areas of Bristol.
Children will have the opportunity to make props, costumes, and get involved in story telling and dance (including choreography and a mini performance). All the workshops have a science sub-theme based around flight which not only reinforces the national curriculum but also tends to appeal to harder to reach groups such as boys.
The workshops will allow disabled children to be equally involved alongside their non-disabled peers, with each individual being able to try a new experience that meets their level. These exercises can improve collaboration, team working and social skills, as well as breaking down stereo-types and stigma’s about disabilities. Children can also experience a sense of accomplishment as they tackle a new experience, which in turn leads to an increase in the sense of belonging that disabled children will have in the setting. We hope that all the children will have an opportunity to try something new and develop new skills empowering them to reach their full potential.
Why is it important and what are the benefits
- 92% per cent of families with disabled children say that finding childcare for disabled children is more difficult compared to non-disabled children (all Counting the Costs, 2014).
- The majority of disabled children participate in a limited number and range of leisure activities (Fair play for disabled children: Bevan foundation report, 2010).
- Positive relationships will be built as children try out the activity alongside each other.
- Physical activity leads to improved self – esteem and confidence. It will also improve balance, spatial awareness, coordination and motor skills.
- The workshops will provide an outlet for physical energy, can reduce anxiety and support positive behaviour.
- Nearly half the people living in poverty in 2019 were families where a member has a disability.
- This will be a new activity for most of the children and will help increase confidence and self esteem.
- Disabled children are able to be involved alongside their non-disabled peers, with each individual being able to try a new experience that meets their level.
- It can improve collaboration, team working and social skills as disabled children and non-disabled work in groups together. This also increases the sense of belonging that disabled children will have in the setting.
- Children can also experience a sense of accomplishment as they tackle a new experience.
BAND works hard to promote and encourage inclusive practices to support disabled children and their families. Feedback from physiotherapists who have been involved with our inclusive dance workshops state that:
“...they promotes strength, flexibility and balance as well as developing children's social skills, confidence and self esteem.”
“Developing body awareness and a range of movement options for disabled children can bring general improvements in coordination, and also help to raise confidence and self-esteem. By helping youngsters feel more at home with their bodies and giving them the chance to explore what they can do, this will promote trust, cooperation, communication and language too.”
Karen Ziegler, Children's Therapist "Children with movement difficulties benefit so much from participating in physical activity along with other children. Ballet offers the opportunity to improve their body awareness, increase their muscle strength, improves postural alignment and core stability as well as learning a new and wonderful skill.”
I hope you find this an exciting and worthwhile project to support.