A performing arts respite service in Leicester. FTM Dance, has continued to function throughout lockdown, providing face to face* services for its most vulnerable families on a one to one basis whilst continuing all other lessons online.
During Easter, FTM Dance helped local SEN schools look after key worker children and most at risk families, giving teachers a well deserved break.
They are also providing face to face community sessions supporting the most vulnerable in the community for daily exercise, family shopping and medication pick- ups in line with government guidance.
Alongside this provision, FTM ensure their 350 pupils, who would usually access dance, music and acting lessons throughout the week, access activities online.
It is vitally important to the organisation that they arrange the lessons at exactly the same time and with as much variety as usual.
It is also key to ensure continuity and make sure there is no break during the sessions.
Online lessons are password protected and allow the children and young people to take part and contribute in a live session, see their friends and familiar faces and ask questions.
The lessons have been a huge success to date, with the majority of young people joining in at the normal timetabled time.
The lessons structure has been accommodated by supplementary resource packs which have been sent out to families
For those who need access to props and resources, FTM have fundraised for various items including iPads with 4g for those who do not have access to the internet.
The lessons are seen as essential by parents and carers, having a positive impact on the young people’s ability to cope and their mental health, giving them something to get up for and focus on.
Routine is so important for the children and adults and with most not accessing school or other activities this gives them that focus.
Next term, FTM are working on ‘around the world’ arts, Caribbean and South Asian arts with activities including soca dance routines, Bollywood dance routines and learning about different cultures using the arts.
Leanne Evans, Director of FTM Dance said “I want to say a massive thanks to our wonderful staff team and students for being so resilient during this unprecedented time.
“The praise we are receiving the about the service we are providing is proof of how much the team have gone the extra mile and have really risen to the challenge.
“We continue to work to safeguard the most vulnerable in our society, to ensure families are supported in line with government guidelines and don’t go into further crisis.”
*Full PPE is worn during these sessions.
FTM Dance received investment from Key Fund, which provides loans and grants to community businesses.
Matt Smith, CEO of Key Fund, said: “Social enterprises are simply businesses with a social or environmental mission at their heart. Over the years, this movement has grown and is now at the forefront of tackling society’s biggest challenges, from homelessness, addiction, loneliness, poverty and inequality to the environment, with community-led green energy schemes, projects tackling food waste, and recycling enterprises.”
Matt added: “Social enterprises are of course struggling, like all businesses in lockdown, but they are crucially important during this crisis. The impending recession will compound the hardships already felt from austerity with rising inequality. Supporting the sector will help our communities recover. The social enterprise model supports local people to take control of the issues that matter to them – these people are working at the coalface of their communities, offering very real solutions to endemic problems.”
80% of Key Fund investments are in social businesses that operate in the top 30% most deprived areas on the indices of multiple deprivation.
About FTM Dance
FTM Dance is a performing arts respite service for children, young people and adults who may have additional needs, disabilities or specific medical conditions. Our support staff are highly skilled and trained in disability and medical related aspects including enteral feeding, epilepsy, colostomy, moving and handling. Sessions focus on fun and ensuring participants have a good time. We provide 1-1 for users and transport where required. If your young person is looking for social care provision to start September 2020 onwards, please feel free to use this time to trial our services online and get to know the staff and students before trailing our face to face sessions.
Give us a try – FTM Dance adhoc sessions give you access to LIVE ZOOM sessions in line with the timetabled sessions running that week. Please note these must be pre booked via our website.
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