Who are we?
Susan Hewgill, a graduate of the Royal Ballet School, who ran a dance school in Darlington for many years, embarked on an enormous project in the mid-90's to put on a performance of Saint-Saën's Carnival of the Animals, involving 200+ children. In view of the high cost of this, it seemed an ideal opportunity to involve a wider audience, and Sue, and a committee of parents and supporters enlisted a number of commercial firms to sponsor seats for groups of local special needs schools. Stimulated by the performance, many of the children asked "Why can't we take part"? - and this sowed the seeds of an idea...
"We Can Dance" was established in 2000 to provide dance lessons for Children with special needs in Northern England. We became a Registered Charity in 2010, focusing on young people with special educational needs, such as profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), autism, physical disabilities, sensory impairments and behavioural difficulties. These young people are a hard to reach group and are often overlooked.
We have developed our own programme with PMLD students for weekly lessons and specialist workshops, bringing music, movement and sensory stimulation into their lives. We aim to give children with special educational needs the opportunity to access music and dance through regular lessons at their school by professional dance teachers, funded by "We Can Dance", who at present are supporting the following schools:
Applefields School, York
Hob Moor Oaks School, York
Priory Woods School & Arts College, Middlesbrough
Abbey Hill Academy, Stockton-on-Tees
Beaumont Hill Academy, Education Village, Darlington
North Shore Academy, Stockton-on-Tees
Ash Trees Academy, Stockton-on-Tees
Ash Trees Infants School, Stockton-on-Tees
Billingham South School, Billingham
Green Gates Academy, Stockton-on-Tees
Kirkleatham Hall School, Redcar
The Forest School, Knaresborough
Springwater School, Harrogate
The Dales School, Northallerton
Mowbray School, Bedale
The Woodlands Academy , Scarborough
The Oaks Secondary School, Spennymoor
-"We Can Dance" wants to continue to fund more schools, thus giving the opportunity for more children to benefit from dance. We are continually fundraising to cover the cost of the weekly lessons in schools and the 1 & 2-day workshops, which are organised throughout the year. "We Can Dance" is solely financed by our fundraising events and donations which are gratefully received. Gift Aid is a huge boost to the value of donations.
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The Trustees and Committee Members of the Charity
The Charity is run by a Committee of volunteers:
Yvonne Nicholson Chairman
June Chamberlain Vice Chairman
Patricia Begley Treasurer
Barbara Colling Secretary