Project title: Dance & Wellbeing Programme

Region: West Country, Plymouth, Stonehouse

Award amount: £9,350

The dance company Exim Dance in Plymouth have been awarded the West Country grant for their new programme which promotes healthy lifestyles and builds confidence through the use of dance. This project targets marginalised young people aged 5-18 (up to 25 years with disabilities) and women aged over 18.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a decrease in physical activity for many young people, and even more so for those living in areas of deprivation. Local research in Plymouth has also shown that one in four children will be overweight or obese by the time they start Primary School, and this increases to one in three for those starting Secondary School.

There are also many young people in the Stonehouse area facing challenges including mental health conditions, domestic violence, physical disability, drug abuse and vulnerability due to care arrangements.

The Dance and Wellbeing Programme is a 32-week, multi-generational project, that will deliver engaging dance sessions tailored to the age and ability of the 75 group members.

Not only will the sessions promote and increase physical activity for the young people, but the sessions will also include education on topics such as heart health, healthy eating, smoking cessation and the positive impact of physical activity on the body. The project uses a holistic approach to tackle important topics for these young people, and aims to enrich their lives through healthy living.

This project started in October 2021, and we can’t wait to report on the results! Group members will benefit from the opportunity to use dance to improve both their physical and mental wellbeing.

The project will also act as a support mechanism and provide education to help create a positive health outlook for the young people that participate. Group members will have the confidence and knowledge to make healthier choices and be inspired to keep up dancing as a way of keeping fit and engaging with others.