Little Lives UK were delighted to make a donation to Barking & Dagenham Youth Dance’ Street Dance Fitness project. As part of our ‘Children’s Community Support Programme’, we were inspired by the work they have done in their community, benefitting over 40,000 young people since they established in 2003.
Barking & Dagenham Youth Dance are a grassroots charity who make positive changes to the Barking community by offering young people the opportunity to access high quality sports and fitness-based projects. The purpose of their organisation is to improve cohesion in their community, and to encourage young people to take up activities that will keep young people away from crime and drug involvement.
BDYD use sports and fitness activities to contribute to young people’s development. Predominantly towards their personal, emotional and social skills, all of which will increase their confidence, stay active, learn new skills and improve their teamwork. Our donation will hugely help them to continue delivering their dance fitness sessions. They had a 40% increase of participants wanting to join the programme after the first lockdown in 2020. In order for more young people to join, BDYD would like to increase the number of sessions they provide by adding in two extra classes per week.
The street dance sessions will address some of the deep-rooted issues that young members of the Barking & Dagenham community are facing, mainly revolving around poverty and inequality. These sessions will deliver physical activities to encourage more young people to be active, no matter their background or ability. People in lower socio-economic groups are more likely to be inactive and feel less motivated to join programmes such as these, which can result in serious issues regarding their mental well-being. The pandemic has also exacerbated the complex social needs of many vulnerable groups in their community, so the demand for support has greatly increased, meaning support is more important than ever.
29% of the children in Barking & Dagenham are living in low-income families, so the project is mainly designed to cater for them. These young members are therefore most at risk from social exclusion and of developing mental health related problems. This project will break down those barriers as they provide an accessible and non-judgemental space to the young people to learn and prosper. The sessions are an hour each, and will run over a period of 12 weeks, reaching an extra 25 young people per session as a result of our donation. This means that they will be able to access their full waiting list.
The dance fitness sessions that Little Lives UK made the donation towards enable the young people to build their confidence and self-esteem. The sessions grant them the opportunity to have a positive routine to their weekend in being involved in a worthwhile programme that they can consistently attend. The ultimate aim of these sessions is to prevent the young people from getting bored and becoming involved in criminal activity. Taking part in a positive programme such as these, will inspire them to avoid crime and anti-social behaviour. The beneficiaries of their project will have access to important advice and make connections that will hugely assist them in overcoming some of the issues they face. They’ll additionally develop skills that’ll lead them down a pathway towards a fulfilled life. The confidence they gain, along with better communication skills will enhance their career prospects, along with better mental health and well-being. They can also develop life lone friends who have similar experiences and interests, all of which will help them prosper in their communities.
To be in with a chance of receiving a donation from Little Lives UK, please apply through our ‘Children’s Community Support Programme’ on our website.