What we do
We provide high-quality movement and dance education across London. We make these experiences an avenue for addressing inequality; specifically targeting those in financial hardship, children, young and older people with physical disabilities, learning difficulties such as autism and people from diverse backgrounds.
We aim for our programmes to be accessible knowing that both education and health inequality is largely influenced by inclusive opportunities.
This project will help us build an online resource that supports the health and emotional resilience of the most vulnerable and challenged communities and provides a valuable learning tool.
About this project and why we must take 'action' now
With the help of emergency grant funding, during the Covid-19 crisis we've been able to adapt our service and offer 'MovementWorks Online', a live delivery programme of specialist classes that support learning through movement while addressing physical and mental well-being. As well as supporting our existing beneficiaries, we have grown a new audience of over 1000 with these remote sessions.
Our grant funding will soon be coming to an end but demand has sky-rocketed. We're aware of the call for an 'on-demand' service for those who find it difficult to commit to a set time and need a more flexible approach. A MovementWorks library would be a new initiative, an expansion of our existing offer and allow high-quality filmed pre-recorded sessions to support even more people. With your help we'll create up to 28 professionally-recorded sessions with our specialist trainers that support vulnerable children and adults, their parents and carers and continue to grow the numbers of those we're able support both during and beyond this pandemic.
Even before Covid-19 an inactive population was a big issue, with the British Heart Foundation reporting that less than 20% of children and young people were achieving the recommended daily amount of physical activity.
The World Health Organisation has highlighted concerns that the restrictions and lockdowns have heavily impacted children's physical development to the extent that many have regressed in fundamental skills. This reveals the importance of movement-based education more than ever.
As so many of our beneficiaries are from communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic our work focuses on the specific challenges these communities face through our flagship programmes Developmental Dance Movement® and Autism Movement Therapy®, together with complementary sessions such as stress busting Laughter Yoga, Sensory Movement for children with complex needs and Storytelling Yoga combining early literacy with physical development which have featured culturally diverse and inclusive stories, some of them read by the original authors.
To give you a better idea of the age range and levels of ability we're able to provide for and the uniqueness of our services visit:
To find more about the scope of our work and our impact you can explore other pages on our site such as our published research and our current projects supported by BBC Children in Need and The London Mayor's Fund.
If this has sparked your interest in the science behind the relationship between movement and learning and you have a spare twenty minutes you can watch our CEO Ali Golding deliver her TED Talk here:
What people are saying
Our beneficiaries and their parents/carers have told us that our online sessions are just as effective and engaging and a great addition to our in-person delivery. These sessions have:
- Improved mental health and wellbeing.
- Supported home schooling and special education.
- Improved self-confidence.
- Improved physical health and dexterity.
- Reduced feelings of loneliness and isolation.
"He tries very hard to copy the actions and to sing and sign as well. Your sessions are helping him greatly with his learning and confidence and are good exercise." Parent of an autistic child.
"Thank you for all the virtual sessions you have enabled our children and families to access during lockdown. They have really enjoyed and valued these" Community Nursery School, South East London.
"Nothing like a boogie in the afternoon to get us all moving and have a giggle! Thanks @MovementWorksEd for great session" Share Community, a charity supporting those with physical and learning disabilities and mental health needs.
A parent speaks about the impact our autism project had on her son
We're committed to improving life chances through movement and dance.
In 2020 we were finalists for two prestigious national awards
London Sports Awards for 'Children and Young People' AND One Dance UK Awards for 'Inspirational Work in Education and Outreach'