Inclusivity

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

So far, the Rotherham African Drummers have been running weekly sessions since February 2015 and has grown in popularity ever since.

Starting with only one group a week in 2015 to now running 6 groups a week since summer 2017, we've found that our instruments are becoming worn, we need more drums to satisfy the demand for attendance at our weekly sessions.

Our sessions are for Beginner, intermediate and advanced level drummers which include a variety of people with learning difficulties and/or physical disabilities as well as more able bodied participants. We base our groups on skill level alone as one of our wheelchair users is in the advanced class. His incredible skill for timing, rhythm and memorising sets keeps the rest of us in check!

However we also run a session for more vulnerable adults in which they learn more about soft skills such as communication skills, turn taking and confidence boosting through the art of African Drumming.

All groups have the opportunity to progress to the next level of drumming when they have achieved a certain level of rhythmical skill, timing and team work.

The team’s ethos is very important to us as we feel that we should learn to work together despite our differences. All groups do this by accepting each other for who they are, learning about boundaries and learning about who we are ourselves.

In our first year (2015) we had 9 performances, in our second year (2016) we performed 24 times and this year we have been booked for 45 performances and workshops (and it's only October!) We have more bookings coming in for November, December and 2018 coming through too! All of our performances provide an opportunity for our members to travel, gain experience and feel a sense of pride in their achievements.

The Rotherham African Drummers are booked for performances and workshops throughout the year, being asked back to annual performances such as the Rotherham & Sheffield Diversity Festivals, Wath May Day Parade and many more!

Our biggest gigs so far have been at BBC radio Sheffield, Leeds Day of the Dead Fiesta and Rotherham Christmas Lights Switch on.

We reach a large number of people in our local community - often attaining new members to our weekly sessions as well as requests for performances and workshops at other events.
As Rotherham is an area of high deprivation and high worklessness, we have now found ourselves in a position where some of our members are struggling to afford the £4 (adults) and/or £2 (kids) subs and would like to apply for funding to allow for some free spaces at the weekly sessions.

To us, it doesn't matter who you are or where you've come from so long as you have an interest in learning about African Drumming!

Our drummers are aged from 6 – 76 years old, and we enjoy breaking down the social barriers between all kinds of groups at workshops, rehearsals and performances.

We’ve found that, being an inclusive group, the children have often told us stories of helping others with a disability at school, helping the elderly whilst out and about the local area and generally understanding others as well as themselves more easily.
We're currently teaching our younger members to become workshop leaders (their first gig as teachers/workshop leaders will be Saturday 7th October 2017 and they're really looking forward to being the boss for a day!).

The rapid expansion of our group has taken us by surprise and we hope to funded so that we can train more of our members to lead workshops, run social media campaigns and help us to continue the fab work of the Rotherham African Drummers.

Rotherham African Drummers

Location: Rotherham

I am so proud of everyone in the group who are working so hard to develop their drumming skills. So many of our team have advanced to the next level of drumming and not only is everyone building on their skill set, they're growing in confidence and even starting to lead the group themselves. :D
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