Inclusivity

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Description

Please help Drunken Chorus provide an engaging creative opportunity for adults with learning disabilities in Croydon!

ABOUT THE PROJECT

We are Drunken Chorus and we work with DISCO DISCO - a theatre company for adults with learning disabilities based in Croydon. We meet with participants regularly, running high quality workshops and projects, which act as creative development for participants and as a conduit for wellbeing, self-confidence and independence.

Over the course of 10 weeks we will work with a group of 15 adults with learning disabilities to create a brand new theatre performance. We will take the piece to venues and festivals in Summer 2018. The group is relatively new, but have performed once, as part of A Bit OF A Do, with huge success. Here are some comments from the audience:

A bonkers, joyful jamboree
An absolute delight
Can't wait to hear what Disco Disco do next. Would love to have them perform at Theatre Deli
Brilliantly inclusive and a whole lot of fun. THANK YOU.
Exactly what the arts should be about

Participants will work with (and perform alongside) professional artists from Drunken Chorus - a registered charity and theatre company, who have been making contemporary performance for the last decade.


KEY AIMS

The project aims to:
Decrease social isolation
Improve participants’ wellbeing
Develop life skills
Promote equality and diversity to wider / mainstream audiences


WHO WILL BE INVOLVED

We will work with 15 adults with learning disabilities, who will be active participants in the project, and will perform in front of a public audience.

We will employ 1 support tutor to work with us on this project. They will be a young / emerging professional, who we will mentor and advise on their future career in arts and disability. We will also work with 2 volunteers, who will themselves have mild learning disabilities - helping them to gain confidence and skills to improve wellbeing and employability, as well as helping them integrate into society.

We aim to reach 300 audience members with the finished performance, to include at least 30 voluntary carers and 40 adults with disabilities. We are in contact with various venues who are interested in showcasing the work of DISCO DISCO.


WHY IT'S IMPORTANT

The participants we work with have a range of mild to moderate learning disabilities, such as autism, asperges and mild down syndrome. Our projects provide vital respite for individuals who often have difficult and stressful lives. Taking time for being creative and social, and for working collaboratively with others is a way of taking a break from every day stresses and anxieties. Participants often arrive for sessions with anxiety about things in their personal lives - such as financial problems, bereavement and social exclusion. These are problems and life events that those without disabilities would struggle to deal with, but people with
disabilities can often find it extremely difficult to cope. However, our projects have frequently proved to help participants take a break from stresses. Carers have told us in the past that participants are ‘like a different person when they’re in the workshops’ and that at other times they are more withdrawn and isolated, but come to life during our projects.

Some of our current participants are also financially disadvantaged, and often on the poverty line, due to barriers to employment and cuts to welfare. This is likely to be the case with future recruits also, so it is vital that we can offer our projects free of charge to them.


HOW WE'LL SPEND THE MONEY

Our core staff costs for this project are already covered by other funding. So an Aviva Community grant would be used to pay for rehearsal space, production (e.g. costume, props etc), additional support staff and travel expenses.

Drunken Chorus

Location: Croydon

The participants we work with are all amazing people - they show kindness in rehearsals, bravery when trying out ideas, great comedy timing and always a unique sense of humour. When a participant arrives anxious and unhappy and leaves a session feeling more positive and relaxed- that's why we do it!
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