FTM Dance rises above the challenge of Covid-19 for disabled adults and children across Leicestershire

A performing arts respite service in Leicester has continued to function throughout lockdown, providing face to face* services for its most vulnerable families on a one to one basis whilst continuing all other lessons online.

During Easter, FTM Dance helped local special need schools look after key worker children and most at risk families, giving teachers a well deserved break.

They are also providing face to face community sessions supporting the most vulnerable in the community for daily exercise, family shopping and medication pick ups in line with government guidance.

Alongside this provision, FTM ensure all pupils, who would usually access dance, music and acting lessons throughout the week, access activities online.

It is vitally important to the organisation that they arrange the lessons at exactly the same time and with as much variety as usual.

It is also key to ensure continuity and make sure there is no break during the sessions.

Online lessons are password protected and allow the children and young people to take part and contribute in a live session, see their friends and familiar faces and ask questions.

The lessons have been a huge success to date, with the majority of young people joining in at the normal timetabled time.

The lessons structure has been accommodated by supplementary resource packs which have been sent out to families

For those who need access to props and resources, FTM have fundraised for various items including iPads with 4g for those who do not have access to the internet.

The lessons are seen as essential by parents and carers, having a positive impact on the young people’s  ability to cope and their mental health, giving them something to get up for and focus on.

Routine is so important for the children and adults and with most not accessing school or other activities this gives them that focus.

This term, FTM are working on ‘around the world’ arts, Caribbean and South Asian arts with activities including Soca dance routines, Bollywood dance routines and learning about different cultures using the arts.

Leanne Evans, Director of FTM Dance said “I want to say a massive thanks to our wonderful staff team and students for being so resilient during this unprecedented time.

“The praise we are receiving about the service we are providing is proof of how much the team have gone the extra mile and have really risen to the challenge”

“We continue to work to safeguard the most vulnerable in our society, to ensure families are supported in line with government guidelines and don’t go into further crisis.”

*Full PPE is worn during these sessions

For more information please visit www.ftmdance.co.uk