Two projects funded by Spirit of 2012 have been announced as finalists in this year's National Lottery Awards. DanceSyndrome and Manchester Village Spartans are both in with the chance of winning a £5,000 prize and nationwide acclaim on the BBC One National Lottery Awards show. You can find out more about the projects below, and you can also visit the link at the bottom of this page to support them with your vote.
Spirit of 2012 is a proud supporter of DanceSyndrome. Formed by dancer Jen Blackwell, who has Down's Syndrome, they provide creative and fun learning opportunities for anyone who wants to improve their physical health and personal wellbeing. Spirit recently awarded funding to enable their continued provision of inclusive dance workshops and leadership training.
DanceSyndrome is a charity based in the North West of England with the aim of empowering people through dance. Their dance workshops are disability-inspired and creative dance performances. The charity prides itself on being inclusive for people with and without disabilities to participate in and lead dance. Spirit of 2012 funding has enabled DanceSyndrome to continue its inclusive dance workshops and dance leadership training for everyone regardless of their age or ability.
DanceSyndrome Managing Director, Dawn Vickers, said: "Receiving funding from Spirit of 2012 has been a huge boost for DanceSyndrome! It means we can reach out to even more people and show them that dance is not only a powerful tool for building confidence, life skills and happiness but also everyone can be involved in all activities in our society - regardless of whether they have a disability or not."
Manchester Village Spartans
Spirit of Rugby is a two-year project with a focus on 16 to 25-year-olds in 15 communities across the UK. The project’s goal is to increase inclusive participation in the Rugby Union – ranging from playing the sport to promotion of rugby directed at harder to reach groups. Spirit of Rugby funding was awarded to a sports club for gay and bisexual men called Manchester Village Spartans RUFC, which has helped grow its volunteer recruits and rugby team.
Manchester Village Spartans is an international gay & inclusive Rugby Union club based in Manchester and the Northwest of England. Approximately 75% of the Spartan’s members are homosexual and 25% are heterosexual. It’s an inclusive club, which means anyone is welcome to join regardless of sex, sexual orientation, race or religion. The group currently operates three men's rugby squads and a summer season rugby team.
Yoshio Tazaki, who helps to run the club, explained: “Spirit of Rugby has been a significant driver of new recruitment to the Spartans. It’s enabled us to increase our reach to more LGBT communities, raising awareness of inclusive rugby all over the North West. Regular events we’ve held include university recruitment evenings across Manchester. We’ve also had a standout presence at Gay Pride carnivals throughout the UK. Plus it’s helped fund online promotional materials that have driven huge engagement on all our social media channels.”