Winchester Go LD launch Walk and Talk Programme
Winchester Go LD launch walk and talk project.
Date: 25 November 2020 Author: Energise Me
Back in March, we spoke to Move Momentum about how they were adapting to take their classes online. They knew it was important to be able to support their members through the lockdown. But with funding streams drying up they were uncertain how they could keep their offer going.
Amanda shares how, with the help of our Investing in Communities project, Move Momentum have been able to get back to dancing.
Move Momentum is a Winchester based charity that runs dance classes aiming to overcome inequalities. We started out trying to make dance accessible to disadvantaged children. We have grown to also offer Gems classes for over 65’s and Liberate Dance for wheelchair users.
During lockdown, we were eager to keep our classes going and support our community, so we switch to virtual sessions. We worked hard to keep our session accessible to ensure our members were able to stay connected and involved.
We applied for Sport England’s funding as part of Energise Me’s Investing in Communities project as we hadn’t been able to secure funding to restart our classes after lockdown. Many of our members are more vulnerable and were most likely to be at risk.
The Sport England funding is to tackle inequalities and our classes fit within the demographics of those that are most likely to face inequalities. We run classes specifically for older adults (65+), children from disadvantage backgrounds and wheelchair users with long term health conditions or disabilities.
Luckily through the Investing in Communities project, we have been able to secure funding for all our classes until December. Plus, we have been able to set up a permanent online liberate class. Liberate is our wheelchair-based class and we had seen lots of new members attending virtually from all over the country (and even abroad) during lockdown. So, we decided to keep a virtual class going so these new members could still come.
We have been able to invest in new equipment to always provide better quality virtual classes.
The funding has helped us bring our classes back by paying for teacher and venues as well as covering admin costs. However, the full extent of how it’s helped reaches much further than this. We have been able to invest in new equipment to always provide better quality virtual classes.
We’ve always run our virtual lessons through Zoom. Using the built-in function that allows you to share music playing through your speaker. This has worked to an extent, but it can become difficult for members to hear the teacher’s instructions if they are demonstrating a move at the same time. Due to this, we have had to only talk in between dancing.
Now, we have been able to buy a set of Bluetooth mics. These have been great as we can step back and show moves and still be heard over the music. It was important for us to develop our virtual session not only for the permanent virtual class but also because we are in the process of designing a care home programme. We are planning to film some classes so that they can be used as Gem’s classes in care homes.
Our Gem’s (65+) are thrilled to be back. They are such a community and it has been so nice to all see each other again
Most of our classes have now been back since the beginning of September. All our members have loved being back in the studio. It’s been particularly great to have our youth academies back as we had found it hard to engage them with virtual classes.
Our Gem’s (65+) are thrilled to be back. They are such a community and it has been so nice to all see each other again. One of our ladies had gotten to her wit’s end with zoom so stopped coming to virtual classes. She lives alone and is quite isolated, so it has been great to see her return to classes back in the studio.
In terms of our members, we have lost a few but we’ve also had some new members start coming to the in-person classes. Classes are going pretty well at the moment and we are enjoying being back.