Dancing with delight after funding boost

Community dance teacher Michelle Kettle holds a weekly tea dance for residents at Belong Atherton, to dance and sing to war-time tunes
Community dance teacher Michelle Kettle holds a weekly tea dance for residents at Belong Atherton, to dance and sing to war-time tunes

A charity boosting the lives of people in the borough is dancing with delight after receiving a £9,000 funding boost.

Leigh Community Trust has been awarded the money by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) to fund a part-time dance teacher.

“This allows us to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy dance, get fit and have fun at the same time.”

Hannah Forbes

The £9,600 funding will allow the Trust to provide 10 hours of dance tuition throughout the year to people in Leigh and surrounding towns.

The organisation aims to improve the lives of the area’s disadvantaged residents by getting them active and involved in sport, boosting health and educational achievements, battling social exclusion and providing volunteering opportunities.

Its work has now been recognised by the CRT, which provides support to project aiming to transform lives in the country’s deprived ex-mining communities.

Trust general manager Hannah Forbes said: “As an organisation that uses the power of sport to enhance the lives of the local community, we aim to encourage residents of all ages to get up and about to improve their general fitness.

“With the funding from the CRT we are able to employ a qualified dance teacher to deliver a high-quality and inclusive community programme.

“This allows us to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy dance, get fit and have fun at the same time.”

The charity has worked in recent years on a huge range of projects including using sport as a way of engaging young people who are not in education, employment or training (Neet), delivering health and hygiene assemblies in primary schools and helping women who are unemployed.

The Trust also runs regular tea dances for older people at the Belong village in Atherton.

CRT head of operations for England Andy Lock said: “We know that in order to regenerate the coalfield communities we need to tackle major issues such as the long-term ill health of residents.

“By supporting a range of projects that educate local people about health and well-being, organisations such as Leigh Youth and Community Development Trust play an integral role in relation to improving the lives of those living within these areas.”

For more information about the charity, visit www.leighcommunitytrust.co.uk.