Generations Dancing win big in Big Lottery funding Image: University of Bedfordshire

£9,000 award for community arts project

A University of Bedfordshire led, community arts project has been awarded Big Lottery Funding to continue its work in bringing generations together through dance.

Generations Dancing, which is based in Bedford, aims to create community cohesion across different age groups and community sectors, including school children and older people, to increase their access to arts and culture and improve social inclusion.

The £9,000 Big Lottery funding has been awarded to continue and further develop the legacy of the inaugural project. Including trialling an innovative ‘Community Collective’ structure to deliver intergenerational dance activities and foster artistic collaboration.

The Community Collective led by Sadie Hunt, a senior lecturer in Dance for the University. It will feature participants from all areas of the local community.

Sessions will be led by a local lead dance artist, supported by Bedfordshire alumni, a volunteer older adult, secondary school Goldington Academy, and a Bedfordshire student intern.

Ms Hunt said:

“I am delighted to have successfully been awarded the funding to be able to continue building the intergenerational dance community that we have begun with this work.

“Dance is such a wonderful activity to participate in regardless of age, mobility or experience. It is good for your physical health, your wellbeing and it is sociable – we have a lot of fun and laughter in the classes.”

The collective will work together over 40 weeks engaging in intergenerational dance, taking part in weekly dance classes at a residential home, older adult’s classes at the University (New Chapter Dance), termly workshops in school and termly school visits to residential homes amongst others.

The project aims to enable all participants to find a shared language for communication and provide a shared community arts legacy.

The Generations Dancing project is part of the University of Bedfordshire’s commitment to the development of civic and public life, involving students, staff and communities through events, skills exchange and volunteering programmes.