A Salisbury project that builds confidence in young adults with learning disabilities – through music, dance and acting – has received the first grant given by Care UK’s Wellbeing Foundation to a county group.
The £1,600 grant will enable the Zone Club to invest in resources to continue the development of the group and pay the mentors who help to make the project possible. The project, which is based in the Salisbury Arts Centre, is open to anyone over 16 with learning disabilities.
Engagement manager Simon Morris explained: “We were delighted with the grant from the foundation. With the help of regular Zone Club mentors and local Salisbury musicians, the sessions provide fun opportunities to be creative and make friends. Because of the participants’ needs the ratio of mentors is high, which makes this a very worthwhile but costly project.
“The sessions are completely led by the group members and they have exceptional ideas for storylines and songs. For example, one performance was about a car that ran on funk music and another was a kung fu movie. We often film the performances and show it at the start of the next monthly session – not only is it entertaining but it really builds people’s confidence when they see what they have achieved.
“Some of the participants are quite profoundly disabled and it’s uplifting and empowering to see the joy on their faces as they see they can not only join in but also genuinely contribute to the activity.”
Belinda Moore, group marketing and communication director at Care UK and wellbeing foundation board member, said: “Care UK has its own learning disabilities services across the country, each of which strives to help service users gain access to life-enhancing opportunities that allow them to express their creativity and individuality.
“Zone Club certainly shares our ethos and the foundation board and I were delighted to hear the team is working towards inclusive groups so these young people have a chance to meet with a broad range of their peers in the city – this is how barriers are broken down and extraordinary friendships develop.”