Spectrum Community Arts provides weekly dance and performing arts sessions, in-person and virtually, for people with disabilities and additional needs. Founded in 2017 by Jade Cook, Spectrum is a registered ‘Not-for-Profit’ organisation with charitable purposes operating across Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.
Spectrum Community Arts was set up with its principle aim to enable participants to develop their self-esteem and self-expression in a safe, encouraging environment, through the performing arts. It also provides much needed respite and an additional support network for the parents and carers of our members. Read more below about our 3 core aims:
Building Self-Esteem: Our sessions are all about that feel-good factor! We focus, highlight and praise what our participants CAN do, rather than what their disability states they can’t.
All activities are accessible and made adaptable for the people we have in the room – meaning each person can achieve and feels great doing so!
Developing Self-Expression: The performing arts itself is a series of channels of communication. Emotions, characters, and stories can be expressed through non-verbal movement and gestures.
Through exploring this, participants often find a new ‘voice’; a way to express who they are and their emotions through a more creative means.
Creating a Safe Space: Many participants say that their favourite thing about Spectrum is that they can be themselves without fear of judgement! The workshops are designed to support individuals to access the sessions with as little anxiety as possible – giving them the place to shine and thrive!
Why we need your help
We truly believe the performing arts should be made accessible to EVERYONE! It can be extremely difficult for those with disabilities and additional needs to access the performing arts within mainstream settings. To make Spectrum accessible, we need to keep our participant numbers low in each session to help those with both sensory needs and anxiety, make use of sensory props and keep the club prices affordable. However, there are lots of additional costs we need to cover including volunteer training, volunteer uniform, DBS checks, hall hire, insurances, marketing, music licenses and admin fees.
The support you give us through your donations means that we can buy more props, costumes, and sensory equipment, maintain the 11 weekly sessions that we currently run and provide training for all our volunteers. Most importantly your donations allow us to continue providing our services to those with disabilities and additional needs and keep the classes affordable and accessible to all our participants.
The truly wonderful and heartwarming thing about Spectrum, is seeing the children and adults’ reactions to the classes and watching them sparkle, shine and grow in confidence!
Here’s what some of our participants and parent/carers have to say:
"It's my dance club and I love dancing with Jade. I feel happy! I love the shaky egg song." – spectrum participant
“I love that I can just be myself here” – spectrum participant
"I love that [he] leaves the class feeling happy and confident. The motivation he has to go each week has gotten him through some of the mental health struggles he has faced” – parent of a participant
“Thank you Spectrum. You are a much needed and appreciated part of our community” – parent of a participant
“The sessions are great for my daughter - she enjoys going and is happy. It helps her do something different, and encourages her to be more confident” - parent of a participant
“We absolutely love the spectrum family and everything they stand for! My child feels like she has a place in this world to be her individual self, which is amazing!” - parent of a participant
Here’s what some of our volunteers have to say:
“Spectrum has taken me out of my comfort zone and has allowed me to learn new skills I didn’t previously have”
“The kids are adorable and unique and I’m so glad I can be a part of helping them be them more freely”
“I volunteer because I get as much fun out of it as the kids do! Their smiles are infectious”
We’re so grateful for your consideration and donations! You are helping us provide a space for those with disabilities and additional needs to freely be themselves, grow in self-esteem and to SHINE! Thank you!