LEARNING disability charity United Response has launched an ambitious campaign to get a song written and performed by members of staff and people supported by the charity to Christmas number one in the UK charts.
‘Dance With You’ the uplifting track penned by Senior Support Worker Andrew Bowen from York, features people with autism and learning disabilities from across the country, singing in an attempt to spread cheer and raise awareness and much-needed funds for the charity.
The project offered the opportunity for people supported by the charity to shape the release, creating the artwork and accompanying music video. In a time when there is a lack of visible representation of neurodiverse and people with learning disabilities in the UK charts, the single aims to play a small role in rectifying that.
With a hotly contested race for Christmas number one on the cards with the likes of pop music heavyweights Abba, Adele and an Ed Sheeran Elton John collaboration, the mastermind behind the project and regional manager for United Response, Emma Agar, knows that even reaching the charts will be no mean feat.
“It’s one of those shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars things. We recognise that it won’t be easy, but everyone involved – especially the people we support – has put in so much work and had so much fun doing it, it has been so worth doing. If the recent Christmas number ones show us anything, it is that anything is possible! We just really hope that people go out there and listen and share and download it now!”
Songwriter Andrew, who plays with his band One Iota when he is not busy providing a range of support said:
“Lyrically the song was inspired by Zoom sessions that my colleagues and I had put on, to reach out to the people we supported, who suddenly had to shield and isolate, perhaps without understanding why. The sessions connected people with fun activities and almost always ended in us dancing! Although based in York, we would have people tuning in from across the country and from other care providers.
“Like many people, I was finding the days tough and nothing seemed to be going right but my troubles seemed to disappear when everyone united to sing and dance!”
Eileen who is supported by United Response in the North East, and dances in the music video said:
“I love dancing, I showed everyone how to dance like me, it makes me happy to dance and see everyone else dancing too. I would also like everyone all around the world to watch the video so everyone can see my dancing.”
The song is out now on all major music platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and TikTok, and the music video for the track is available on the United Response YouTube channel.
For more information on the ambitious and exciting project, please contact: Dancewithyou@unitedresponse.org.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.