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Friday, 25 September 2020


Disabled people get creative with ‘awesome’ East End arts project

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DISABLED adults from East London’s Bangladeshi communities will receive a boost to their confidence and independence thank to a creative arts project run by two charities.

St Margaret’s House, a community hub in Bethnal Green, has received £104,960 from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charity funder, for a project featuring sessions in theatre and circus skills and filmmaking.

Entitled Ghyama Arts – meaning ‘awesome arts’ in Bengali – it is being delivered with the Bangladeshi Parents and Carers Association and will cater for adults with disabilities including Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and learning disabilities.

The project will build on the success of a pilot run last year which organisers say helped increase confidence and verbal communication and fostered a stronger sense of independence in those taking part.

Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:

“This project will bring together a charity with deep roots in the East End which welcomes thousands of people through its doors every week and a group doing a fantastic job working with people with disabilities in Tower Hamlets.

“It will fill a much-needed gap in providing opportunities for disabled people from Bangladeshi communities to socialise outside the home, to enjoy some really stimulating creative activities and to develop their skills and confidence.”

The scheme will see both charities working with Deptford-based participatory theatre company Spare Tyre, Battersea-based video production outfit Chocolate Films and circus artists trained at the National Centre for Circus Arts, in Hoxton.

It will also allow participants to showcase their skills at three public celebrations a year shared with parents, carers and the wider Tower Hamlets community, once coronavirus restrictions have been relaxed.

Stuart Cox, Arts and Wellbeing Director at St Margaret’s House, said:

“We are delighted to be lucky enough to receive funding to deliver this project and are excited to be working with the Bangladeshi Parents and Carers Association and introduce their community to some fantastic art forms.

“It’s a project that will make such a positive difference to participants’ confidence, wellbeing and skills, with the added bonus that they get to work in partnership with some really high-quality arts organisations.”

More information about St Margaret’s House is at stmargaretshouse.org.uk while the Bangladeshi Parents and Carers Association is online at bpcaonline.org.uk

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