A CHARITY is dancing with joy after receiving a funding boost of almost £160,000 as it looks to takes its work to a national level.

DanceSyndrome, based in Accrington, was granted the money as part of the Big Lottery Fund to help with its work with people with disabilities.

The group delivers inclusive workshops and dance leadership training as well as performances that demonstrate a focus on ‘ability rather than disability’.

These include the ‘Everybody Dance’ workshops which are led by dancers with learning disabilities at Accrington Library on Thursdays.

Managing director Dawn Vickers said: “Receiving this funding is a huge boost for DanceSyndrome.

“It means that we can reach out to even more people and show them not only that dance is a powerful tool for building confidence, life skills and happiness, but also that everyone can be a leader in all activities in our society, regardless of whether they have a disability or not.

“The funding secures a future for our small local charity and gives us real potential to take the work we do to a national level."

The charity was founded in 2009 by Jen Blackwell, who has Down’s Syndrome.

The National Lottery Funding cash will support a new social franchising model that will give the charity greater sustainability for the future.

The project will enable DanceSyndrome, based in St James Court West, to work with chosen partners in other areas of the UK to deliver the charity’s unique dance leadership training course.

By the end of the project it hopes to have a training package that can be used by other groups across the country to train people with and without disabilities to be dance leaders.

This is part of the group’s aim to challenge existing perceptions about people with disabilities.

James Harcourt, England grant making director at the Big Lottery Fund said: “It is great to think that National Lottery players have now raised £36 billion for good causes and it’s when you hear about projects like ‘Everybody Dance’ that you realise the incredible impact that funding has had across England. “

Every year The Big Lottery Fund helps out 12,000 community groups and charitable projects using money raised by National Lottery players.

To get involved contact info@dancesyndrome.co.uk or visit www.dancesyndrome.co.uk.