“Awards for All” funded outreach project
In March 2019 Performers Without Borders (PWB) received a £9660 Awards For All grant from the National Lottery Fund to support us to provide circus arts workshops for Looked After Children (LAC) and vulnerable youth in the Blackburn Area. We collaborated with three partner organisations:
★ Young People’s Services, Kaleidoscope Center
★ Blackburn’s Foster Carers Association
★ The Bureau Center for the Arts
With support from our partners, the PWB team delivered 30 circus arts instruction workshops supporting 471 Looked After Children and other vulnerable youth aged 5 to 18 in Blackburn during Autumn/Winter 2021.
The initial timeline for project implementation was delayed by the Covid-19 lockdowns across the UK. When these restrictions were lifted, the workshops were delivered in adherence to the Covid19 restrictions and robust measures were taken to minimise the risks associated with the virus. The circus arts instruction workshop’s comprised circus skills including diabolo, plate spinning, poi, juggling, balance equipment, tight-wires, giant ladders! Loads of team building games, exercises and songs, aerial hoop, and it all culminated in planning and performing a final show to families and carers at our Christmas party celebration in December 2021.
The workshops were well received by participants, carers and other stakeholders, who reported a range of positive outcomes including enhanced confidence and improved physical coordination.
See the full report here > Blackburn Report
Circus arts have been shown to improve physical and mental well being as well as promote confidence, team skills, self-esteem, mindfulness and socialising. It is more accessible and inclusive than many traditional sports, including for young people with complex and additional needs.
Early engagement in physical activity has also been shown to improve academic achievement and the likelihood of doing physical activity in later life, which has additional long-term benefits.