In 2008 we set up TRANSCEND to ensure that FRONTLINEdance can facilitate the need of young disabled artists who want a career in dance but cannot, for very individual reasons, access university courses to fulfil their dreams. This continued until 2013 where it became ‘Breakthrou’aDvANCE’. Since it started trainees have taken part in regular workshops – shadowing and assisting, playing a vital and important part in our education & outreach work. They take part in technique classes, make their own work and perform. The frequency of this depends on the type of projects we have running.
In 2013, Transcend became a 12-week programme for adults with a disability funded by the European Social Fund. Its aim wasn’t to create new jobs, but to give disabled people new skills and the confidence to find and keep jobs. 32 individuals took part in our pilot project with 4 participants taking part in more than 1 programme and 4 being invited to volunteer on the programme. We used Creative Dance, Voice & Speech, Drama and Role Play, to provide new skills and to increase confidence in order to allow each participant to take their next step into work; whatever that may have been. FRONTLINEdance was able to develop a strong partnership between Staffordshire County Council’s learning disability employment team and being funded by The European Social Fund has meant that we have been able to reach the employment sector and new organisation of those who work with adults with disabilities (including mental health).