Gannett Foundation Cash for Charities: Motion Control Dance

YOUR favourite local paper is giving local charities the chance to take a share of a whopping £125k cash giveaway.

Our parent company’s charitable arm, The Gannett Foundation, is providing £125,000 in cash to support local charities across the country – and we are delighted to have a £20,000 share to give away in our area.

And we asked YOU to decide where this money should be spent. You nominated in your thousands and our editorial team chose a shortlist of eight charities from these nominations that will share in the £20,000.

In Wales the shortlist is:

  • Motion Control Dance
  • Sparkle
  • Helping Caring Team
  • Wish Upon a Star
  • Phoenix Bereavement Support
  • Ethos – Extending The Hand Of Support (known as The Living Room).
  • Chard & District Museum
  • St Giles Animal Rescue

Motion Control Dance, based in the Vale of Glamorgan, was set-up by dance tutor Emma Mallam and aims to enrich the lives of people through movement.

Barry And District News: Motion Control Dance caters to people all across the Vale of Glamorgan (Picture: Motion Control Dance)

She was teaching dance in England when her husband was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and the couple returned to Wales.

“I set up dance classes to keep myself busy,” said Ms Mallam.

“I wanted to make a difference through movement as I watched my husband deteriorate and helped him by doing exercises and dancing with him to keep up his spirits.”

She sadly lost her husband in 2004 and, along with looking after her baby, created a fulltime job doing giving people a “Chance 2 Dance”.

In 2005 she became the dance development officer for the Vale with Vibe Experience and in 2008 – addressing a lack of disability dancing provisions in the Vale – Local Motion Dance was introduced.

Barry And District News: Motion Control Dance was given charity status in 2015 (Picture: Motion Control Dance)

“This made us unique as we focused on community dance – using dance to help expression, confidence, self-esteem and to reduce isolation – rather than focus on exams and technical development,” said Ms Mallam.

Motion Control Dance – which gained charity status in 2015 and is based at a studio in the YMCA Hub in Barry – caters to all ages and abilities, including older people. It caters for those with dementia, Parkinson’s, the disabled, and mainstream groups.

Over the past two decades they have worked with more than 2,000 individuals each year, working in partnership with the Vale of Glamorgan Council and The Vale Youth Service, and delivering dance workshops.

Barry And District News: Motion Control Dance aims to keep people healthy and avoid them feeling isolated (Picture: Motion Control Dance)

“I am delighted how far Motion Control Dance has come,” added Ms Mallam.

“We have a team of experienced dance tutors who nurture the personal and social growth of our members.

“We have employed two young people to undertake social media and administration and are training four young dance leaders to lead sessions – we want to provide opportunities for young people.

“We also offer movement sessions for adults and older people; this increased our mission to tackle social isolation in the community and give everyone a Chance to Dance.

“The end of 2019 saw our room be transformed into a fully equipped dance studio with a new sprung floor ensuring we are enriching lives through movement. Motion Control Dance is now thriving in our community.”

She is “absolutely thrilled” to be one of eight chosen Welsh charities and has thanked the community.

Barry And District News: Motion Control Dance is based in YMCA Barry (Picture: Motion Control Dance)

Money would help Motion Control Dance recover their services for older people in the Vale; during the Covid pandemic classes went virtual.

“We built a busy programme in 2019, but since Covid we have been unable to run our full programme indoors at our studio or at care homes and community centres,” said Ms Mallam.

“Many vulnerable adults and older people requiring care are continuing to self-isolate or are too fearful to attend indoor activity; to be responsive to a variety of restrictions imposed we need financial support, so we can deliver an accessible movement programme for older people which can be taken to people and adaptive to their needs.

“Our goal is to reduce social isolation and prevent more costly health and social care needs by improving the health and wellbeing of individuals through access to regular physical, creative and social activity.”

Barry And District News: Motion Control Dance has been serving the community for two decades (Picture: Motion Control Dance)

Now we are putting the power to allocate the cash back into the hands of our readers – during November, you are invited to collect tokens from our newspapers which can then be sent to collection points across our region or posted.

Each token collected will then be used to allocate cash to the nominated charity – so if your favourite charity collects 50 per cent of all the tokens collected, it will receive 50 per cent of the £20,000.

Collection points are at:

  • WH Smith, Windsor Road, Penarth;
  • Town News Xtra, Holton Road, Barry;
  • MCD Studio, YMCA Hub, Court Road, Barry.

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