Our Inclusive Lives project team won a Silver Award this month at the Merton Partnership Volunteer Awards, which was hosted by Merton Voluntary Services Council. It’s the Borough’s annual celebration to acknowledge and pay thanks to the tremendous contribution that the thousands of local volunteers make to Merton. This year awards were presented by the Mayor Mary Curtain.
Our team worked with FilmanthropyUK to produce a 30 minute user-led fitness instruction video that enables people to get active and have fun. Dance is so powerful and at YMCA we want it to be accessible to everyone in our community, regardless of disability.
There were over 350 nominees for the awards and the Inclusive Lives team were one of eight groups shortlisted in the Volunteer Team Award category. This category is in recognition of a team of three or more people who have taken action to make a difference to the lives of others in their community. Celebrating the unique ways people giving their time individually or as part of a group, has had a positive impact in Merton.
Inclusive Lives in the community
“I’ve never been to an award show before or won an award. I’m so thrilled! I hope it will help me to open more doors and help more people in the deaf community with my British Sign Language interpretation,” says Inclusive Lives team member Veera Singh.
“To have a dance routine that is designed for everybody makes it extra special because it means that we are impacting the lives of everybody and that’s what we want to set out and achieve,” says team member George Flynn. “I really want to be an actor, so to have the feeling of going on to a film set was amazing and I loved every minute of it.”
“At Filmanthropy our passion is using the creative arts to work with individuals, groups and organisations that positively impact the world around them. We can’t think of a project that encapsulates this better than the #EveryBodyCanDance project,” says Fisayo Fadahunsi, Managing Director, Filmanthropy CIC.
“Over the last few months, the participants have proved that it is poor access to spaces and resources that disables an individual, not their impairment. Through the video the participants have shown that, with a little extra effort from those around them, everybody and every body can participate in society fully. It was amazing to see their efforts rewarded on such a special platform when they triumphed at The Merton Partnership Volunteer Awards.”