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Funding boost for Stotfold dancers

Young Bedfordshire dancers can take great leaps forward after lockdown with new mats being rolled out thanks to a donation from a local power company.

From News & press - 5 May 2021 12:00 AM

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Around 150 dancers belong to the Gifford Dance Academy, which holds weekly classes in the Stotfold area and has been awarded a £250 Team Sport award from UK Power Networks, who distribute electricity across the East of England.

Employee Noel Jukes’ daughter Scarlett, is a dancer with the academy, which began in 2015, and as a volunteer Noel sets out mats for both competitions and lessons.

The past year has been difficult for the club due to Covid 19 restrictions limiting activities to online only, with the pandemic also reducing fundraising opportunities.

Rebecca Gifford, head coach at the academy, said: “These new mats will make a huge difference in helping dancers learn and practice new skills safely as well as being key for eventually working on their acrobatic lifts together again once social distancing is relaxed.

“We are very pleased to return to face to face classes after so long. The dancers have done exceptionally well all year remaining incredibly committed and learning all of their routines for this year's competitions online as well as classes at the park during the summer.

 “Carrying on through lockdown hasn't been easy as we haven't been able to host any of our usual fundraisers that help us keep the club going so we’re incredibly grateful for this donation as it will be a big help as we open up again.”

The Team Sport Award scheme encourages UK Power Networks staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. During 2020, more than 60 teams benefitted to a combined sum of £15,500.