South Asian dance is being used to help older people in Camden recover from the pandemic, meet new friends and stay fit and healthy.
Belsize Park-based charity Akademi is running its Dance Well programme, which teaches people traditional and modern forms of South Asian dance, at three community venues in the borough.
Organisers say it helps participants, most of whom are over-60, improve their mobility, fitness and physical strength as well as providing a vital social outlet.
The scheme is being funded through a £70,000 grant from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.
A City Bridge Trust spokesperson said: “Akademi uses South Asian dance as a tool to help combat the isolation older people can experience and help them to improve their physical and mental health.
“Particularly after the long periods of isolation during lockdown, this kind of scheme is playing a really important role in enabling people to get up, get active and meet new people.”
The Dance Well programme runs at Third Age Project, in Cumberland Market, Wellesley Road Care Home, in Kentish Town, and Holborn Community Association. Sessions moved online during lockdown.
Meanwhile, the charity also runs Dance Well sessions for patients at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital, in Hounslow.
Andrew Rogers, Older People’s Services Manager at Holborn Community Association, said: “Akademi provides Covid-safe Dance Well classes that are a beacon of light for participants stepping out from the darkness of self-isolation.”
The City of London Corporation’s charity funder, City Bridge Trust, is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of over £25million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.
For more information, visit citybridgetrust.org.uk