Young people across Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are benefitting from a new dance project, led by Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust which aims to improve mental health, physical fitness and confidence.

The Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service at the Care Trust has partnered with the Trust’s Volunteering Service and Dance United Yorkshire to deliver three-day workshops. Participants will showcase live performances, learnt during the classes at the end of the programme. The workshops will be taking place throughout the year,

Abbie Padgett, Project Manager at Dance United Yorkshire said: “It was amazing to set up the first CAMHS workshop, with many more to come throughout the year. It is wonderful to see how dance can support these young people in their journey of recovery.

“People may think it’s just dance, but the transferable skills they learn such as social skills and confidence building whilst being with us will help them in future education and work. They all worked so hard and put on a fantastic performance at the end, which made us so proud to see after all the time and effort they put in throughout the week.”

Dance United Yorkshire create and deliver bespoke dance projects and interventions to meet the needs of different groups of people who are struggling with difficult life circumstances.

Participants also gave their feedback on the workshops, one said, ‘I was really nervous at first, but I carried on going and I was really proud of myself that I managed to do the performance at the end’. Another participant gave their feedback, ‘I really enjoyed it, it was something different, I would definitely recommend this to other people’.

Volunteers from the Trust support young people to take part in the dance sessions by meeting participants before the sessions start; at home with Dance United Yorkshire, and then by keeping in touch in the run up to the sessions and helping with any potential obstacles to attending.

Volunteers also take part in the sessions themselves, so they are a welcoming and familiar face for the young people they have connected with.

A volunteer from the Care Trust said: “It was great to see the young people so engaged with dancing! I could really see the energy that built up in them over the course of day. It was rewarding to see young people who maybe weren’t as enthusiastic about dancing eventually take part and smile while doing so. I think that’s the improvement we like to see.”

The charity raises funds to enhance patient care and go over and above the core services offered. Find out more about the charity: