Community funds bring out Jammers in Lincoln

A brand new dance workshop for children and young adults living with disabilities is coming to Lincoln on Thursday 13 February and will run during school terms.

The workshop is run by The StarJam Charitable Trust to give young New Zealanders with disabilities a chance to feel like a star and develop life skills and friendships through music and dance. It is supported by the Selwyn Community Fund.

The council provided the Lincoln Event Centre for the workshop “Southern Groovers” run by one tutor and three volunteers.

Twelve young people or ‘Jammers’ as they are referred to, have already signed up for this free workshop reaching its maximum capacity.

StarJam are extremely grateful for the funding received from the council towards their programme, StarJam grants writer Fiona Rouse says.

“This funding will ensure the safe and successful delivery of StarJam’s workshops, performances and community social events benefiting young people with disabilities who attend the Lincoln weekly workshops.”

She said the fund will also open opportunities for more workshops in the area.

A workshop is already run at the Rolleston Community Centre on a Tuesday evening, starting again on 11 February 2020.

StarJam host lots of other free workshops weekly up and down the country, teaching youth aged six-25 with disabilities how to dance, play drums, guitar and sing.

One of the previous workshop’s participants, Katrina said StarJam makes her feel cool and like she’s a superstar.

These workshops enable 540 youth to participate every year, regardless of their disability.

Removing barriers through dancing and talking

A disco and a presentation run by Selwyn Launch Group is making life a little easier for Selwyn youth living with disabilities and their families.

Started in March 2013, The Selwyn Launch Group offers support to young people with disabilities and their whānau through activities and information evenings held in Selwyn.

The Selwyn District Council Community Fund assisted the group to run a disco in April 2019 followed by a talk for parents on transitioning their children into flatting.

The Community Fund has allowed the group to run events free of charge and expand its work to support families who face extra daily struggles, Selwyn Launch Group founder Sandra Gilmour.

“The funding has permitted us to keep going, as all the committee naturally volunteer their time and energy into creating these events. This has meant we can run these two events each year and bring more services to Selwyn and create more opportunities for our young adults.”

The Council provided the Rolleston Community Centre for the Mad Hatters disco, where the young adults enjoyed dancing to the music and a supper financed through the fund.

It gave them a chance to socialise and dance freely in an anxiety-free safe environment, which can be limited in a mainstream setting.

The disco was also a great opportunity for their parents to network with each other.

Parents had another opportunity to connect attending a presentation by Kaye Young in August 2019.

Kaye shared her experience of how she successfully transitioned her disabled son into assisted living in a flat.

The group of 12 adults sat around a table at the iZone meeting room with coffee and cake as Kaye gave advice on the challenge ahead of the parents and answered questions.

The parents came away from the talk feeling positive and prepared for the next step, no matter the extent of their child’s disability, said Mrs Gilmour.