Dancing link to beating drug and alcohol addiction in Leigh area
5:20pm Friday 15th March 2013 in North West
THE power of dance is helping people take the first steps to overcoming harmful addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust has joined drugs and alcohol rehabilitation programme THOMAS and dance company Fallen Angels to help people battling to overcome the habit.
Vicky Fletcher, Arts Development Officer with WLCT who is helping to co-ordinate the project within the borough, said: “We are continuing to develop a 12-week course which allows people who are overcoming drug and alcohol addictions to express their feelings and come to terms with their emotions using a combination of dance and speech to create a powerful performance.
“This creative recovery programme is helping people to take control of their own lives and in the fullness of time regain their independence and ultimately explore opportunities for employment or voluntary work.”
Fallen Angels Director Paul Bayes Kitcher said: “It's a fantastic opportunity to showcase the successes we have had in front of an extremely influential audience.
“It's a celebration of talent and will send the message that people who have battled drug and alcohol addiction have both talent and ambition.”
Since THOMAS began their programme in the area last May 12 people have been referred to the Pathways to Education, Training and Employment service, seven have taken up volunteering and mentoring opportunities and two are working towards nationally recognised qualifications in Health and Social Care.
Wayne McGarrigan, who is a Recovery Development Worker for THOMAS, is convinced of the project's benefits of the dance theatre workshops.
“It really is transforming lives,” he said. “When we first introduced dance theatre to it, the people we work with were naturally apprehensive, if not downright sceptical about its value. These are people who have often lost all confidence and self-esteem, can be socially isolated and often quite anxious and withdrawn as a result.
“You could almost hear the groans when we told them we were going to do a dance workshop but as soon as we got into it, they really took to it.”
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