Arts charity gets £45,000

First movement
First movement

A CUTTING-EDGE arts charity has received £45,000 to develop a project for people with learning disabilities.

First Movement, based at the Level Centre in Rowsley, runs a number of artistic workshops to help people with profound learning disabilities to express themselves.

The charity is now taking this one stage further and developing a project that uses IT and video technology after receiving £45,000 from Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales.

Motion sensor detectors found in gaming consoles such as Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect will allow people with learning and complex disabilities to create art and communicate.

Peter Shelton, the coordinator at First Movement, said: “People with learning disabilities can often feel very isolated and lonely, as they may not interact with others through traditional avenues like employment and training.

“This can lead to feelings of frustration and sometimes mental health problems. Art is a great way of enabling people with learning disabilities to express themselves, interact and feel part of their surroundings and community.”

The project will start next January and runs for three years.

The money will provide a whole range of new activities such as projects using large scale projection.

Mr Shelton added: “By harnessing this technology people with even the most profound of disabilities who may not be able to use traditional IT devices such as a mouse or keyboard will be able to take part in these sessions.

“Lloyds TSB Foundation’s grant will enable us to move this project forward and have a huge effect on the people that take part.”

Gary Beharrell, Lloyds TSB Foundation’s grant manager for the East Midlands, said: “When I visited the charity there was a lot of laughter in the air, it’s such a unique and inspiring project that treats every user as an individual.

“This is why the Foundation is committed to supporting organisations that have a real impact on the lives of disadvantaged people and welcomes registered charities to apply for funding.”