Arsenal Ladies stars Kelly Smith and Emma Byrne recently visited a dance programme for people with disabilities in Hatfield.
ActOne ArtsBase runs a training programme for learning and physically disabled artists called Work in Progress, which is being supported by the Arsenal Foundation.
The project offers a chance for disabled artists to take part in dance and creative activities, alongside practical employment training.
"I’m proud that the Arsenal Foundation can support programmes and projects like this and make an impact on local people’s lives"
Smith and Byrne spent time dancing with the group, doing ballet and contemporary classes.
“We’ve had a lovely day with everyone at ActOne ArtsBase,” said Smith. "The programme is fantastic, very therapeutic and helps with participants' personal development. Me and Emma got involved and struggled with the routines!
“I’m proud that the Arsenal Foundation can support programmes and projects like this and make an impact on local people’s lives.”
John Charles Ley, parent of Katie Ley who attends ActOne Arts Base, said: “The impact Act One Dance Base has had on Katie’s life is immeasurable. She joined the group around 10 years ago and has progressed from a pupil to dance trainee and, next week, she begins work experience, teaching dance to the pupils of a school in Stevenage. They have enabled Katie to grow not just as a dancer and teacher but as a person."
Suzie Birchwood, founder of ActOne Arts Base said: “We believe that everybody is capable of attaining skills and has the right to express their creativity. The grant from the Arsenal Foundation has enabled us to develop this programme for all of the trainees.
"The new skills they have learnt, both practical and life skills, have increased their confidence, improved their health and fitness and given them all better life chances. As a result, they have overcome isolation, social exclusion and are moving towards much more independent living.”
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.