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Grants for music, holistic movement & a community defibrillator

Two people opposite each other reaching up and touching hands
A Respair Therapy dance movement psychotherapy session

Three community groups have been awarded a total of £4,200* following the Baldock Community Forum recommendations on 17 June.

Balstock has been awarded £2,000 to support the rising costs of putting on the Balstock Festival. Hertfordshire’s biggest free music festival is due to take place 13-15 September and is run completely by volunteers. Price rises have been seen in the cost for security, toilet hire, insurance, and other general running costs. They pride themselves in promoting local talent and local businesses, and all artists donate their time for free, raising their profile. Each year they donate money to different charities, and have raised over £80,000 for good causes since 2006.

Respair Therapy has been awarded £1,200 to provide dance movement psychotherapy sessions for adults living with profound multiple learning disabilities and/or adults living with autism who require high levels of support. Led by a qualified dance movement psychotherapist, these sessions use dance and movement as a comprehensive method to enhance mental well-being, communication, and social integration. This approach aims to prevent crises and promote overall health and wellbeing in people who struggle to access talking therapies.

Debbie Sheringham, Founding Director of Respair, said: “People with profound multiple learning disabilities are some of the most vulnerable and under-served members of our society. This form of psychotherapy will help people with learning disabilities to be seen, heard and understood by someone who is specifically trained in body-based therapeutic interventions.” 

Bygrave Parish Council has been awarded £1,000 to help pay for a defibrillator for the residents of Lower Bygrave, a rural community with an aging population, although heart attacks can affect all ages. If a defibrillator is used within 3-5 minutes of a cardiac arrest, the chance of survival increases from 6% to a huge 74%.

Cllr Val Bryant, Executive Member for Community & Partnerships, who approved the funding under delegated decision, said: “These groups are providing important services to our communities, benefitting a wide range of people, which we are proud to help fund. From the renowned Balstock music festival, a fantastic community event showcasing local talent, to providing a defibrillator, which significantly increases someone’s chance of survival if used before an ambulance arrives.”

The next Baldock Community Forum will take place on 9 September.

*subject to completion of the necessary formalities

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