Streetwise Community Circus offer a wide range of circus-based activities for everyone throughout Northern Ireland
The Streetwise Spring programme is now in full swing despite the ongoing restrictions, delivering almost 50 sessions a week to some of those worst affected by the COVID crisis. This has been achieved by utilising the benefits of Zoom for those who can’t get together and using “distanced” workshops delivered by solo tutors where it is possible.
The last year has been tough for everyone. We had to re-think our outreach programmes and August and September 2020 saw Streetwise performers successfully touring sheltered accommodation, providing outdoor shows for residents who had been in isolation since March, funded by our Arts Council Arts and Older People programme
Lockdown shows at Clanmill Sheltered accomodation August-September 2020
NEW WAYS OF WORKING ALLOW STREETWISE TO CONTINUE TO
We are now able to deliver cleaned and packaged circus equipment to workshop participants, to enable successful engagement with our Zoom programme. This has been supported by the Lottery Community Fund who provided us with the funding for 200 circus kits.
We currently have a fully-trained team of tutors working regularly. They have learnt new ways of working to deliver our programme and keep things fun despite social distancing, PPE and working solo.
Lockdown kit - cleaned, packed and ready to go!
For further info on our Spring Programme Zoom classes, check out the What's On page
Our current programme includes:
Zoom classes for Older People
7 weekly Zoom classes specifically targeting older groups and individuals across Belfast, Fermanagh and the Newry area, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.
We are currently running 7 weekly zoom classes for disability groups who were forced to close due to lockdown. This includes new working partnerships with L’Arche and Caring Breaks.
We are currently running 15 weekly workshops in day centres in Belfast, Ballymena, Magherafelt, Carrick, Larne and Downpatrick in partnership with the South Eastern Trust Belfast Trust and Northern Trust.
These programmes are funded through the Arts Council and Belfast City Council.
Nursing Homes and Sheltered Housing Schemes
We have now expanded the way we work to include the use of Smart TV’s to allow tutors to lead live sessions with residents in communal living settings. This has expanded our community partnerships as we are now running 9 sessions per week with Clanmil Housing Abbeyfield Housing and the Somme Nursing Home funded by the Arts Council’s Arts and Older People programme.
This programme is delivering 4 zoom evenings a week working with refugees living in Newcastle upon Tyne and Aberdeen in partnership with the charity NEST. These are working to improve confidence language and improve integration despite the complications resulting from lockdown restrictions. This programme was created following an award from the Arts Council’s Emergency Funding Programme.
Public Zoom Programmes
We are also currently running 9 weekly public zoom sessions which are accessible to anyone who contacts us which are all ability and intergenerational. These include sessions specifically targeting primary children who are currently home schooling.
New Partnerships created by Zoom
Through the development of Zoom teaching techniques we are now developing new partnerships and programmes which would only be possible via zoom. These include a new partnership with the Carer’s Trust which are now running twice a week programme, allowing carers throughout the Southern Trust to take part in circus sessions from home. We also have a weekly session running with the Rhos-on-Sea Scout group in Wales.
Support from Funding Bodies
All of these programmes have been made possible by the ongoing support we have received from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and the Lottery Community Fund which has enabled us to pay staff to deliver these programmes throughout the pandemic. In addition, many of the programmes have been possible because of additional support we received from the Lottery to purchase equipment which enables us to provide equipment which can be used safely in centres across Northern Ireland.