Akademi South Asian Dance have been at home in the Old Town Hall for as long as Wac Arts have, moving in in 2000 when Wac Arts (formally Interchange/ WAC) saved the building from becoming flats and secured a 100-year lease from Camden Council. University of the Third Age and RSPOP moved into the building shortly after. Wac Arts is now home to ten organisations and many other production companies and external bookers who return to the Old Town Hall regularly holding rehearsals, workshops, talks and performances.
Was Arts has always been a huge advocate of collaborative working. It has been the approach that has helped Wac Arts provide exciting range of activities and performing arts training especially for children and young people with disabilities. In March 2017, Wac Arts was awarded the Camden Council Contract for Short Breaks for 3 years which has been funding the after school and weekend programmes. On these programmes young people engage in arts, media, and inclusive sport activities insafe surroundings. Wac Arts partnered with KIDS (Kids provide an extensive range of services to disabled children and young people, aged 0-25 years) and PACE (Play, Adventure and Community Enrichment) to secure this funding for the organisation’s so that together they could support young people to develop new life skills, grow confidence and most importantly, have fun in a safe and supportive environment.
In January 2018,Wac Arts welcomed KIDS to the Old Town Hall as a new Building Partner. Wac Arts is looking forward to more chances to work with KIDS in the future and by creating a home full of organisations that can collaborate, support and develop together, Wac Arts’vision to create a collaborative creative and cultural community inside the Old Town Hall continues to blossom.
Wac Arts interviewed KIDS Manager, Julie Tucker to find out more…
Hi Julie, can you please tell us about your organisation, and the work you do?
KIDS is a national charity, founded over 47 years ago, providing a wide range of support services for disabled children, young people and their families. We support children with any disability from birth to 25 years of age. We offer our support to the whole family with the aim of giving disabled children a brighter future. KIDS Camden has been delivering services since 1979 and offers the following services Keyworker support to families, Drop-in advice sessions Parent Participation and Special Parents Forum, Home learning for disabled children under 5, Developmental Play sessions, Community Short Breaks and groups for Siblings.
What excites your branch about being based at Wac Arts?
The opportunity to work in partnership with Wac Arts to extend and expand services for disabled children young people and their families. As well as joint working on projects, sharing expertise, knowledge resources and training. We also have the opportunity to bring in new and exciting services and wehave been waiting 3 years to move in with Wac Arts so we are happy to finally be settled in Camden.
What do you feel aligns your organisation and the work that happens at Wac Arts?
The work with young disabled people we share the same ethos about enabling disabled children and young people achieve their aspirations, to strengthen and extend services for young people and their families as well as improving outcomes for families and young people.
What was a highlight for your organisation in 2017?
Being awarded the Camden tender for the delivery of services for a further 3 years, setting up the partnership with Wac Arts and PACE and successfully securing the contract for the delivery of short breaks.
Do you have any upcoming projects for 2018 you’re excited about?
Developing a service information and advice Hub for disabled children and their families.
How can readers find out more?
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Thank you, Julie and the team, at KIDS, Wac Arts is delighted to have you in the building and to continue to work with you to provide services to disabled young people and their families.