Wonder Wac Arts
Wac Arts offers a range of inclusive performing arts and media opportunities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Young people develop skills, work creatively, build confidence and self-esteem and, most importantly, have fun!
We offer a varied programme with a wide range of activities from inspiring artwork and recording live music to swinging and movement with aerials equipment.
Holiday and After School Projects
The Wonder Wac Arts programme is made up of performing arts and media activities and is an inclusive initiative for young people with learning disabilities. We encourage the students to develop as artists by giving them access to activities like dance, music, art, sports, drama, vocals, and more. Each project is customised for different age groups to ensure the activities are varied, relevant, and fun. Projects meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturday as well as during the school holidays.
Our Oasis programme comes into its own in the school summer holidays and three weekends throughout the year! Wonder Wac Arts members go away to the countryside with Oasis, visiting a range of different accessible outdoor activity centres. They can try out camping under canvas, or stay in lodges and converted country houses in wonderful settings with open space and woodlands. Well supported by our staff team, young people with even high levels of special needs and disabilities enjoy fantastic outdoor activities including sailing, grass sledging, high ropes courses, power boating, indoor climbing walls, zip wire and jet skiing! Students also develop independent living skills including menu planning, shopping, cooking and dining with their friends. Active days are rounded off with karaoke, storytelling and discos. While their families enjoy a welcome respite break at home, young people participate in activities that push their personal boundaries in a safe and secure setting – as well as having a great time!
Buddying, Transitions and Advocacy
This project matches disabled young people with a buddy to access a wide range of social settings and activities to encourage friendships, social interaction and fun!
This project supports young people to manage periods of change in their lives. This might include moving from school to college or changes at home. Wac Arts works with the individual to set activities that promote independence and enable young people to achieve their personal goals.
The advocacy project is designed to represent young people who may be non-verbal or looked after. This project provides 1:1 sessions that use creative strategies to meet the needs of the young people it represents, encouraging them to express their views and opinions. The advocacy service aims to keep the young people it represents safe, healthy, listened to and respected. The advocacy service demonstrates the value of including children and young people with disabilities in decision-making processes that affect their lives.
Specialist staffing and facilities
The building is fully accessible with three lifts providing access to all floors. There is reserved parking for users with disabilities and all of the main spaces are equipped with hearing loops to enable students with disabilities or other access requirements to use all our facilities.
We have a fantastic team of experienced and empathetic staff working with our young people. Staff and volunteer workers receive ongoing training to ensure that our young people’s needs are as far as possible met, however complex their needs may be.
As well as being able to access all the Wac Arts studios and arts facilities, we have a wide range of specialist equipment for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
• Showers, changing rooms and locker storage facilities
• A well equipped medical room and utility room
Specialist programme equipment:
• Pilates reformer frame
• Aerial swinging equipment
• Fully equipped Sensory Pod and Indoor Garden
• Adaptive inclusive technology
Wonder Wac Arts has developed a specialist Sensory Pod where young people have access to specialist sensory equipment and software that they can use to enhance their ability to communicate and develop creative ideas.
With bubble tubes, a variety of textures and mood lighting, the Sensory Pod is also used to offer students the opportunity for some one-to-one support and individual attention time. Fully equipped with a range of assistive and intuitive new technology, young people can also explore sounds and music in new and exciting settings.
Through individual and small group sessions, students are able to combine Soundbeam and other new technology with percussion and acoustic instruments, to experience music in a range of less conventional ways. Having control over the music they make is both an empowering and uplifting experience for all involved!
Fees and bursaries for Wonder Wac Arts
This programme is fully funded and provided free of charge to Camden residents, provided they have a referral from the Camden Mosaic team: Camden’s integrated service for disabled children, young people and their families.
Young people from other boroughs are also very welcome but arrangements need to be negotiated with Wac Arts’ Disability Officer and you will be required to pay a fee.
How to join Wonder Wac Arts
To join Wonder Wac Arts and take part in any of the projects, you need to fill out and return an application form. We can also send you an application form if requested.
You also need to be referred by your social worker, care worker, youth worker or teacher and, if you are a Camden resident, have Wac Arts listed in your care plan.
Please contact our Disability Officer for more information about Wonder Wac Arts and for details of how to go about the referral process at Maggie.Mendy@WacArts.co.uk or call her on 020 7692 5812.
Once we have received your application form we will contact you to talk your application through and discuss any special arrangements that might be needed.
Please return your completed application form to:
Maggie Mendy – Disability Officer
Old Town Hall
213 Haverstock Hill
London NW3 4QP
If you would like more information on Wonder Wac Arts or any of its activities or require help with your application please contact either:
Maggie Mendy on 020 7692 5812 or email Maggie.Mendy@WacArts.co.uk
Head of Youth Inclusion:
Jo Yeoman on 020 7692 5871 or email Jo.Yeoman@WacArts.co.uk