Spirit of 2012 awards funding to community circus project in Northern Ireland

Spirit of 2012 has awarded £100,000 to Streetwise Community Circus, to deliver a wide range of inclusive circus workshops across Northern Ireland.


This funding will enable Streetwise Community Circus to deliver a project called Circus Aurora. It is a three-year programme that will take high-quality circus workshops into rural parts of Northern Ireland – specifically Ballycastle, Downpatrick and Omagh. It will bring together people from different communities and develop their circus skills, confidence and abilities in a relaxed and fun environment.

Spirit’s Chief Executive, Debbie Lye, said: “Spirit of 2012 is happy to support a project with the imagination and diversity of Circus Aurora.  We recognise Streetwise’s commitment to learning and also the opportunities that this project creates for rural communities across Northern Ireland to participate in inclusive, inspiring events and activities.”  

"As an organisation, we are thrilled to be part of the nationwide Spirit of 2012 programme and look forward to forming links with other innovative organisations from arts or sports disciplines working throughout the community across the UK."

Jim Webster, Founder of Streetwise Community Circus, explained: “This funding enables us to launch Circus Aurora. It will allow individuals who wouldn’t otherwise get the opportunity - due to their age, disability or mental health issues - to develop new skills and participate in local events at the heart of their own community. As an organisation, we are thrilled to be part of the nationwide Spirit of 2012 programme and look forward to forming links with other innovative organisations from arts or sports disciplines working throughout the community across the UK. 

"This new award from Spirit of 2012 comes at a time when arts funding is difficult to source. It means we will now be able to expand and reach out to new areas across Northern Ireland - particularly in rural communities, where opportunities to take part in this kind of project don’t currently exist."

Spirit Board Member David Watters said:  “I am delighted to see Streetwise Circus reaching out to new audiences across Northern Ireland and building up their confidence and circus skills. I look forward to seeing the shows take shape and expect to see plenty of folk enjoying themselves and developing their abilities in Ballycastle, Downpatrick and Omagh.”

During the project, people from across these communities will get the chance to take part in circus workshops, which aim to develop their skills whilst also raising their confidence, increasing their wellbeing and challenging negative perceptions of disability. They will also have opportunities to perform in local events - including performances at summer carnivals, the Mayor’s parade and other significant events in their own areas.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Spirit of 2012 is an independent trust, established with a £47m endowment from the Big Lottery Fund. We fund projects that empower people to get out, be involved and feel better. We fund partners that provide opportunities in sports, physical activity, arts and culture, volunteering and social action. http://www.spiritof2012trust.org.uk/

Streetwise Community Circus aims to make circus skills accessible to people throughout Northern Ireland - irrespective of gender, age, disability, or economic, religious or cultural background, by providing circus workshops throughout the community run by teams of experienced tutors. http://sccw.co.uk/

For further information, please contact: Neil Rodger Head of Communications, Spirit of 2012 Neil.Rodger@spiritof2012trust.org.uk T: 0203 7017440 M: 07833470985