Let’s Dance: Cash award for Brooke Bennett Dance Academy in Grays

LET’S DANCE – CASH AWARD FOR ACADEMY

A DANCE group that encourages children to learn new skills has been awarded £750 of support to help improve its grounds.

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The cash has been awarded by Persimmon Homes Essex to the Brooke Bennett Dance Academy in Grays as part of its Healthy Communities initiative.

The initiative sees Persimmon Homes give away more than £600,000 to sporting causes across the UK over the 10 months from May to December, with an overall top national prize of £200,000 in addition to numerous regional donations.

Brooke North, who made the application on behalf of the academy, said: “We are in a deprived area and money is a big worry for me and for parents and this limits our opportunities and the service we can provide.

“I have been running the academy for the last four years, helping children, some of who have disabilities. Dance is our pupils’ only escape from the streets and I would love to be able to provide them with equipment to train and learn while they are so eager.

“Our hall rent I so expensive that sadly a lot of our money is spent on that and paying our bills. The Healthy Communities donation will go towards installing ballet barres, buying exercise mats and a new music system. It is a fantastic donation.”

Through Healthy Communities a host of regional prizes of £750 are up for grabs each month for the rest of 2017, with amateur sports teams and individuals aged 21 years and under across the region eligible to apply for the Persimmon Homes Essex awards. The money is to be spent on sports kit, equipment, coaching or facilities.

A shortlist of 30 will then be created for a national final to be decided on a public vote, with the winning club or individual receiving £200,000 to create a long-lasting legacy and two runners-up receiving £50,000 each.

The new fund is in addition to the £720,000 the company already donates through its hugely successful Community Champions scheme each year.

Phil Standen, managing director at Persimmon Homes Essex, said: “Brookes’ dance academy is providing opportunities for youngsters to come in off the streets and to learn new disciplines. We are glad to have been able to help out and hope that all the dancers enjoy their new equipment and sound system to the full.”

He added: “Everyone who enters the Healthy Communities’ initiative from May to December, regardless of whether they win a monthly prize, will be considered as a national finalist.

“We are looking for sports teams and individuals who have amazing ideas on how to spend £200,000 to come forward. We will consider anything from new clubhouses, to training centres, facilities or gyms or it may be people want to spend the cash on the development of future Olympians. We’re very excited to see the projects that are put forward.”

To find out more to enter the competition visit www.persimmonhomes.com/charity.

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