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Committed to wellbeing: PDSW announces new partnership and staff support programme

Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW) is putting into practice its commitment to caring for public and staff as it announces:

  • A brand new partnership project with Dorset Mind
  • The introduction of Real Living Wage for staff
  • A new employee assistance programme

In Autumn 2019, PDSW will co-deliver an exciting new dance programme called Connected Minds: Dance, in conjunction with Dorset Mind.

The programme will work with children aged 13-16 who have disengaged with school as a result of the impact their mental health has had on their daily lives.

By building the 5 Ways to Wellbeing into a dance programme staffed by PDSW community dance practitioners and Dorset Mind mental health practitioners, the programme aims to build confidence and resilience amongst participants and encourage a return to their education.

Emma Abbey, Head of Engagement at PDSW said:

“We’re delighted to be working with Dorset Mind on this programme which we hope will make a real difference to young people and encourage them back into education. This partnership will allow PDSW to build on our existing work for those with mental health needs, and to ensure accessibility is at the heart of our programme and programme planning.”

Anna Powney, CYP service manager at Dorset Mind said:

“This exciting and innovative initiative aims to embed key aspects of the 5 ways to wellbeing into the daily lives of young people whose mental health is affecting their education, all through the power of dance as a therapeutic means. We’re thrilled that we can work alongside PDSW to bring our combined expertise to the young people of Weymouth.”

This project has been supported by the Real Ideas Organisation using funding from Arts Council England. The first year will be delivered in Weymouth in partnership with Dorset Council’s Chesil Family Partnership Zone.

PDSW are looking for sponsors to join this exciting partnership – if you are interested in learning more please contact Emma Abbey: emma@pdsw.org.uk

The announcement comes as PDSW have introduced the Real Living Wage for all staff as of April 2019. PDSW Chief Executive Zannah Doan said:

“We believe that all of our staff should be able to work and live on the wage that we pay. The people that work for us make us what we are and we want to acknowledge that by paying a respectful salary. As a charity, we’re never going to be able to pay the highest wages – but if our salaries are fair then more people can consider working for us as they’ll know they can afford to have a decent standard of living.

In addition, PDSW staff will benefit from an employee assistance programme with ‘Life and Progress’ who offer staff 24 hour access to support including counselling legal, financial, child care and consumer experts.

This is in recognition of the emotional, financial and physical challenges that we can all face at points in our lives and wanting to provide an expert, safe way of supporting staff through those challenges.

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