Children with Down’s Syndrome to get free theatre and arts workshops thanks to Hilton Deansgate donation

By Ana Hine

Children with Down’s Syndrome will soon be able to enjoy theatre and the arts thanks to the Hilton Manchester Deansgate.

The hotel donated £9,220 to The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre in Stretford so it can provide workshop for the children to get  involved in the arts.

The grant, which was awarded by the Hilton in the Community Foundation (HCF), will enable the theatre to run 80 hour-long workshop sessions over the next two years.

Simon Sheehan, director of the HCF, said: “We are delighted to support The Edge Theatre, which caters particularly for the special needs that a young person with Downs Syndrome has and they have built up specialist knowledge to assist this target group.

“There are sadly too few opportunities for people with learning disabilities to participate in the arts so this scheme will give these young people a valuable opportunity to experience a different environment outside of school and the family home.”

The HCF invests in and supports small charities across Europe in an attempt to improve the educational opportunities of children and young people.

The cheque was presented by John McLaughlin, general manager of Hilton Manchester Deansgate, on September 17.  

He said:  “We were delighted to present The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre with the grant funding from The Hilton in the Community Foundation to help with their extremely valuable work.

“I have had the pleasure of visiting the theatre and experiencing one of their workshops and it was a very rewarding and truly humbling experience.”

The Edge Theatre, based on Manchester Road, works with children and young people from a variety of backgrounds. Singing activities and theatre games will be used to help build up speaking, listening and group working skills during the planned workshops.

Parents of children with Down’s Syndrome will be provided with a space to have a cup of tea, relax, and socialise with one another as their children take part.

Janine Waters, artistic director at The Edge, said: “Parents will work with us to evaluate the project as they know their children better than anyone and will be best placed to notice differences at home and to hear reports of improvements at school.

“We are absolutely delighted that the Hilton in the Community Foundation is now supporting us to run a two year project as part of our core activities here at The Edge.” 

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