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People of Harold Hill invited to online dance celebration designed to bring community together

PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 October 2020

This Sunday, the people of Harold Hill are invited to Hello to Handbag, an interactive performance which will see people of all ages and abilities come together to dance. Picture: Sheila Burnett

This Sunday, the people of Harold Hill are invited to Hello to Handbag, an interactive performance which will see people of all ages and abilities come together to dance. Picture: Sheila Burnett

Archant

This weekend, the people of Harold Hill are invited to join in with an interactive dance event designed to bring the community together.

Hello to Handbag, by the Geraldine Pilgrim Performance Company, will see people of all ages and abilities dance to David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, on Sunday, October 25 between 3-5pm.

This event has been made possible by Havering Changing — a consortium of eight local community organisations, led by Hornchurch’s Queen’s Theatre and including myplace in Harold Hill — which last year formed to support community led arts and culture projects in Harold Hill, Orchard Village, Rainham and Romford.

After its formation the group successfully applied to be part of the Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme, from which they received the funding which makes this weekend’s event possible.

Havering Changing area worker Sarah Stuchfield, said this weekend is the culmination of a few near misses.

“We originally got the money through for this project, and others like it, last November. Hello to Handbag was actually meant to take place earlier this year, but lockdown happened.

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“We then tried to reschedule it when the restrictions eased, but the rule of six came in. I’m grateful it’s all coming together for this weekend, even if we can’t all be together in person.”

Though primarily an online event, Sarah advised that if people don’t have internet access, there is the option to take part at myplace, which is Covid-secure.

The launch event in which plans for the dance will be explained is on Friday, October 23 in a separate Zoom gathering from 7pm .

Reflecting on the success so far, Sarah is excited by the potential: “The funding has been secured for four years, and it is all about helping each community to choose, create and take part in their own inspiring creative programme of arts events and activities!”

She added that, although open to anyone in Havering, Harold Hill is the focus because, as an area, it ranks amongst the borough’s lowest in terms of arts accessibility and engagement.

With it unknown how long life will remain like this, Sarah believes it’s vital events can run in this way: “It’s about finding new ways to be together without actually being together.”

For further information, email sarah@haveringchanging.org, visit haveringchanging.org or call into myplace.


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