Published on 22 June 2022

Schoolchildren in Portsmouth took part in collaborative event between DRWF and Dance School Funkidz Dance Limited.

A fundraising playground dance event across three schools in Portsmouth has raised more than £7,000 towards diabetes research.

The Dance for Diabetes event was organised by DRWF in partnership with Portsmouth-based Dance School Funkidz Dance Limited, owned and managed by Samantha Collins.

Throughout the month of May each participating school was given a fun dance routine to learn from a series of videos.

The schools involved were Westover Primary, Northern Federation Infant and Juniors and Kings Academy Collage Park Infant and Juniors.

This was done during school hours and worked into lessons where appropriate; whilst being made available on school platforms to practise at home.

Some of our dance fundraisers.

The team from Funkidz Dance Limited: (from left to right) Megan Jansen, Samantha Collins and Lydia Mackett. 

More than 1,500 children aged between 4 and 11 years old (School years R to 6) took part raising a total of £7,762. All sponsorship monies raised were split equally between DRWF and the participating child’s school (which will in turn be given to the schools chosen charity or used towards school resources for the children).

The partnership had five aims to achieve from the event which were: promote physical and mental wellbeing; develop new skills; nurture new and existing friendships; offer an introduction to dance; and to raise funds for charity.

On Friday, 27th May, Samantha Collins and DRWF Head of Community Fundraising, Tim Green, visited all participating schools to perform the dance in the playground alongside all teachers and school staff. It was a fantastic celebration of keeping active, collaborating with friends and having fun!

All children were encouraged to wear bright coloured t-shirts, skirts, shorts, or socks - the brighter the better.

This partnership presented the children with not only a fantastic opportunity to achieve the stated aims, but to also immerse themselves into the community by raising sponsorship through fundraising with the message of: “Be the difference, raise sponsorship”.

Children were encouraged by the event organisers to gain as many sponsors as possible to celebrate all their hard work learning and performing the dance!

Every participating child received a certificate; with special class certificates being awarded to: most improved confidence; most improved performance; and highest class fundraiser.

Some of our dance fundraisers.

The team from Funkidz Dance Limited: (from left to right) Samantha Collins, Megan Jensen and Lydia Mackett. 

Tim said: “We are extremely proud to have partnered with Samantha and FunKidz for this new fundraising event. The ‘Dance for Diabetes’ concept gave every child an opportunity to be involved, keep active and fundraise for a local charity – all whilst at school! Thank you to Samantha and FunKidz for offering an inclusive fun event for children to get their teeth into and for raising such a mammoth amount of funds raised through sponsorship. We can’t wait for 2023!

“Whilst COVID-19 has been a huge setback for us, one thing remains a certainty, when the pandemic is over, diabetes will still be one of the major health challenges worldwide in the 21st Century.”

Samantha Collins, Director of FunKidz Dance Limited, said: “I am truly humbled to have been able to provide this dance opportunity to so many children and I am blown away by the efforts of every single person that danced and fundraised with us on Friday, 27th May. The event was so much fun and I had to pinch myself when I heard how much was raised. What an achievement!

“A lot of children love dancing but don’t always find it easy to fit in with the structure of a dance school environment. In my experience dance also comes with a lot of additional costs such as costumes and footwear. I wanted to strip this back and do something that is just about being themselves, feeling comfortable, wearing their own clothes, and using their feet! An experience I feel gives children such a confidence boost that really helps their development and social skills.

“Working alongside DRWF is so important to me as it is a condition that not only impacts my family directly but affects so many of our children’s families too. Diabetes is a lifelong condition that is something we don’t speak about enough, so I am thrilled to be able to raise awareness and funds by organising this danceathon.”

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