Morecambe-based music charity and Lancaster-based dance company through to finals of regional education awards

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A Morecambe-based music charity has been selected as a finalist at the Northern Cultural Education Awards 2024, for a health themed creative schools project created and delivered in partnership with Ludus Dance.

More Music in Morecambe and Ludus Dance have received a joint nomination for the Hearts and Minds Award, which recognises projects that have used targeted creative or cultural activity to positively impact children and young people's health and wellbeing.

The Northern Cultural Education Awards will take place on Friday May 24 2024 at the Edge Arena in Wigan.

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The nominated project is ‘The Alien Needs Our Help’, a music and dance project that was designed to help children make informed choices about vaccination.

The Alien Needs Our Help project at Ryelands School by More Music and Ludus Dance.The Alien Needs Our Help project at Ryelands School by More Music and Ludus Dance.
The Alien Needs Our Help project at Ryelands School by More Music and Ludus Dance.

It reached 3800 children in 24 primary schools across the Lancaster and Morecambe district in 2022/23.

The project collected clear evidence that children felt more informed and confident of their knowledge about vaccines and how to make the right choices about their health after taking part.

‘The Alien Needs Our Help’ was aimed at KS2 school children and commissioned by Lancaster City Council’s Public Protection team, as part of a national public health promotion initiative in response to the Covid pandemic to tackle vaccine hesitancy.

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It involved a musician and dancer team working in each school for six weeks, with the dancer playing the role of an alien who needed help from the children and the musician to learn how to stay healthy and return home with the facts to keep their planet safe.

The sessions used songs, dance and storytelling to share the facts, which would be performed for other classes at the end of each project.

Darren Leadsom, education and inclusion manager at More Music, said: “It’s fantastic to be a finalist at the Northern Cultural Education Awards alongside Ludus Dance for this project. “Utilising music and dance to develop a creative and interactive approach to health messages, we were able to successfully share important facts with schoolchildren about vaccination and how to make informed healthy choices in their future lives.

"It was great to have the opportunity to bring together a talented team of music and dance practitioners to create this project and deliver it 36 times in 24 schools, thanks to a commission from Lancaster City Council.”