September 23 2014 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Thursday, February 20, 2014
A woman has led a wheelchair dance group in an event to mark a major revamp of a London landmark building which is now step free.
Dr Ju Gosling led the Folk in Motion wheelchair dance team in the celebration at the Grade II listed Cecil Sharp House building.
Folk in Motion perform ‘wolk’ dancing which fuses folk dance with a street dance ethos, and is choreographed especially for wheelchair users.
The event at Cecil Sharp House, home to the English Folk Dance and Song Society was held to mark the installation of a lift, enabling step-free access to all four floors in the building.
The Grade II listed building in Regent’s Park Road has also undergone much needed refurbishment including the renovation of the foyer, improvements to the cafe and bar and creation of an outdoor terrace for dining.
Dr Gosling, of Kildare Road, Canning Town, who is artistic director at Folk in Motion, said: “I am thrilled to be able to access the house fully for the first time. Trefusis Hall, the cafe, the bar have until now simply been names; places that you stare down the stairs in vain trying to see.
“There are many classes and rehearsals that would be useful for me to watch when developing my company’s choreography, but to date have been inaccessible to me; there are many concerts that I would have loved to attend and now I can. I look forward to working with EFDSS to continue to improve access to the house for people of all ages as funds allow.”
Grants for the work came from Arts Council England, which gave £378,842, as part of its small capital grants programme, £50,000 from the City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s Charity, and £5,000 from The Headley Trust. The Friends of Cecil Sharp House have also supported the project with a donation of £10,000.