Hard-hit Derry circus school getting back into the swing of things after months of lockdown

Summer schools being held at St Columb's Park

Hard-hit Derry circus school getting back into the swing of things after months of lockdown

Circus summer camps for young people start in Derry next week.

Local arts charity, In Your Space Circus will host the camps between August 10-21 under the shelter of their Big Top in the grounds of St Columb’s Park House.

Thanks to funding from The Executive Office’s Central Good Relations Fund, the two weeks of Summer Camps will offer a great opportunity for children and young people (aged 8-16) from all backgrounds to come together and share an incredible outdoor circus experience post lockdown.

In Your Space Circus has been hit hard by the ripples of Covid-19 with their income from events and festivals being almost 100% lost and their pool of freelance artists, creatives and circus trainers losing almost all of their income.

Taking the lead from Derry City and Strabane District Council, the company closed to the public on March 23, suspending all performance work and Circus School programmes.

During lockdown, the team have been busy creating a range of exciting digital projects and programmes for Circus School members and have begun reaching out to community organisations to slowly recommence animating local neighbourhoods with socially distanced parades and performances.

The Summer Camps will be the first step in delivering face to face (mask to mask) delivery with young people in this new context; the team have been creating imaginative and exciting ways of engaging with the participants and have a firm plan for delivering a safe, fun and high quality week of circus provision.

Company Director Cath McBride said: “This has been an incredibly difficult time for the Company and all those we engage with, but the team have come together with determination, commitment and new creative ideas.

"We are delighted that we are in a position to deliver the Summer Camps and are confident that we have put in place the relevant policy, protocols and training to ensure the safety of the children and the team.

"We will create a space for the participants to learn, develop, have a lot of fun, and critically begin the process of re-engaging with each other.

"Lockdown has been such a hard time for so many and we are expecting to deal with new anxieties and stresses arising across our members.

"Our team of dedicated trainers are sensitive to these issues and will ensure that each participant can engage in a way that best meets their needs and addresses any uncertainty that they will have.

"We are delighted with the support offered by our principle funder for the project, The Executive Office who have encouraged us to deliver the Summer Camps and resume our critical Good Relations-focused work with children and young people."

There are some places remaining on the camps. Email for information.

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