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Empower Social Circle

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Dancing for joy

Empower Social Circle celebrate Small Grant success

A Glossop based group, which only set up last year, has been dancing for joy after securing £500 funding from High Peak CVS’s Small Grants fund recently.

Empower Social Circle, set up by Clare Balfe, currently hosts a weekly social group for adults with learning disabilities and their carers on a Monday at St Mary’s Catholic Crowned Church in Sumner Street, Glossop.

The group encourages social interaction between local adults with learning disabilities, enabling friendships and bonds to be formed as well as combatting loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and raising self-esteem.

The Monday social provides a friendly and warm welcome to adults with learning disabilities enabling them to come together and connect with each other on a weekly basis.

The group aims to keep friendships alive that were made at the day service, which is now closed, in a safe environment with trained experienced staff on hand.

The group came together last year when a need for a social group, and more accessible activities for adults with learning disabilities, was identified by Clare, a personal assistant based in the High Peak area who supports several local adults with learning disabilities through her job.

Clare has over 20 years’ experience in support work with adults with learning disabilities and through her role was very aware of the lack of provisions available to service users, their carers, and support staff, after the closure of activities and groups during covid. This was her motivation to start the group.

With the support of High Peak CVS’s Group Development worker Deb Boden and Mat Gregory at The Bureau, Clare successfully turned her ideas into a reality and had the group up and running in no time.

Currently the group offers different activities each week, as well as a portion of the time allocated to a group dancing activity.

The funds the group has secured will help towards paying for room hire, the supply of materials for activities, and pay a small amount each week to the professional dance teacher Kirsty.

Kirsty engages the group members’ amazingly. The movement/dance section of the session helps to promote exercise which in turn helps to improve the health and mental wellbeing of the group’s members.  

Dance is also a great form of self-expression and exercise and is proven to be effective in combating low mood and improve mental health.

The group’s committee is very proud of what they have achieved in such a short space of time and have been encouraged to keep going seeing the positive impact attending the group has had on the lives of the adults with learning disabilities.

If you would like to find out more about Empower Social Circle and its Social Group contact Clare via email at

Or if you have an idea for a group, or are an existing group and would like some support with developing it, contact Deb at

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