In 2015 Together! continued to thrive, delivering a year-round free programme of creative arts activities for disabled people and their companions and free disabled-led exhibitions, events, performances and activities for everyone.
We worked across art forms, including poetry, music, visual arts, film and dance. We work with disabled people from across impairment groups, including people with physical and sensory impairments, people with mental health difficulties, people with learning difficulties and people with long-term health conditions. We specialised in programming activities that include everyone, including people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.
We were successful for the third year running in obtaining funding via Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts programme for our Summer Together! 2015 project and our Together! 2015 Disability History Month Festival.
These projects provided valuable opportunities for locally based disabled artists to learn new skills and to showcase their work, as well as to bring national and international disabled artists to show their work in East London for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.
We also worked with Emergency Exit Arts to increase disabled people’s inclusion in the annual Newham Carnival, and with London Legacy Development Corporation to increase local residents’ engagement with National Paralympic Day, where we also produced a tent showcasing the talents of local disabled people. We were members of Stratford Rising, the local network for arts organisations, and of Newham Chamber of Commerce.
For all of our activities, we prioritised increased self-confidence and social networks for participants, many of whom are isolated. Participants also reported improvements in their literacy and general health. We continued to enjoy ‘Community of Health’ status, recognised by Newham CCG for ‘outstanding services in improving the health and wellbeing of local residents.”