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Cultural Awareness Day 2016

Back by popular demand, we recently held our second annual Cultural Awareness Day. This event is an opportunity for people to celebrate the rich cultural diversity of Leeds. There was a packed programme of entertainment representing cultures and faiths from around the world, with live performances from actors, musicians and dancers.

Ginger Cat Theatre Company is a partnership between Aspire and The Bridge Project. People who use our services were supported by staff to act, sing and dance their way around the United Kingdom in the company of Tom Jones, The Proclaimers, The Lightening Seeds and Jimmie Rodgers. The tour was followed by Don O’Connor who brought along his Irish band and they packed the dance floor with their songs and music.

It was great to see Inder ‘Goldfinger’ Matharu here again this year. He played Bhangra rythms on the dhol drum from India and taught everyone some basic dance steps. Bhangra is based on celebration and fun and it didn’t take long for people to pick up the beat. This high energy session ended a troop of ‘Bangladeshi’ dancers, but there was a twist: it was Aspire staff who performed the traditional dance.

Sky Fallers then took to the stage to bring the event to a close. It’s hard to believe this band of people who use our services and staff was formed only a couple of years ago. Their finale rocked the room and it was fantastic to see Marie Simpson (Aspire) and Martin Brennan (The Bridge Project) appearing with Sky Fallers as guest singers.

Running alongside the entertainment was a raffle, various stalls and a quiz. The photo booth was extremely popular and had a constant queue of people eager to don the huge array of hats, wigs, glasses and outfits available.

This was a chance to try different foods from around the world at the outside kitchen and we had the newly decorated mobile Changing Place available throughout the event.

The 2016 Cultural Awareness Day was a huge success and all the proceeds from the event will go to dementia charities.

Want to see more of this great day? Then watch our video of the event here.

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Cultural Awareness Day 2016, band

Cultural Awareness Day 2016, drum

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