Our community projects can run due to our ongoing collaborations and partnerships with organisations such as Sport England, Arts Council and National Lottery Fund. Their funding allows us to run community sessions for free, making dance and wellbeing accessible to all, regardless of economic status or geographical location. 

Watch our video to hear team member Millie sharing more details on our community projects and their wider impact. 

Older People

Dementia Friendly Tees Valley

In 2022-2023 we were commissioned by Public Health to deliver a range of Dementia Friendly sessions open to both individuals with dementia and their carers. We ran 15 sessions per week across Tees Valley, in care homes, day centres and community venues. These session aimed to allow those with dementia to improve their health and wellbeing in an accessible way. We worked with 138 participants with dementia per week, to help improve their overall health, mobility, coordination and social wellbeing. Out of the 15 organisations we worked with all stated they'd seen an improvement in participant physical fitness, social interaction and mental wellbeing.

Feel Good With Nuvo

Throughout 2020-2021 we developed our cutting-edge online subscription to reach shielding individuals with access to wellbeing and fitness resources to improve their health and wellbeing.

This service was tailored to women aged 50+ to help build confidence and self-esteem at home, to encourage individuals to try our community sessions face-to-face over time. This programme allowed us to build an online community of participants that were able to act as a support network to one another, attend live online monthly themed dance events and take part in monthly catch-ups over Zoom.

Middlesbrough Steps to Wellbeing

Funded by Comic Relief’s Sport for Change, Nuvo Wellbeing delivered chair dance classes and reminiscence activities for people living with dementia. We also offered weekly dance/fitness classes for communities across Middlesbrough, followed by a dementia friends session, once a month for those that want to learn more about dementia. We are very passionate about increasing dementia awareness in the community, and are proud that these classes enhanced positivity for those living with dementia.

Brian, a dementia friends champion who attended the project launch event, said “I think it’s fantastic what the company is doing. There should be more things like this for people living with dementia. It’s also important to support those who have family members or friends with dementia. It’s a great opportunity”.

Keep County Durham Moving

In 2020 we were awarded a COVID-19 grant from County Durham Community Foundation to allow us to provide vulnerable individuals in areas of deprivation within County Durham access to free online classes to keep active and help improve their wellbeing during lockdown.

Those accessing our services were older adults with long term conditions or mental health conditions living in areas of deprivation within County Durham. Across our community classes in 2020 we worked with 768 participants aged 50+, including 124 people with Dementia, 63 people with a long term condition, 33 people with mental health conditions, 11 people with Parkinson’s and 646 people living in areas of deprivation each week. Due to COVID-19 many of our class participants became isolated with little means of keeping active. This grant allowed us to provide our most vulnerable participants with an easily accessible and free dance and fitness resource.

Community Wellness Project

We were overjoyed to be awarded a grant from Reaching Communities Big Lottery Fund to deliver the Community Wellness Project across County Durham, Hartlepool and Stockton-On-Tees.The fund allowed us to increase healthy living for people and communities with three specifically designed programmes; Move with Us, Cook with Us and Community Pods to get communities active, eating healthily and encourage behaviour change for long lasting results.

The DanceFit Programme

Nuvo Wellbeing was successful in securing funding from County Durham Sport and NHS County Durham through CPAL which enabled the enterprise to develop and implement the programme DanceFit which aims to increase the physical activity of sedentary older adults and in turn reduce the risk of Cardiovascular Disease of those participants with an estimated or actual risk of CVD greater than 20%. DanceFit has been successful in encouraging increased physical activity, with over 65% of participants demonstrating an increase in physical activity after six months.


Healthy Living: Adult Disability

In 2022-2023 we were commioned by Public Health to deliver a range of Dance and Healthy Living sessions for adults with learning disabilities. We ran 3 sessions per week across County Durham, working with 60 individuals with learning disabilities. Each session was tailored to the participants needs and interests and aimed to allow participants to improve their health and become more aware of health issues and how to access support from their GP. All organisations stated they felt more aware of healthy lifestyle choices since beginning the sessions.

ActivSteps Training

In 2022 Nuvo completed delivering our ESF funded ActivSteps Employability programmes across Tees Valley and County Durham. The courses focused on social care and was delivered through 5 wellbeing and employability soft skills workshops followed by Level 2 Qualification in Seated Dance and Exercise. The courses aimed to develop learner personal employability skills, wellbeing and resilience to help leaners go onto further training or employment in the social care sector.
35% of the learners gained employment within a month of completing the course and 75% of the learners went on to complete more learning to help them obtain a job in social care.

Activities on Prescription

Activities on Prescription is a social prescribing project initially funded by the National Lottery Community Fund which grants referrals in East Durham and Hartlepool access to a range of Dance, Arts and Singing workshops, monthly events and activity packs in the post! The initial programme worked with 112 individuals over a 12 month period, during which time 97% reported that they felt more physically active from taking part and 88% stated they felt more socially included in their local community.

CREE Project

Nuvo Wellbeing was commissioned by East Durham Trust to set up a Men’s group in Spennymoor aimed at reducing social isolation among men.
East Durham Trust lead on the CREE project which is funded through County Durham and Darlington PCT and supported drop in groups based on an Australian idea known as ‘Men’s Sheds’. The project was a response to the closure of traditional industries and the loss of social facilities which greatly reduce contact between men, which in some cases can lead to the development of Mental Health problems.

Bump to Buggy: Postnatal Fitness Programme

Here at Nuvo our instructors have undergone specialist pre and postnatal fitness Level 3 training so that they can deliver tailored circuit style sessions for pregnant women or those with a child aged up to 1. Our Bump to Buggy programme has been designed with research from Teesside University and funding from Sport England to help women maintain their fitness and activity levels during and after pregnancy.
Working with women in County Durham and Darlington, these social classes have improved resources for new mothers in the North East and help build friendships and a community among like-minded mothers.

Urban Dance Programme Social Enterprise Investment Fund

SEIF awarded investment to Nuvo Wellbeing to pilot an Urban Dance Programme targeted 30 hard to reach young women aged 16-25 to increase their confidence and participation in physical activity. Their low activity levels were related to a number of reasons including; poor experience of PE at school, lack of confidence in their ability, and feeling self-conscious.

70% of participants stated at the start of the project that they feel self-conscious when participating in sport and activity. 80% had very little confidence in attending the gym. 60% had poor experience of sport/physical activity in school. By the end of the 6 month programme confidence in physical activity had increased significantly and 60% of participants were attending the gym or additional classes.


  • Fit 4 Work, Fit 4 Life

    Nuvo Wellbeing and Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College worked in partnership to engage 152 students in fun and interactive dance and fitness sessions. Through case studies, questionnaires, activity diaries and group discussion we were able to identify that this had contributed towards: improved confidence, increased physical activity levels, increased awareness of the importance of physical activity in relation to physical and mental health and increased awareness of the importance of keeping fit and healthy in relation to educational success and working life.

    45 young people were recruited as Dance and Fitness Activators volunteering time to co-teach, promote activity and share learning.Jordan aged 14, enjoys playing computer games and hanging out with his friends. He heard about the project whilst attending PE and thought it might be something that he would enjoy. Being able to build his upper body strength is something that he most enjoyed and as a result has made him feel more confident. He encouraged more of his friends to join the project and they now continue to workout together.

    Ewan aged 15, enjoys reading, playing games and cycling. Since participating in the project he feels more positive about himself and says he now enjoys fitness, particularly group exercise. The part he enjoyed most about the project was being able to compete against his friends.

  • The Big Stride Project

    The Big Stride Project ran over 12 months to engage 90 children and young people in creative dance activity to build confidence and self-esteem, develop friendships, increase positivity and raise aspirations. For young people less able to talk about difficult issues concerning them, dance can be a form of expression and release.The Project was designed to send out anti-bullying messages and build confidence, to increase self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Through the promotion of friendship the groups were encouraged to put trust in one another through games and dance activities.

    “This is a nice group, I’ve been able to talk and share things.” “I feel more confident to be able to stop the bully’s now.” “When we come here we feel safe and that no bullying will ever happen in this group.”

    The project funded by East Durham AAP engaged children and young people in four, 12 week anti-bullying themed creative dance programmes. The programmes took place in four community venues across East Durham.In addition to the ‘anti-bullying’ focused sessions and to continue the positive experience, additional gifted and talented programmes were run throughout the course of the funding. Young people became part of these programmes by expressing an interest in developing their dance skills further. These young people received support and advice on how to develop further, and are completing Arts Award Qualifications as a result of the Project.

    “It’s given us new opportunities like dancing for the Christmas lights switch on and doing the Arts Award and Keyfund.” “Some of us want to study sport and dance when we leave school so it will be really helpful with that.”

  • Sing, sing and shimmy

    Being able to communicate is one of the most important skills we need in life. Almost everything we do involves communication; everyday tasks such as learning at school, asking for food and drink, sorting out problems, making friends and having fun. These all rely on our ability to communicate with each other. That’s why we introduced our Makaton ‘Sign, Sing & Shimmy’ project in Stockton.

    Sign, Sing and Shimmy incorporated Makaton which uses signs, symbols and speech to help people communicate. Signs are used, with speech, in spoken word order. This helps provide extra clues about what someone is saying. Using signs can help people who have no speech or whose speech is unclear. Using symbols can help people who have limited speech and those who cannot, or prefer not to sign. “For those who have experienced the frustration of not being unable to communicate meaningfully or effectively, Makaton really can help. Makaton takes away that frustration and enables individuals to connect with other people and the world around them. This opens up all kinds of possibilities.”

    Sign, Sing and Shimmy is a programme aimed at young children and their families. Through a range of fun action songs and rhymes, dances and stories, children will learn whilst having fun, and the use of Makaton will be encouraged throughout to support meaning and instructions. The children we have been working with in Stockton have really enjoyed there sessions and have begun using Makaton in there day to day lives. Teachers from some of the schools we have worked with have also commented that the sessions have helped to improve communication in their classrooms.

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Wellness Specialists

Vicky Sanchez

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Megan Taylor

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Jasmine Coleman