Our community wellbeing 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. 


Active Advantage: Volunteering Training

Active Advantage, funded by Believe Housing, is dedicated to providing weekly dance and fitness sessions in East Durham to promote physical health, mental wellbeing and social inclusion. Our classes support 63 people's wellbeing.
In addition to these sessions, we offer volunteering opportunities and coaching to help individuals develop new skills and contribute to their community.

Our programme aims to promote physical activity and foster a sense of community engagement and personal growth.

NuVolunteering: Volunteering and Seated Dance

The NuVolunteering programme, funded by National Lottery aimed to improve physical and mental health and reduce loneliness in deprived areas of East Durham through free dance sessions. It also included a volunteering scheme designed to boost social inclusion, confidence, and self-esteem. 163 participants took part in the programme with 8 individuals undergoing Level 2 Seated Dance and Exercise training to increase volunteer opportunities. 98% participants reported improvements in physical fitness and mental health. 89% of attendees felt more socially included after 6 months.

Steps to Wellbeing: Employability Training

Our Steps to Wellbeing training was initially funded by ESF in Tees Valley and County Durham. This initiative helped support 20 unemployed adults to undergo wellbeing and employability soft skills training and Level 2 Seated Dance and Exercise training to help them obtain further training opportunities or a career in wellbeing or social care.

60% of our learners went on to further training and 40% gained a job. 2 individuals have since received a promotion.

Care 4 Care: Carer's Support Programme

Nuvo Wellbeing was awarded funding from Middlesbrough Council for 2022-2024 to launch our Care 4 Care programme. This programme provides support for over 83 Carers in Middlesbrough granting access to weekly Dance, Fitness and Wellbeing support sessions, specifically tailored to meet their needs and preferences.

Alongside this Carers are given the opportunity to take part in wellbeing and Seated Dance training to improve both their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those they care for.

Activities on Prescription: Social Prescribing

Activities on Prescription is a social prescribing project 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. We have now supported over 200 individuals in East Durham and Hartlepool with this programme and support from our referral partners.

CREE Project: Men's Group

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.

Keep County Durham Moving: Online Programme

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.
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. The majority of individuals who accessed our service were older adults with long-term conditions or mental health conditions living in areas of deprivation within County Durham.

Feel Good With Nuvo: Online Programme

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.

Young Adults

#ICanDance: Dance Coaching

The #ICan N-Dance Programme is a transformative initiative dedicated to empowering young people aged 12-18 living in underprivileged areas of East Durham. Our mission is to bring positive change to their lives by providing free weekly dance coaching sessions, led by industry professionals. Through this creative and collaborative program, we aim to enhance physical and mental wellbeing, foster social inclusion, and boost confidence levels among the participants. Our weekly sessions engage with 20 young people in regular dance coaching sessions focusing on street dance, contemporary styles, and bespoke coaching. These sessions nurture creativity, develop social bonds, and promote positive self-expression.

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.

Specific Conditions

Dance-Ability Durham

In 2024 we were awarded funding by Sport England to provide accessible Dance and Physical Activity Sessions for Adults with Learning Disabilities in County Durham. As part of this programme we run weekly sessions in Central Durham and Newton Aycliffe. This programme aims to increase physical activity levels, improve mental wellbeing and provide an inclusive social outlet for adults with learning disabilities, their carers and their families.

Arts Council: Adults Learning Disabilities

In 2023-2024, Nuvo Wellbeing was proud to receive funding from Arts Council to provide 80 individuals with learning disabilities with the opportunity to partake in weekly Dance and Arts workshops and 2 live showcases to promote accessibility and inclusivity in the arts. This programme was a huge success and has now developed into our 'Enhance through Dance' Adults with Learning Disabilities Dance Programme loved by service users across County Durham and Darlington.

Healthy Lifestyles: Adult Learning Disabilities

In 2022-2023 we were commissioned 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 participant's 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.

Parkinson's Fitness

In 2023-2024, Nuvo Wellbeing was proud to receive funding from Parkinson's UK to deliver weekly Parkinson's-friendly sessions in Thornley. These sessions are designed to support individuals with Parkinson's through a mix of circuits, mobilisation exercises, and wellbeing techniques, including mindfulness and laughter yoga. Our goal is to enhance the physical and mental wellbeing of participants, build local support networks and friendships and to provide a supportive and enjoyable environment for everyone involved.

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.

DanceFit: Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

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.

Sport For Change: Dementia Friendly

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”.

Bump to Buggy: Postnatal Fitness

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.


  • N-Dance Trimdon

    In 2023-2024 Nuvo Wellbeing was awarded funding by East Durham Rural Corridor AAP to provide weekly dance coaching for children aged 5-18 in Trimdon. Our weekly session support over 20 children who take part in regular community dance performances and work experience opportunities. This aim of the project is to build children's dance skills, social involvement and raise aspirations.

  • Sing and Shimmy Durham

    Our 2024 Sing and Shimmy programmes are funded by Darlington Building Society and Believe Housing to support Early Years Children in Easington and Shildon to improve their communication skills and coordination through fun and interactive singing and dancing activities. Our programmes support 50 children and their families to improve their wellbeing together.

  • 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.”

  • Sign and Sing

    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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