Dance in Healthcare programme at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust

Magpie Dance works in partnership with the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, to deliver inclusive dance sessions at Atlas House and Tall Trees each year. The participants include people with a range of complex learning disabilities, some clients on the autism spectrum and with challenging behaviour, plus older clients with dementia.

The impact of Magpie’s sessions:

“Magpie Dance has been a positive, constructive activity, as activities that are facilitated externally appear to be more popular with the patients. The structure and continuity has encouraged patients to regularly attend and develop within the sessions. Due to medication side effects (within mental health), the patients can suffer from weight gain and difficulty in movements (stiffness restricted movement); for this reason, the Magpie Dance approach to exercise and movement is highly valued and successful in prompting activity and assisting movement”. – Oxleas staff member

As a result of the long-term delivery of Magpie Dance sessions, significant progression by participants has been observed by staff.

The results of one programme can be seen below:

  • CONFIDENCE: 50% showed significant and 50% showed some progression
  • CO-OPERATION: 50% showed significant and 50% showed some progression
  • COMMUNICATION: 50% showed significant and 37.5% showed some progression.

“This is out of this world for us. It has gone a long way to bring out some of the qualities that we have never witnessed from some of our service users”. – Oxleas staff member

This work is also supported by the Big Lottery Fund and the Dunhill Medical Trust.

See also: Read the summary evaluation of the pilot programme in 2012 – OxleasNHS_MagpieDance_SummaryEvaluation.


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#whoknewwecoulddance At Magpie Dance everyone who takes part is empowered for life. To keep going we need your help. Donate to our #whoknewwecoulddance appeal today.