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Popular Holme Valley community drumming initiative to be launched in Denby Dale

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Popular Holme Valley community drumming initiative to be launched in Denby Dale

13th December 2018 - 10:00 am - 11:30 am

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00am on Thursday, repeating until 27th December 2018

A Holme Valley drum club has proved so popular since its launch in April that another one is being launched in November in Denby Dale.


The Holmfirth-based Valley Beats drum group was formed as part of Kirklees Council’s “Try it, like it, do it” project to support activities that help people become more physically active. Community percussionist Katie Mallard, who also runs Honley Samba Band, formed the group because, she says, “I see Brazilian drumming as a fusion of music and exercise. At Honley Samba Band two hours drumming, moving and stepping is so energising and a fabulous way to end the week.”


Most of the members of the Honley Samba Band are already quite active people but Katie wanted to make this energetic musical activity more accessible to those who are less active so she formed a new group with more emphasis on support and gentle activity. The council funded Valley Beats for eight weeks and since its inception it’s drawn a wide range of adults from all backgrounds and ranging from those in their twenties to their nineties. The group now is thriving beyond its initial funded period and members now pay £3 to come along.


Several adults joined the group with staff from Ability Options, a day centre in Honley for adults with learning difficulties. “They have become the heart and soul of the group, cheering everybody up if they are ever down and the two groups have a very close relationship,” says Katie. Lynn Allen, founder of Ability Options says, “Our members look forward to their session at Valley Beats. The way they have been included in the group has enriched their lives by feeling part of the community and being treated with equality. Our members’ confidence has risen and it’s really enabled them to increase independence in their lives.”


Rehearsing weekly, the group has exceeded expectations, growing to around 30 members, many of whom are referred to the group by organisations supporting mental health recovery, learning disability services, groups tackling social isolation and also carers support groups. “What an achievement that after seven weeks people who had never drummed before did a fantastic performance to officially open the Holmfirth Arts Festival this year,” says Katie, “I am so proud of how far we have come in such a short time”.


One of the group’s most remarkable stories is Becky. Due to mental health problems Becky struggled to make the first phone call to enquire about the group. She has been off work with mental health issues for several years and at her first session she was very nervous, not even touching her drum for the first half of the class. By the end of the session she was fully joining in, playing and creating rhythms with the group. She left with a huge smile on her face. Says Katie, “Two weeks later she actually left the group to join me at a more technical samba band where she learned tunes to participate in the Manchester Day Parade as part of a 100-strong drumming group. She told me that Samba has changed her life.”


Becky is now working with Katie to set up the second Valley Beats group in Denby Dale, which will again be funded for eight weeks. The group will meet on Thursday mornings (10am-11.30am) and will start on Thursday 8 November, coming together with the Holmfirth group for a joint Christmas performance.


If you or somebody you know would like to give group drumming a try, Valley Beats can be found Wednesdays 10am-11.30am at Holmfirth Tech and Thursdays 10am-11.30am at Denby Dale Methodist Church


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13th December 2018
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Event Categories:
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denby dale methodist church
cumberworth lane
Holmfirth, West Yorkshire hd88qs United Kingdom
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