Wallsend’s True Colours Dance School receives support from local trades and businesses

Wallsend’s True Colours Dance School receives support from local trades and businesses

Thanks to a helping hand from the community of Wallsend, the True Colours Theatre School has received a make-over like never before to ensure they can offer theatre lessons to kids and teenagers.

Volunteers from the community including local businesses and tradespeople have worked their magic on the children’s theatre school, breathing a new sense of purpose to the building that was in major need of refurbishment. 

Catered to supporting children and teenagers of all abilities, Wallsend’s True Colours Dance School needed more space and access for its growing number of students. Alongside the teams on-site, several local trade companies and wholesalers joined the efforts. Among them was Eva Timber, a local timber supplier operating out of Crook, County Durham. As well as their time, Eva Timber donated around 36 different building and timber products to True Colours in Wallsend, as part of a wider community effort. Products like structural plywood and treated softwood batten were used as part of a life-changing transformation of their performing arts school.  

After a few long, hard days of tirelessly rejuvenating the once-derelict school, tools dropped to the ground, brows were wiped, and hundreds of tea mugs were filled to the brim to celebrate a job well done. Serenaded by the inspirational voices from the school’s choir, mere moments after the finishing touches were complete, the local community of Wallsend wore their emotions proudly. As a group, they’d given the True Colours Theatre School a future that would last for years to come.  

About the True Colours Dance School 

Founded in 2014 by Alisar-Jane, True Colours Theatre schools embrace inclusivity for children of all ages and abilities. The theatre is a safe haven for children in the Northeast of England who want to experience a non-judgmental environment to learn, act and play. Many of its members live with special additional needs, such as ADHD, autism, and anxiety disorders as well as those living with physical and life-limiting conditions. The environment created at True Colours Dance School nurtures children of all backgrounds, allowing them to forego their worries or any stigmas around their conditions, and simply allow them to enjoy their childhood. 

How did the community come together? 

With the first part of the project alone estimated to cost £90,000, True Colours Dance School was at a bit of a loss. A few thousand could take months, if not years of fundraising efforts to generate, and with a growing need for space in the school, they really were against the clock. It could be devastating. Without the much-needed expansion to fit more students, as well as improved accessibility for wheelchair and walking aid users and enhanced sensory spaces for neurodivergent children, the school faced turning some of its service users away from its doors. 

That’s where the community of Wallsend and the surrounding area stepped in. Back in June 2023, the school’s cry for help could be heard across the Northeast, and in July, their saviours were hammering nails, securing light fixtures and putting aside their time for the rebuild. Local tradespeople, organisations, businesses and charities from across the area gathered, put their differences aside and showed a true sense of camaraderie. Together, they created something truly awe-inspiring.    

Alongside timber products, those aiding the school brought machinery, wheelbarrows, and smiles to help see them through. Despite being covered in dirt, sweat and dust, it didn’t stop the community on their mission. With electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and decorators in tow, what might have taken months to complete, took a few days; kindly donated by many volunteers. 

What did the experience feel like for all involved? 

According to the team at Eva Timber, the atmosphere was “absolutely electric with activity, and the sense of community was really buzzing. Tradespeople, companies and organisations had gathered from all around, and you could feel just how important this project was to everyone attending.”  

“From project start to finish, we bundled together as a team to give these children a Theatre School they could be proud of. Our time, effort and hard work were rewarded by how elated and excited the children were as they saw their new school unveiled. It was euphoric and we’d do it again in a heartbeat.” 

What does it mean for True Colours Dance School now? 

Once again, the school can flourish. As well as being an inclusive environment for children of all abilities, it can continue to deliver this service across the Northeast. The True Colours Theatre School now has its forever home, enabling the organisation to inspire generations of children that enter its doors. With improvements in accessibility, as well as secure sensory spaces for children to enjoy, thanks to the help and assistance of the local community, the True Colours Theatre School is now unstoppable. 

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