£49k grant for charity project

Youngsters doing Rangoli, an ancient Indian art form, with the charity.
Youngsters doing Rangoli, an ancient Indian art form, with the charity.
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A city charity is to use a £49,900 grant to help young people with disabilities through an ancient Persian form of poetry.

Haqooq Aspire for More, which supports people with learning and physical disabilities and those with mental health difficulties to fulfil their potential, will use the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) cash for a new project, Take Me Back Ghazals.

The project will help engage young people with disabilities, carers and those with multiple disadvantage in the tradition of ghazal and its influence in art forms like music, dance and art.

Laura Kay, chair of Haqooq Aspire for More, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Take Me Back Ghazals will increase opportunities for people with a range of disabilities and those struggling with multiple disadvantage and allow them to build their self-confidence and self-esteem, it will help increase opportunities for young people and teach them valuable vocational skills and support them with recognised qualifications.”

A ghazal is an ancient Persian form of poetry, similar to a sonnet in that it is often part of a larger collection or sequence of poems.

The project will work with Leeds Library Information Service to deliver workshops in schools, colleges and the community - helping to research old ghazals, artists, their influences on current music and songs and using these to learn, inspire and engage with the tradition of ghazal through poetry, music, dance and art.

Fiona Spiers, head of Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “There’s a common misconception that young people aren’t interested in learning about the past, but in our experience, they are incredibly passionate and enthusiastic. We want young people to explore the heritage that matters to them, and share it with everyone.”