Leeds dancers get a lift from fund set up in Ann’s memory

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A Leeds dance group has become the first beneficiary of an arts education fund set up in honour of murdered schoolteacher Ann Maguire.

Yorkshire Dance, whose work includes the provision of free classes and performance opportunities for 11 to 19-year-olds from east Leeds, has been given a grant of £1,500.

The money will allow junior members of the company to take part in Trinity College London-backed personal learning programmes that develop skills such as creativity and communication.

Hannah Robertshaw, Yorkshire Dance’s youth and community dance director, said she was “thrilled” with the award, adding: “It’s really important to our work that young people participating in dance develop more than just their dance skills.”

Other individuals and groups are now being encouraged to submit bids for support from the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund before the application deadline of Friday, January 30.

Mrs Maguire’s family founded the scheme with the aim of helping youngsters from Leeds fulfil their potential in areas such as drama and singing.

The amount donated to the fund in the mum-of-two’s memory stands at more than £70,000.

Sally-Anne Greenfield, chief executive of the Leeds Community Foundation charity, which is co-ordinating the grant giveaway, said: “We are urging people to spread the word, to make individuals and community groups aware of this funding and give them the chance to apply before the deadline.”

Mrs Maguire, 61, was stabbed by pupil Will Cornick as she taught a lesson at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Halton Moor in April.

Cornick, 16, was sentenced to life in November.

For further information on the grant application process, visit the www.leedscf.org.uk website.