Over £100,000 to support Tower Hamlets charity in making dancing more accessible for older Londoners

The City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust, has awarded Tower Hamlet-based charity, Green Candle Dance Company, £105,000 to boost its work on improving the health and well-being of older dementia patients through dance and movement.

With 27 years’ experience making dance more accessible to the community, Green Candle is well known for its inspiring work involving different age groups through participatory projects and professional development courses.

In 2003, Green Candle started its Dance for Health and Wellbeing Programme for Older People in day care centres, hospitals, residential homes, community centres and lunch clubs. A range of participatory workshops, including training for care workers and other staff to lead dance sessions, have been designed and developed for those with physical disabilities and conditions such as Parkinson’s, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes and high blood pressure. Elderly participants are also encouraged both to dance (whether seated or standing) and to watch performances by other people.

With the help of the City Bridge Trust’s grant, this programme will benefit over 250 participants each year in residential care homes across London. The funding will further develop Green Candle’s Dance for Dementia Strand with the aim of reducing isolation, enhancing psychological resilience and improving the mental capacity of people living with dementia and their carers.

Fergus Early OBE, Artistic Director of Green Candle Dance Company, said:
“We are delighted to have received this wonderful award which will enable us to extend the range and effectiveness of our work with older people, particularly with people over 75. It is becoming more widely accepted that dance and music can have a very significant effect on the quality of life of older people. Along with well researched physical benefits, dance can be effective in slowing-down the development of some of the symptoms of dementia. We are wholly committed to this work and thank City Bridge Trust most sincerely for their generous support.”

Jeremy Mayhew, Chairman of City Bridge Trust, said:
“Dancing is enjoyable for people of all ages, but many older people are held back by physical obstacles and lack of access, understanding and guidance. Green Candle’s Dance for Health and Wellbeing Programme works on removing these barriers, and gives older people, including dementia sufferers, essential support for using dance as an excellent way to express themselves, improve health and well-being, and enhance their quality of life.”

City Bridge Trust is the grant-making arm of Bridge House Estates, whose sole trustee is the City of London Corporation. It supports London’s charities and provides grants totalling around £15 million annually.

Notes to editors:

Media enquiries: Julie Zhu, Media Officer, City of London Corporation
T 020 7332 3451

About the City of London Corporation
The City of London Corporation has three roles: we support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration and skills projects. The Corporation supports education - with three independent schools and three City Academies – plus a primary school and the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama. We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London. And – with its heart in London’s Square Mile - we also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events, research-driven policies and a long-term approach. See for much more on our uniquely diverse role, including the City of London Police, etc.

The City of London Corporation’s charity, the City Bridge Trust, makes grants totaling around £15 million annually to charitable projects across London. More information can be found at

About the attached images of Green Candle
The image should be captioned as ‘Green Candle Dance Company, leading a dance workshop for people living with dementia.’