Star Jam – a not-for profit organisation that is celebrating 20 years of creating change for disabled young people through music and dance – is about to open local workshops for the first time.
The first of its workshops to be held on the Hibiscus Coast opens in Ōrewa next week.
Star Jam’s North and West Auckland programme coordinator, Amber Gribble, says demand for its Auckland workshops is very high, with long waiting lists.
Workshops are held weekly in school terms and each has a maximum of 12 people, aged 6-25. Until now, Albany was the closest to the Coast.
“We had people asking whether we could open out there, and so we’ve added it as part of our current expansion,” Amber says.
Any disabled person within the age range can join – whether they have an intellectual or physical disability.
“We don’t ask what the disability is,” Amber says. “If someone thinks its suitable for them, then it is.”
Amber says the wide age range works well, with older jammers looking out for younger ones.
“It’s a lovely community that gets built within the workshops,” she says.
The group’s mission is to “unleash potential through music and performance”. The goals of the workshops are to develop confidence, make friends and have fun.
Amber says it’s amazing to see the changes in those who take part.
The Ōrewa workshops will focus on dance and singing.
Jammers have the opportunity to take part in public performances, including at local community events. Community Star Jam discos which are open to the public are also held. At the end of each year there is a combined Auckland concert.
Becoming a jammer • The weekly workshops will be held in the evening, starting on Thursday, February 17. • Workshops can take place under the red Covid-19 traffic light setting. Participants must be vaccinated and have a vaccination pass. • There are only 12 spots available, but Amber says if there is enough demand, Star Jam will find a way to bring another workshop in. • To register or find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org