Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund

There are smiles all round today at Divine Days CIC as we are delighted to announce that we are one of only 23 organisations to have been successful in receiving a share of the Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).
The funding has been awarded for our work with Divine Dance and Man-archy, and will enable to us continue and expand on our outreach in the community.
Man-archy, our men’s mental health provision actively prevents men from going into personal crisis and supports those who have, to find a way forward.
@DivineDancewestlancs and Creative Kids provide local disabled, learning disabled and neurodiverse children and adults, and their families, with the opportunity to enjoy meaningful activities, to connect, to develop confidence, communication and friendships, to be active and even to perform in front of audiences who get to enjoy their incredible talents.
Katie Whithead, Managing Director of Divine Days said “we are absolutely delighted for our work to be recongised in this way and to know that we can continue to make a difference to the lives of so many people in our community. Thank you to everybody who contributes to that – our amazing staff and volunteers, and of course all of our families and children. We are ever grateful that you love what we do and look forward to continuing to work with, support and serve you, for a long time to come!”

UClan Event

What a wonderful day we had yesterday, performing at The University of Central Lancashire – UCLan Disability Awareness Event! Divine Inspiration performed beautifully, mesmerising and inspiring the audience as always.

We’ve already had wonderful feedback from the faculty, commenting how: “we were blown away with the performances and people were talking about both dances for some time after. It really was the highlight of what was overall a really good day highlighting a range of issues, but more importantly celebrating the talents and capability of disabled people.”

We are so proud of you all! Thank you for being amazing!

HR Forum Event

Yesterday Divine Days Director Richard Whitehead, and IT Manager Josh O’Sullivan, had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce HR Forum, at The Wellbeing Farm Wedding and Events Venue sponsored by Forbes Solicitors . The event was all about diverse hiring for protected characteristics and went brilliantly! Lots of employers learning from shared experiences, being able to ask a panel of experts some of the more difficult questions. Josh said “I was proud to be able to address the room about my own lived experience especially when somebody approached me afterwards and said that I had helped them to feel more hopeful about her son who has autism.”

Richard added, “it was great to have the platform to be able to offer employers advice around what they can do to encourage a more diverse workforce, and the huge benefits that come with doing that.”

Thank you East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce for inviting us to be a part of your event and well done to everybody involved

Divine Inspiration Winter Showcase

Words can not describe how beautiful, exhilarating, inspiring and mesmerising, the Divine Inspiration performances were at the weekend! We wanted to share just a few of the fabulous moments. Our dancers worked so hard, their timings and finishes were incredible and they loved every moment, almost as much as we did! Thank you to all of our amazing dancers, parents, the Divine Dance team and of course INSPIRATION HAGAN SCHOOL OF DANCE for helping us to break down barriers and demonstrate what can be achieved with hard work, belief, passion and opportunity!

Man-Archy - Wonderful Achievements

Man-Archy Logo, a wheel of people with a mountain in the center with the text: Man-Archy Men's Mental Health

Men’s Mental Health provision, Man-archy – has recently reached over 100 Men in crisis who have been supported by our service. Just last week we celebrated a further 2 men who have secured employment. Much more than about the job itself, these 2 men have gone from feeling like there is no way forward, to now being active in their community and society, gaining financial independence and planning for a future. We are proud and humbled to be a part of that journey.

Divine Days Awards Evening - 2023

Divine Days Awards Evening

The big day finally arrived! On the 23rd of November 2023, we were delighted to be hosting our first ever Divine Days Celebration Awards evening, honouring individuals and organisations across Lancashire, who have demonstrated their commitment to accessibility and reducing barriers for, around the area to ensure that they knew that the community appreciated their work with people who have disabilities, complex needs, special educational/additional needs or neurodivergent.

Votes had been pouring in for months for winners of the 7 categories, and the scene was finally set at The Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel. The evening began with festive drinks and light entertainment by the fabulous David Burgess Magician. This was followed by a wonderful and heart-warming performance from the fabulously talented Divine Dancers. As guests enjoyed the delicious 4-course dinner, excitement for the awards announcement gathered. Divine Days Managing Director Katie Whitehead had the honour of handing over each award to the worthy winner, topped off with the Shining Star Award, which celebrates a child or young person in the community who have overcome challenge and despite those challenges, is an inspiration for others. The winner Jess McDonald was delighted and won her category by a landslide!

When asked about how she felt about her hosting her first awards evening, Katie Whitehead said ‘I feel so blessed! Committing to such an event is a huge gamble but was something we really wanted to do, to celebrate those who really deserve to be celebrated, for all their hard work and dedication. Nobody does this work to get rich, it’s all because we are passionate about it and often due to our own lived experience, want to make a difference to the lives of others. I’m so grateful that all the organisations got involved and celebrate every winner, runner-up and anybody else who is working every day to make a positive difference to the lives of the most vulnerable in our community’.

Congratulations to all of our winners from this evening. You were all stunning

Pearson's Award - A Trip To London

Oh what a night! Hosted by the lovely and talented Gaby Roslin we had the privilege of attending the prestigious Pearsons Awards Dinner in London, with our colleagues from Delphside Primary School, to celebrate our Silver Award win for Impact Through Partnership. We were honoured and proud to be able to stand amongst such amazing and talented education staff and teams from all over the country, and thoroughly enjoyed the celebration. Who knows, next year maybe gold!








The Award for Impact Through Partnership

Pearson's National Education Award - Impact Through Partnership! Silver Award

Pearsons National Teaching Awards
Pearson National Teaching Awards Silver Winner

21 June 2023: The team from The Legacy Project at Divine Days Community CIC have been selected from thousands of nominations to win a Pearson National Teaching Silver Award. We were honoured with a Silver Award for Impact Through Partnership for our outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the young people they work with every day. The Legacy Project is our supported internship programme for young adults with additional needs, learning disabilities and/ or physical disabilities, who are living and learning in Skelmersdale and surrounding areas. The project works collaboratively with the community, business partners and the local college, and is founded on the core principles of empowering and enabling, to promote cohesion and a workforce of young people who are supported to make a valued contribution to their society. Delphside Primary School are a proud business partner of Divine Days Community CIC, collaborating to provide several workplace internship placements for The Legacy Project’s young people, and nominating us for this prestigious award. The Legacy Project has now been shortlisted to win one of just 16 Gold Awards, which will be announced and celebrated at a gala ceremony in London on 25 November and televised on the BBC, with winners showcased on The One Show. The honours have been announced on National Thank a Teacher Day, an annual event celebrating the role of educators across the UK for the valued role they play in communities and shaping young people. This year, students were joined by celebrities including Sir Michael Morpurgo, Edith Bowman, Bobby Seagull, Ore Oduba and Nadiya Hussain to mark their teachers’ achievements.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education run by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity now in its 25th year, that recognises the life-changing work that takes place in education, highlighting the vital role educators play and the work that’s delivered in schools, colleges and other education providers every day.

Katie Whitehead, Managing Director of Divine Days Community CIC says:  “We are so humbled by the Award of the Silver Pearson Teaching award. Our work with Delphside Primary School has given us a great platform to showcase our interns with additional needs in a workplace and see them thrive. Our team of job coaches work tirelessly to ensure both the student and placement location is a place where everyone can thrive.

The nurtuting nature of Delphside school has ensured that the best of each intern is displayed and shows those children with SEN can aspire to achieve also. 2 of the 2021/22 interns gained paid employment at the school following the program, both of whom are thriving in this environment.”

Thank you to everybody who has played a part in the success and achievements of The Legacy Project. We can’t wait to attend the prestigious event in London in November and wish all of the finalists the best of luck!

Richard Whitehead - Baton of Hope

A man in a blue shirt and blue shorts holding a baton for Baton of Hope 2023

As a part of an aspiring ‘zero suicides policy’ #BatonOfHopeUK is aiming to be the biggest suicide awareness and prevention initiative the UK has ever seen, opening up necessary conversations and prompting appropriate actions. The specially designed baton is on tour in UK towns and cities for two weeks, raising the profile of this issue like never before.

Richard Whitehead, the Founder and Manager of Man-Archy for Men’s mental health, was asked to take part in this run, with the added honour of carrying the #batonofhope and was inspired by the support and involvement in this event. Richard said “This is a great opportunity to open the conversation about suicide in both men, women and children as everyone in the run has experienced the pain in regards to losing a love one to suicide. It’s great to see so many people wanting to help reduce the sitgma, and open up difficult conversations” The founders Mike McCarthy and Steve Phillip founded this run and the charity following the loss of their own sons. More information about the organisation and their goals can be on their website  which you can access via the button below. 

Can You Dance Teacher's Award - 2023

The teachers awards CYD

Wonderful news as we have just received the award for CYD: Excellence in work with SEND!  We are extremely happy for our Dancers, Dance Tutors and everyone who works so hard to make sure there is a sense of community, sense of pride and dedication to making sure everyone has a safe space to be in. Knocking down walls in the field of dance and showing everyone should have an equal opportunity to express themselves!