No strings attached to University’s grant for puppet group

31 January 2017

Derbyshire puppet company Funny Wonders will develop new creative workshops to take into local schools thanks to a grant from the University of Derby’s Community Fund.

Funny Wonders uses puppetry and music to fire young people’s imagination by getting them to not only design and make a range of puppets but also write scripts, compose soundtracks, direct and perform. These either support the National Curriculum or help children with learning difficulties or mental health and emotional issues.

“Spending time being creative has a positive impact on general wellbeing which is why it is used in therapies for a range of mental health and physical issues,” said Ali Quas-Cohen of Funny Wonders.

“Puppetry is particularly effective in engaging with children and its flexibility enables us to interact with different learning styles and requirements. We create a safe, supportive environment focusing on the ‘doing’ rather than the final result. We foster imagination, talent and participation on all levels.

“We will create a programme of workshops which will support the national curriculum and re-introduce art and creativity into mainstream education. We are extremely grateful to the University of Derby for their support. This grant will enable us to become more self-sustainable and develop our practitioner team, securing our future and our work in the local community.

A funny wonder puppet workshop

Funny Wonders, which receives £1,000 from the University’s Community Fund, began in Buxton.  Since 1998 it has run a varied programme of activities focused on puppetry and music developing theatre productions, running workshops, getting involved with community events, developing the Buxton Puppet Festival and linking with puppet groups from Japan and India.

To find out more about Funny Wonders, go to Funny Wonders

The Community Fund is one way in which the University hopes to 'give back' to local people through grants to inspiring projects that seek to benefit the community.

Community groups throughout Derby and Derbyshire will be able to bid for their share of £15,000 over the next 12 months. There will be three rounds of funding in 2016/17, with £5,000 available in each round.

The Fund is now accepting applications for the next round of awards.