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Sutton Community Dance (SCD)

by Sutton Community Dance in Sutton, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 5th September 2019 we successfully raised £19,035 with 138 supporters in 28 days

Raising money to transform an empty retail unit into an accessible community dance hub.

by Sutton Community Dance in Sutton, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Further funding would allow SCD to invest in more multi-sensory equipment for people across all age groups that would benefit from such gear. Further funding would allow SCD to create more advertising opportunities online and offline to help raise awareness, grow momentum and convert interest into memberships. 


We are Gemma and Adam Bonner and we are the founders of SCD.
You are invited to partner with us as we launch a brand new fully accessible community dance hub in the heart of Sutton. We are bringing new life to an empty retail unit with a wide range of classes for the whole family from toddlers to senior citizens and everyone in between.

SCD (Sutton Community Dance) spells out the three things we love; our home London borough, the importance of community and the power of dance to change the world for good. The experienced, qualified and local team of teachers is led by Gemma Bonner who has been leading community dance programmes in Sutton for the last 15 years.

To bring the vision into reality we need your support to help us transform a large empty space into 3 completely accessible dance studios.


SCD has 4 simple aims which, with your contribution, we can start achieving this September;
(1) Increasing physical health
> Developing strength, flexibility and improving circulation through dance.
(2) Improving mental health
> Focusing on what we ‘can’ do in a positive and encouraging environment.
(3) Building community with everyone
> Celebrating all we have in common and removing barriers to membership.
(4) Boosting pride in Sutton
> Encouraging people to be active local citizens

SCD is about PARTICIPATION without barriers, EXPERIMENTATION without fear and TRANSFORMATION without limits. These 3 words are our values.


We truly believe that ‘it takes a village.’ It takes a village to raise a child, to help us all flourish in life and it truly takes a village to make a new independent business get off to the best possible start! Could you be part of the SCD village?

We’ve registered SCD as a Community Interest Company. This is to ensure that from the start we have the best structure to grow a credible and values-based business with an authentic not for profit community focus. All the financial risk is ours and we have a good business model which should mean the class fees sustain the business.

We are inviting individuals, families and organisations to consider supporting us in these exciting early days. Finance raised for SCD is mainly to cover essential (and long lasting) equipment costs to help us setup the 3 studio spaces in a way that makes them truly inclusive. Growing a wide-ranging supporter base now will be what truly makes the SCD vision come to life and enable this new community interest company to survive & thrive through its crucial first 12 months.


We know from research such as that of social scientist Robert Putnam that the amount of time people spend doing positive activities together in community directly improves social cohesion and trust – across different socio-demographic, ethnic and physical ability groups.

SCD wants to play its part in creating positive sustained community change.

We've seen the power of dance to create meaningful inclusion - the absolute joy of a young person with Cerebral Palsy discovering they too can dance for the first time. We've watched our own shy youngest daughter grow in confidence and use dance to help build friendships and her identity. We've seen people from all kinds of different backgrounds becoming friends for life after meeting on the dance floor.

We've worked with women who have found new confidence in experimenting with dance in a truly safe and judgement-free environment. And we’ve found children and adults finding a common language through dance when they don’t share the same spoken language together. We’ve also helped many young people find opportunities to develop skills and experience by formally becoming helpers in our programmes.

We've continually worked with all kinds of people who have found their physical health improve over time including weight loss, muscle development and flexibility developing.

These aren’t just our experiences, there is a growing body of research which proves with significant data just how good dance is for our mental wellbeing as we find more to enjoy in life and as we grow our social connections.


 The SCD team is led by Gemma Bonner who has successfully run community dance classes across Sutton for the last 15 years. The team have specialisms in contemporary dance, ballet, street, jazz, tap and ballroom & latin. Inclusion is at the heart of SCD with all 3 new studios being accessible for everyone and with teachers trained in supporting dancers with additional needs.

And now, having worked with the London Borough of Sutton, we’ve found an incredible new home to work from in September - a former Mothercare store in the town's St Nicholas shopping centre. This venue gives us the space we dreamed of to create 3 fully accessible and safe studio spaces with brilliant visibility in the town centre.


Location isn’t incidental to SCD, its central. We’ve been working with the London Borough of Sutton and town centre partners to find the best possible place to create the SCD hub within. We are delighted to have found a large, accessible, prominent and safe space within the disused former Mothercare store in Sutton’s St Nicholas Shopping Centre. 

We want to be generating more footfall, more shopper investment and more pride in our town centre as a place to celebrate and enjoy community life. We want to encourage people to choose to shop and play locally not just online as a means of growing the local economy, strengthening community relationships and rejuvenating the town centre.


The London Borough of Sutton (LBS) are working hard to keep improving the high street’s cultural and commercial offer. SCD is a great partner for LBS and we love the passion, energy and creativity they bring to Sutton.
George McCullough, Sutton Town Centre Masterplan Delivery Programme Manager

Retail is evolving with leisure and community initiatives becoming an increasingly important part of our mix and long-term strategy.  Sutton Community Dance is a great example of what the St Nicholas Centre can offer in terms of customer experience.  SCD offers something unique and the dance hub is another really great reason to visit us. 
Gavin Waller, St Nicholas Centre Director


We all know just how hard it is to kick off a new independent business, especially one that requires a building, with all the overheads required. Our location and building, however, are a huge part of our USP.

SCD has a solid business model to cover core operational costs for the year ahead but we simply don't have the upfront cash for the two priority needs set out below. 

We want all our student fees to go into paying our fabulous teachers, covering our venue costs and to investing back into SCD resources & special events. We also want to continue working hard to keep our student fees as low as possible. 

To launch successfully we need money up front to help us in two specific ways in order that we can hit the ground running and ensure we can offer the very best programme and facilities to our students, whatever their abilities and experience.


We have an amazing venue. To make it ready for everyone we need to quickly refurbish it and transform it from a large open plan former Mothercare shop to a state of the art, accessible creative hub with 3 dance studios for people of all abilities. We need to urgently equip our 3 new studios with quality audio visual equipment that will last for many years. We need to pay to bring the lift back into service and we need to create an accessible ‘wait  & create’ space, reception area and changing rooms. All of this is really about boosting inclusion so the specific equipment we need ranges from hearing loops to quality lighting and speakers and even clear signage so people’s anxiety can be reduced (80% of our costs)


We know as a small local and independent business we have to work hard to grab people's attention. Much of this will be by word of mouth but we also need help in creating quality, eye catching marketing resources to help put SCD on the map in the first place. We want to use financial investment to leverage all of the local goodwill we are generating. Its incredible having people sharing our social media posts, for example and to reach the audiences we need to fill our classes we need to create materials such as vinyl banners, digital signage, flyers and some paid advertising. (20%) 

These two discrete funding needs require urgent up-front funds which we simply don't have. Investment into these 2 strands ensures SCD reaches its target market AND has 3 brilliant studio spaces established which then allow the full range of classes to run, enabling SCD to become more self-sustaining financially over the coming months.

Thank you for considering investing in SCD and partnering with us.
The lasting difference you can make to our collective journey and the encouragement you can bring is huge.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£15 or more

£15 reward

Your name on the awesome SCD wall of stars - forever!

£25 or more

£25 reward

Your name on our wall of stars forever plus a free high quality digital photo of you in front of the wall.

£30 or more

£30 reward

Your name on the SCD wall of stars plus a free taster dance class of your choosing for you or a friend; child or adult.

£40 or more

12 of 50 claimed

£40 reward

Your name on our wall of stars forever plus the gift of SCD membership to anyone you choose.

£60 or more

5 of 50 claimed

£60 reward

Your name on our wall of stars forever PLUS Exclusive ticket for two to SCD’s summer dance party

£100 or more

2 of 30 claimed

£100 reward

Your name(s) on SCD's wall of stars PLUS a ticket for four to SCD's Summer Dance Party.

£150 or more

3 of 20 claimed

£150 reward

Your name on our wall of stars forever PLUS ... personalised class of dance tuition for you and two friends from any of the dance genres taught by SCD (60 minutes tuition).

£200 or more

2 of 20 claimed

£200 reward

Your name on our wall of stars forever PLUS as a thanks for supporting us this reward means you can use one of our 3 studios for your own event at a time that works for all of us. We will let you in, lock up and then the rest is down to your creativity!

£300 or more

1 of 10 claimed

£300 reward

Your name on our wall of stars forever PLUS a personalised choreography session to a song of your choice for you and your family or colleagues (up to 10 people) – at your venue of choice (25 min travel radius before travel expenses) or in our venue. (120 mins tuition).

£400 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£400 reward

Your name on our wall of stars forever PLUS a dance party for up to 25 people of any age; 60 minutes of structured dance activities with 45 min for you to enjoy your own food and drink – in our venue or at your home.

£500 or more

1 of 5 claimed

500 reward

With your wedding day, 50th birthday or any other special occasion coming this year our expert teachers will give you and a partner 5 sessions of private tuition to work up to that big first dance, film or general confidence building.

£800 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£800 reward

Your name on our wall of stars forever PLUS a full day team dance workshop including 4 hours tuition, lunch break (bring your own) plus receive an edited film of the day within 1 week. A brilliant fun day for work colleagues or friends looking for an extra special day out.

£1,000 or more

0 of 15 claimed

£1000 reward

Corporate Sponsorship brand recognition on our sponsors banner for 12 months in our building, on our flyers and on the SCD website. OR if you prefer you can have your name added to our founder's wall within the SCD centre and online. This reward can be exchanged for any combination of lesser financial value rewards if preferred.

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