Community Interest Company Turned On its Head have been given the opportunity to use National Lottery funding to work with hundreds of local families – but they need your votes.

Winning a grant from the People’s Project – the public voting arm of the National Lottery – will mean dancers Liz Clark and Oksana Tyminska can deliver 30 of their renowned ‘Sponge Play’ workshops to Loughborough’s Rainbows Hospice, families with children with a special educational need and children in the care system.

With much of their work undertaken in theatres – the Big Imaginations funded Sponge show recently sold out in 20 cities across the UK, culminating in a short residency at London’s Barbican Centre – Turned On Its Head recognise that there are barriers stopping many disadvantaged, vulnerable or disabled children coming to the theatre. They now want to take the workshops to the families, hospital wards and carers who need them most. From 9am on Monday 20th March to 12pm on Monday 3rd April the public can vote for Sponge Play to become The Peoples Project, enabling the company to undertake this work.

Children who have had difficult start in life, whether it’s a disability, illness, trauma or loss, need creative play to shape their brains, reduce anxiety and enable them to bond with carers. Working across Leicester, Nottingham and Loughborough, Turned On Its Head draw on neuroscience to deliver a unique blend of performance and play.

The experiences children have in the first few years of life can impact on their wellbeing for the rest of it – statistics show that 1 in 4 children start school overweight and are not ‘school ready’. They don’t have the social skills, independence or curiosity about the world to begin their learning journey in formal education.


The People’s Projects gives the public the chance to decide how National Lottery funding can make a difference in their local community. The Big Lottery Fund have set aside £3 million of National Lottery funding, shortlisting 95 organisations to compete for up to £50,000 of funding. ITV showcase five of the best in each ITV region – you can see Turned On Its Head’s film at

Turned On Its Head currently run three regular creative movement classes. These are at Nottingham Ukrainian Cultural Centre, St Peters Centre in Loughborough and Curve in Leicester.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Great Central, John has been actively involved in Leicester's creative community for over a decade - promoting shows and releasing records under the name Robot Needs Home. He is a director of Handmade Festival, and ex member of the band Maybeshewill.

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