Express & Star

Day of fun brings people with special needs closer together

A charity offering person-centred services for people with a learning disability, autism and mental health needs held a day of celebration to bring people together.

Members of the charity enjoy the festival day. Photo: Jess Bland

Creative Support has been funding festivals and events as part of its year-long ‘Community Connections’ initiative, which focusses on ‘building back better’ community links for adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs that were negatively impacted by Covid.

The latest event, ‘Fiesta-val’, took place on Tuesday, September 5 at Eastfield Community Centre in Wolverhampton and included music, dancing and lots of party games to get everyone involved including flying disk golf, giant jenga and bowling.

The whole event was created jointly by service users from across Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Dudley, including all the decorations.

Ingrid Hunt, team leader, said: “All the decorations were made by the people we support as part of arts and crafts sessions."

The volunteer photographer David Adams, who helped to set up the festival and take photos of the event, said “I wanted to get involved because I wanted to gain a bit of experience helping people because I enjoy doing that. I love these events, there’s nothing better and it’s the perfect way to spend the summer.

"I like seeing everyone and it’s good for my social skills.

"I saw a lot of old faces who I haven’t seen for ages and it brings that vibe of togetherness, as some of these people I haven’t seen since Covid.”

Jonathan Keane, Service Director for Creative Support in the West Midlands, added: “The Fiesta-val was a fantastic event - co-judging the dance competition was a highlight for me.

"A big thank you to our teams and service users for their dedication in organising the games, decorating the venue, and adding so much value.

"Events like these play a crucial role in community bonding and showcasing talents.

"They remind us of the importance of coming together and celebrating being part of such a lovely community.”

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