News and views

10.02.2015

The Only Way is Vibrance!

Vibrance service user George Stewart, who is looking forward to the next inclusive club night.

A leading social care charity has teamed up with an Essex nightclub to offer adults with disabilities the chance to have an ordinary social life.

Social care provider Vibrance has struck up a pioneering relationship with Brentwood nightclub, Eclipse, that will see regular ‘inclusive’ club nights held for people with disabilities.

Vibrance, based in Ilford, supports over 850 adults throughout London and the South East with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues, offering a range of community services, low-support housing, nursing and care homes, short breaks, supported employment and self-directed services.

The charity held a club night at Eclipse, in Ongar Road, Brentwood for its service users and staff in October last year to mark the start of its 25th anniversary year. The club, located in the heart of TV’s TOWIE territory, is now set to repeat the successful ‘The Only Way is Vibrance’ night.

The inspirational event saw more than 200 Vibrance service users and staff partying together at the club until the early hours of the morning, enjoying an authentic clubbing experience.

Event organiser, Shani Reid, said that while there may have been a few bleary eyes and sore heads the next day, the feedback received was overwhelming positive.

Vibrance new business and fundraising manager Shani, said: “For some of our service users this was the first time they had ever experienced a nightclub, and it had been a dream for some to experience such a night.

“I am passionate about enabling people to live an ordinary life, having the same chances as non-disabled people. We take so much for granted including a social life and friends.

“The event was such a success that club managing director, Kevin Springham, approached us to turn it into a regular feature.

“The people we support are very excited at the prospect of having regular club nights where they can feel safe and meet up with friends. Everyone had such a fantastic time in October – they can’t wait to do it again. We have worked really hard to spread the word of our club nights so more people can come. Stay Up Late - an organisation that campaigns for people with learning disabilities - has been very supportive, sharing our event on their website and social media.

“At Vibrance, we are constantly trying to challenge barriers to empower the people we support and these inclusive club nights certainly do that. We want more people to come so Vibrance service users can meet new friends," she added.

Paul Allen, Vibrance chief executive, said: “This was the first time people using our services and our staff celebrated together like this. It was absolutely brilliant night - it was pioneering. We are all really looking forward to the next one.”

Kevin Springham, who has been in the nightclub business in Brentwood for 17 years, said: “We had previously considered hosting such nights in the past but we were unsure of how well received they would be. The Vibrance 25th anniversary party was a bit of a tester for us, and it proved such a success that we knew there was a real demand for more.

“Whilst we had to make a few changes to our regular club nights – such as no strobe lights and a little less smoke – overall it was a completely authentic nightclubbing experience.

“It was a very enjoyable night for our staff to work on and we’re all really looking forward to hosting more this year.”

The next Vibrance club night will take place on Sunday 15th February, from 8pm until midnight. For tickets or more information, contact Shani on 0208 4771826.

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Registered Charity Number 1152186. A Company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 8466095.
Registered Office: Unit 2, Caxton Place, Roden Street, Ilford, Essex, IG1 2AH