On Saturday 8th December, to celebrate a successful year and wish everybody a Merry Christmas, My Life My Choice ran a Christmas ceilidh for our members and the wider community.
When we first decided we wanted to run a big Christmas event, we were not sure what to do because we needed something that was accessible for people with learning disabilities, but that was also fun and different.
We settled on doing a ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) after hearing from the fantastic band Melobo who were happy to put the traditional Scottish dances into a format that everyone can understand and enjoy.
We also sold tickets to the whole community, not just members of My Life My Choice, to raise some money for our new Gig Buddies project, and to give new people the chance to get to know about our work.
On the night, we set up at the East Oxford Community Centre and decorated the hall with Christmas Lights and a disco ball.
We had 63 people attend, including 32 people with learning disabilities and at least 6 people who had never heard of My Life My Choice before.
Everyone who attended had a fantastic night! The band were incredible and all the dances were great fun for everyone and easy to follow.
The raffle proved to be very popular and we made £119.50, which will go towards our Gig Buddies project to help people with learning disabilities and mental health problems get out and enjoy themselves.
We then finished the night off with a disco and members danced til the lights came on to classic tunes such as Amarillo, All I Want for Christmas is You, and Angels!
We really enjoyed the whole event and look forward to the possibility of running more in the future.
As a pioneering Learning Disabilities charity, we think that running social events like this is really important. As well as enabling people with learning disabilities to have new and fun experiences, social events can challenged care providers to make sure their care is really person centred and flexible so that people can lead fulfilling lives and go out and do things when they want to.
Most of all, we would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – all we want for Christmas is a world where people with learning disabilities are treated equally, and we hope that this year Santa will deliver!