From left, Jacqueline Bradshaw, Ian Thomas, Leanne Gander, Keiron Hunt and Rebecca Thorn at the John's Club ball. Picture by Robin Crossley.
A CHARITY which offers support and opportunities to people with disabilities on the Isle of Wight has hosted its annual autumn ball.
John’s Club, based at Shanklin, held the ball last Friday, at the YMCA centre in Sandown Road and more than 200 people dressed up in their finery for the annual celebration.
The event was funded by Isle of Wight Mencap.
John Phillips, chairman of the club, said: "We run this ball for people with learning difficulties as well as other disabilities.
"We had a live band, a disco, art and crafts, a quiet area, a buffet and a magic man.
"The ball went extremely well and it was absolutely excellent seeing people with all disabilities relaxing, enjoying themselves and having a good time. I would like to thank the YMCA for hosting us again and I would like to thank all the members for coming and enjoying themselves."
John’s Club hosted the event in honour of Isle of Wight Mencap, a charity which gives a voice to those with learning difficulties, and aims to change laws and stamp out prejudice.
Mr Phillips said: "We run four clubs a week at John’s Club — one on a Friday night for people with learning difficulties, one for teenagers on a Saturday, one on a Sunday night for adults and a self-help session on a Monday night at the Bugle, Brading, which supports people and gives them practical advice in their own homes."
The sessions are extremely popular, with up to 70 people joining in, and provide training and support in a wide range of skills, from using a computer and understanding household bills, to completing Duke of Edinburgh awards and volunteering.
Representatives from the police and the Isle of Wight Council, among others, speak to groups about how they can stay safe in their communities and stay aware of what’s happening in their areas.
John’s Club is in talks with the council and is hoping to be able to open a book shop for the club and have a permanent base in offices at the back.
• More pictures in the Friday, October 26, County Press Weekender.