A club night for people with disabilities has not only seen friendships formed, but also two marriage proposals.
Palm Beach in Commercial Way, Wellingborough, is a family-run business and while some may think it is just a bar and club, there is plenty more going on there.
One of the regular events they run is Stay Up Late, a monthly event for people with disabilities.
La-Vern Haye, events coordinator for the club, said: “When we opened the club three years ago, we wanted it to be not just a venue for the weekend for people to come and party but we wanted it to be a venue that’s part of the community.
“What we did was a little bit of research of the areas that needed to be looked at.
“In terms of people with disabilities, there wasn’t really anywhere for them to go.
Some say they can’t wait for the next oneLa-Vern Haye
“They are adults like us and they want to go to a venue to socialise, party and have a drink so we wanted to provide that for them in a safe environment.”
La-Vern said they had spoken to one man with disabilities and he said he had been to a venue in the town with friends and they were laughed at and had drinks thrown at them.
His experience helped them decide that they needed to provide somewhere where they can feel safe and express themselves.
She added: “Stay Up Late is one of the most rewarding events for us.
“There’s some that have been coming from day one and I can see the development they have made and them growing as a person.”
La-Vern said they get about 35 people each month and they hold different events during the year, as well as karaoke and a disco.
She said: “I feel such a fantastic relationship with a lot of the members, I will see them in the town and they all come to talk to me.
“Some say they can’t wait for the next one.
“One particular girl was very quiet and sticking to her carer, and now she comes in and goes straight up to the bar and we know what she wants, which is her pint of diet Coke and no ice.
“It’s their club to do what they want to do.
“They have formed relationships and we have had two marriage proposals, it’s absolutely fantastic.”
Stay Up Late events are held from 7pm until 9pm on the third Wednesday of the month.
They are for over-18s and the next event is a Halloween night on October 21.
Admission is £4 and free for carers.
Events held this year include a St Patrick’s special, kings and queens fancy dress and a beach party.
They will also be putting on a UV glow party in November and a Christmas party in December.
Cllr Liz Coombe, county councillor for Brickhill and Queensway in Wellingborough, recently went along to a Stay Up Late event and said: “It was amazing to see how much the evening was enjoyed and how empowered the people were.”
For more information go to www.clubpalmbeach.co.uk/disability-nights.