The Best Western Valley Hotel in Ironbridge pulled out all the stops for the people supported by Mencap by hosting a special party.
The annual celebration, which would usually cost hundreds of pounds, is hosted for free by the hotel. The staff raise money at their staff Christmas party through a raffle to pay for the event, and work voluntarily on the evening to ensure the night is a success.
Lisa Snape, who is the hotel’s wedding co-ordinator and sales manager, said the joy on the people’s faces was what made it all worth it. She said: “We have been holding this party for three years and it is always a great success with party-goers dancing the night away and enjoying the food and entertainment laid on. “It’s a real pleasure to see everyone having such good fun but for the hotel it’s wonderful that we can do something like this. “We use our function room for the event and it is a perfect location for something like this. “This time of year is quieter for the hotel so we always love it when we can put the facilities to a good use. It also gives the people with learning disabilities the chance to enjoy the hotel environment that many may not otherwise experience. “We have many of them then asking how they can get a job and saying they would like to be a waiter or waitress or even a DJ which gives them aspirations and ambition.” She said: “Charities like Mencap do such good work and I believe it is important that they should be supported. “It really gives their service users a lift and helps their development in the community.”
Mencap works with people with a learning disability to change laws and services, challenge prejudice and directly support thousands of people to live their lives as they choose, but this group generally meet up to socialise and have fun.
In Shropshire it has local groups in Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth and district, Oswestry and district and Market Drayton.
The charity is currently running its ‘Inspire Me’ project aimed at changing the lives of 25,000 young people with a learning disability, their families and communities. Charity bosses said the project was launched to help provide opportunities and offer support to those people with learning difficulties.
They said the people they work with can be verbally abused, bullied, physically hurt, marginalised and left out of everyday life, are unable to find a job, and are left with nothing to do. Many are living with their parents into adulthood and old age, and are surrounded by people who are paid to be with them rather than friends or colleagues. They are more likely to have low self-esteem, to feel worthless and to be regarded as a burden - simply because they have been born with a learning disability.
Mencap work with the local community to offer opportunities for these people.
For more information about the Best Western Valley Hotel call (01952) 432247 or go to
For more information on the work of Mencap visit www.mencap.org.uk.
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