30th Birthday Party in Birmingham!
Birmingham sure knows how to party! We had over 200 attendees from our Midlands services come together to celebrate Creative Support’s 30th birthday at the beautiful Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
“I’m really excited to celebrate Creative Support’s 30th,” said Leanne, Registered Manager. “The people we support have been really looking forward to it, and have been pacing the floor waiting to see everyone and get started!”
Lexi, a person we support in Leeds, greeted guests as they entered the Botanical Gardens with her incredible operatic singing. Her musical talent graced everyone, with people stopping to listen and clap before entering the beautiful Garden Suite. A huge thank you to Lexi for coming all the way down and really starting the event off on such a beautiful note.
It wasn’t long before all the guests arrived. Service Directors Jonathan Keane and Leigh Birch gave everyone a big hello and welcome and said how happy they were to see everyone together again. They spoke about the incredible way everyone had pulled together throughout the pandemic and how our connections to one another have only grown stronger. They then took us through a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday, both for Creative Support and for Lyndsey, a member of staff who spent her birthday partying with us!
Everyone was then treated to a beautiful video featuring pictures of people we support in the Midlands. It showcased some of the lovely things everyone has been up to recently, all to the inspirational tune of ‘This is Me’ from The Greatest Showman. It got everyone in the mood to hear even more wonderful stories from the local area, which was perfect timing as the awards began soon after.
The awards ceremony gave people an opportunity to nominate incredible members of staff who had gone “above and beyond”, and share why their nominee deserved to win. Phrases like “always makes me happy”, “couldn’t be more supportive”, and a “breath of fresh air” really summed up the positive and appreciative tone that people we support felt towards the nominees. Hearing such lovely stories about staff who had really made a difference to people’s lives got everyone a bit choked up, including a certain Director who we won’t name! A huge congratulations to all of the winners and nominees, and thank you all for your hard work during such a tough time.
Stephen, a person we support in the Midlands, said afterwards that he was having “a smashing time,” and “didn’t realise Creative Support was 30 years old!” He also said how nice it was to be at the event and “do something a bit different”- we couldn’t agree more Stephen!
CEO Anna Lunts took to the stage just before dessert was served, to take us on a whistle stop tour of Creative Support’s history from 1991 all the way up to now. She helped everyone to reminisce about the beginnings of Creative Support in the Midlands, starting with our first service in Sandwell, and the fond memories she has of the people we support choosing the name of Marley Gardens – “after Bob Marley of course!” Anna rounded off her speech by saying how grateful she was to everyone at Creative Support: “We couldn’t have achieved all of this without all of you.”
After all the plates had been cleared, it was time for the entertainment, and it seems that the West Midlands’ got talent! First up was the wonderful Aneesa who sang Elvis’s classic ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’, followed by Ashley who was a spot-on Billie Joe Armstrong in his cover of the Green Day hit ‘Boulevard of Broken of Broken Dreams’. Derek got everyone up dancing with ‘Jailhouse Rock’ and CJ shared their incredible poetry with us, covering lots of topics, including one piece about the strength of key workers and heroes during the pandemic. Charlotte showed off her amazing moves with a tap dance to the Shim Sham Shimmy, while Jason closed off the event in style with his DJ set of incredible music, featuring the musical stylings of Kermit the frog amongst other well-loved hits!
Director Jonathan Keane expressed what an incredible day was had by all. “Where do I begin to say how much fun we had,” he said. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to show our appreciation to our service users and staff, and I’m so happy to be a part of Creative Support. Here’s to the next 30 years!”
What a day, thank you so much to all of our attendees in Birmingham for making it a 30th to remember! We’re coming to a close on our events now, with only Blackpool and Manchester left- but don’t be sad, we’re going to go out with an absolute bang. See you there!
We hope you enjoy viewing the photos, which are just a small snapshot of a huge day. Thank you to Phil, our amazingly talented photographer for the day from https://dignum.photography, who really captured the spirit of the event. We’ve included some of his beautiful photos in this post, and you can visit their gallery online by clicking here, with more photos to be added soon.