30th Birthday Party in Blackpool!
Yesterday, we had our second-to-last regional event in sunny Blackpool, at the luxurious Blackpool Boulevard Hotel. As guests began to arrive, they were greeted with the incredible view of the Pleasure Beach rollercoasters looping around the hotel- quite a sight to behold!
It wasn’t long before the suite was filled with nearly 150 of our lovely staff and the people we support, all dressed to the nines. We had our amazing Meet and Greeters, Christopher and Shane, helping out at the door to welcome people to the venue, and hand them their bubbly alcohol-free Buck’s Fizz. “I’m happy, I had a good time and I really enjoyed greeting people,” said Shane. Our hosts for the day were Service Director Julie Cooke and Area Manager Diane Burrow, who took it away with their welcome speeches to get the party started.
DJ Simon did a fantastic job of creating the perfect party atmosphere, playing hit after hit, and soon got everyone up on the dancefloor right at the start! Once everyone had enjoyed a delicious three-course lunch, it was time for the entertainment of the day, organised by our Blackpool Team. Support Worker Kelly Dodgson had worked hard organising a raffle, using donations from everyone at our Blackpool services. It was so wonderful to see a smile on everyone’s face as they came up to collect their prize!
After the raffle, we were treated to a heart-warming video made by Kelly (pictured below, right), featuring many of the people we support across Blackpool achieving their goals and dreams. Highlights include Justin in his hydrotherapy pool, as well as with his specially-designed wheelchair that meant he could enjoy a beautiful afternoon on the beach. Cheers filled the room as everyone saw themselves on screen, and were recognised for the wonderful things they do day in, day out! “I really enjoyed making the video as it was something I hadn’t done before,” said Kelly. “I went out on my shifts and filmed everyone asking what they did, and it was so interesting!”
Next, our CEO Anna Lunts took to the stage. “I just want to say thank you to everybody for coming along to celebrate Creative Support’s 30th birthday. With all of our friends here, it feels like a really lovely party!” Anna shared a bit of history with us about opening our first Blackpool service in 2007, after racing across from Manchester in a taxi to get the papers over the desk by 12pm sharp! Thank goodness things are a bit easier nowadays. “We got the opportunity to provide such a lovely service, and I believe some of the staff we appointed in those early days are still with us.”
“We have people here from right across the country today, from Northamptonshire, Calderdale and across Lancashire, including Morecombe, Chorley and Preston, and of course Blackpool! We also have a few people here from our Head Office and Marketing Teams, so I’d like to give them a shout-out for their hard work putting the event together.”
It was then time for our award ceremony which recognised all of our hardworking staff and incredible service users, for both the big and little things they do every single day. Our winners took home a special trophy, box of Thorntons chocs, and of course a stick of classic Blackpool rock! “It was so nice to see everyone winning the awards,” said Kelly. “The things people were nominated for were lovely- the team at Sandgate do such a good job of looking after one lady who communicates non-verbally and in a wheelchair, and they won an award for their dedication to her. There was also a service user who won an award for getting up, getting dressed and making their way to the event, and that is well-deserved!”
To finish off what was a perfect day, everyone enjoyed entertainment from our superstar service users. First, Laurance did an incredible job reading aloud Kelly’s poem, ‘Creative 30’. Next, David got everyone singing and clapping along to his fantastic dancing to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. And last but certainly not least, our Meet-and-Greeter Shane blew us away with his vocals, singing to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’.
“I just had an absolutely marvellous time,” said Diane Burrow. “It was brilliant from start to finish, with all the involvement of clients of staff; it was superb. I’d like to give a massive shout-out to Kelly for everything she did, as her stuff was outstanding.”
The love was certainly returned from Kelly! “It was honestly fantastic, I was blown away by the organisation of it all, with the personalised menus, the flowers, and the name cards. Everyone I spoke to felt really special, and everyone was so dressed up you had to double take because of how amazing they looked! I thought Diane was fantastic, how she was up dancing with everyone, it was really lovely to see.”
Muzzy, a person we support in Burnley, said “I’ve enjoyed Creative Support’s 30th anniversary in Blackpool, thank you for the delicious food and awesome company.”
Jane Hobson, Senior Service Manager, said “It was a fantastic party, and I met some amazing people. Happy 30th birthday Creative Support, and thank you for letting me be a part of your journey!”
Thank you for being here with us to celebrate Jane! Only one more party to go- our final showstopping event in Manchester. We can’t wait to see all of you there!
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.