I started coming to Supper Club about seven years ago. This has been where some of my most enjoyable moments have been experienced. I come almost every month and really look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new people. The thing that I enjoy most is having live musicians and singers; especially singing along to old favourites, (if my brain produces the words), it I can’t remember, I just ‘La La La’ along to the music. What I lack in musicality myself, I always manage to make up with sheer volume. It is reported that they can hear me singing in the next village. Singing along has helped me recover from ‘blue moods’ and to stay cheerful. I also think that making music together stimulates me and, after belting out some songs, I always go home in a much better state.
Some of my greatest triumphs have happened at Supper Club. This is where I was first encouraged and helped to get out of my wheelchair; I had been unable to walk since a stroke in 2008. Eventually, with help from Claire and Jesse, they got me up to dance. Both of them are big and tall and strong. They ‘hoiked’ me up under both armpits and took me dancing. I have never looked back. You will find me dancing with anyone who is up for the challenge; in the absence of a partner I just peg along with my walking stick in time to the music.
Many other difficulties have been overcome at Supper Club and those experiments which don’t work out provide me with many opportunities to smile or laugh at myself. I was worried about not being able to handle my money, but now, sometimes you will find me sitting on the door with the cash tin. I tally up what is taken on the door with the numbers of guests signed in and have never been short when I hand over our I’ll gotten gains. The best thing about being on the door is learning to read upside down. I can’t remember names very well but as people sign in, if I can read their writing, then I am able to greet them by name. I’m also more than a little bit ‘face blind’ and greeting guests helps me to notice other things that help me recognise people.
It never fails to surprise me how friendly, approachable, and kind all the support workers and volunteers are. Many of them I would now call my friends. The companionship of other people with similar difficulties has helped me enormously. We learn from each other and help each other along a bit. These days I usually sit with some people I know and we always have places at our table for new members. I live alone and don’t have family or friends nearby. To be involved in a regular social event helps me not to feel so lonely and isolated.
To sum it all up... It is really lovely group of people, so if you have found yourself tempted to just stay at home, here is a great way to get out socially again. The Supper Club has become the high point of each month. I truly look forward to each one. I think I have only missed half a dozen since I started coming.
Finally, a very big thank you to Rebecca who runs the whole show. She creates an atmosphere of welcome and of light hearted fun. I’m sure I could do what she manages to do and stay so relaxed and playful.
We feel as though we are important. More than that; we feel welcomed and embraced.