The car park was full in Middleton Park today. There was bunting around the cafe and in the trees and music coming from the bandstand. I ventured forward and found the same area, which earlier in the week had been full of people watching the OddSocks play, was again host to the sounds of laughter and people enjoying themselves. What was going on? There hadn’t been anything advertised. I soon had the answers to these questions.
Leeds City Council’s Adult Social Care had organised a shindig, a summerfest, a chance for people who attend the Hillside and John Charles Day Centres to get together in the fresh air and have fun. Lots of people attended, around 200 I would estimate. There was music, dancing, Karaoke a raffle and of course the cafe was open to sell snacks and ice cream. At this point I would like to express my admiration for those people who served in the cafe, they were run off their feet with custom. Not easy in limited space and high temperatures, so thumbs up to you all.
Leaps and Bounds along with Yorkshire Dance organised some group dancing activities whilst Shaun Pilkington, the lead organiser from LCC was on stage doing the D Jaying. Following on, Centre members, who had dressed up for the part, sang Karaoke. I saw Britney Spears, Kaiser Chiefs, Meatloaf and Alice Cooper to name a few. The highlight had to be Alan Hicks with his rendition of Meatloaf’s ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad’. Dressed in black and sporting a long curly wig, Alan sang the hit song, leaving me with goosebumps and watery eyes, I expect I was not the only one to feel like that. It’s a great song and Alan sang it with so much passion and fire that it was impossible not to be moved. I kicked myself afterwards that I had only taken pictures and not a video. The Karaoke finales were group songs, Timewarp, Gangnam style (which got the crowd dancing in front of the stage) and finally a John Lennon classic. Towards the end my little camera phone decided it had had enough in the heat and so unfortunately I wasn’t able to record everything that I might have.
This venture was a success that nearly didn’t happen as the organisers had only had the all clear to go ahead with their plans a matter of days earlier. After today, the hope is that this will become an annual event in our park. I am told that the funding was largely through charitable donations and that Greyhound Packaging deserve a cheer for their part in this. Perhaps reader, you may know of other companies in Leeds who would like to be involved in supporting through sponsership? I am told that there are two events coming up shortly which are for anyone in Leeds with learning disabilities, these are: a Games Day at Unity Business centre on 23rd July between 10am and2pm. Their address is 26 Roundhay Road, Leeds LS7 1AB. An Abba themed disco and fancy dress at Tiger Tiger in the centre of Leeds. This event will take place on the 18th July, 7 while 10pm (over 18’s with Learning Disabilities only).
PS.The only thing not going to plan today was my usually perfectly behaved dog stealing half a sandwich from James’ lunchbox which James was very gracious about. The dogs excuse being the sandwich box was open on the floor and he mistook it for a dog bowl whilst I was busy talking….sorry.