Houghton Le Spring Hosts UK’s Only Fully Inclusive Ball Following Covid Break

The UK’s only fully inclusive annual black-tie ball has returned to Houghton Le Spring, with a sensory spectacle for people living with a range of complex disabilities.

The Kudos Ball, which is hosted by Salutem Care and Education, welcomed around 200 individuals who live in its care homes across the UK, to Rainton Meadows Arena for the third year since its launch in 2018.

The event, which was postponed last year due to COVID restrictions, was based on the theme ‘from darkness into light’ and featured performances from Sochara Dance Company, talented local dancer Harriet Jean Moralie, DJs and musicians String Infusion.

The event saw the welcome return of host Colin Welding, who organised the event, alongside new co-host Angela Merrifield, who is supported by Harmony House in Hebburn.

Colin said: “The Kudos Ball is about providing the people who live in our services homes with an opportunity to attend a black-tie event. It’s about creating an inclusive environment and promotes equality to the people we support, many of whom will never have attended anything like this before.

“This year, I was delighted that the wonderful Angela, who lives in one of our homes in Hebburn, co-hosted the event with me. She did an absolutely fabulous job!

“We’re already planning for next year’s event which will be bigger and better than ever!”

John Godden MBE, CEO of Salutem Care and Education, added: “The people we look after at Salutem face difficult challenges in their daily lives. It means that they can’t always go and do all the things that many of us take for granted. That’s why they absolutely love the Kudos Ball.

“At Salutem, we recognise that the people we support benefit not just from the care we provide, but from the experiences we’re able to give them, enabling them to lead their healthiest and best lives.”