Organised by Optalis, the event was attended by approximately 180 people, who were all dressed in formal evening attire. The Summer Ball gave customers a movie premier style experience, where they enjoyed paparazzi moments and posing for photos alongside a classic Rolls-Royce. Inside, guests were welcomed by a drinks reception and further photo opportunities next to a Hollywood-style backdrop.
The idea of a Summer Ball was born after suggestions from Sarah, a customer who attends Optalis Learning Disability Day Service. After that, a ‘Movie Premiere’ theme was chosen by the day service customers, who were involved in the planning and preparing of the finer details for the occasion.
The evening was completed by photo booths, decorated garden areas, professional make-up artists and hairdressers in the Beauty Parlour as well as a ‘Night at the Movies’ food theme, with pizza, hot dogs and popcorn being served.
Julia Harris, Optalis Head of Non-Regulated Services, commented: “We always want to ensure that the people we support have the same opportunities and experiences as others, and a chance to create positive memories. Our guiding principle is to always listen to our customers and offer genuine choice tailored to their individual needs. This ball was testament to that and we are sure it was a night to remember.”
Sue Jackson, founder of Wokingham In Need, said: “I was absolutely delighted to take part in this wonderful event. The heartfelt response from those who attended was overwhelming and to see the delight of the attendees’ faces was magical. I am glad to have supported a special event which will remain in people’s memories forever.”
Guests’ family members, who saw how much excitement the event brought, also provided positive feedback.
One mother commented: “I was really impressed with what I saw of the Summer Ball. My son had been excited about the idea and been eagerly looking forward to it. He had such a wonderful night. Thank you and congratulations to all at Optalis for the amazing hard work.”