Disco for the disabled is back with a bang in Mansfield after Covid
A popular disco that brightens up the lives of disabled people in Mansfield is back with a bang after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The disco, held at The Towers venue on Thursday evenings, was started by care-home worker Sally Rowland nine years ago and was a number one hit until coronavirus came along.
When Sally had to pull out because of other commitments, the disco’s future looked bleak.
But DJ Phil Bullock has taken over the reins, and the event is now three weeks into its revival.
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"It looked as if we would have to pack it up, but I have been on board since day one, so I decided to take it on,” said Phil, 61.
“It would have been a shame to stop because so many people have been asking about it coming back.
"A big variety of ages come along – from seven-year-olds to people over 60.
"It’s only for a couple of hours each week, but they really enjoy it and that’s what it’s all about.
"It’s like them going to a nightclub. Parents of the younger ones really appreciate it too.”
The disco is open to people with physical and learning disabilities. Before Covid, up to 70 went along each week.
There is a small admission fee, but food and drink is available, and Phil lays on all kinds of entertainment.
"We play music from the 1970s to present day, although the 80s seems to be the most popular era,” he said.
"We also have a raffle with prizes and a competition for the best dancer. When it’s someone’s birthday, we get up and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to make it a special day for them, and we hold parties at Christmas and Hallowe’en.”
Phil works as a transport supervisor for Nottinghamshire County Council and initially got involved through his link to daycare services.
Although from Mansfield, he now lives in Newark but, helped by daughter Lisa, he feels the travelling and effort are well worthwhile.
"You can have a bad at work and then you see people enjoying themselves at the disco, wanting to talk to you and meeting new friends, and it really lifts your spirits,” he said.
"It is so enjoyable. We’ll see how it goes. but while everyone wants to carry on, we will keep it going.”