Our Bluebell Café was transformed into a beautiful restaurant for five couples – all people supported by Aspens - for a Valentine's meal and dance last weekend. 

The evening, organised by Janine Jacquin, Aspens’ Engagement Lead, gave the group of people we support the chance to enjoy a romantic evening in a safe and familiar setting. The tables were decorated in a beautiful Valentine’s theme and the couples enjoyed a delicious three course meal prepared by Café Manager Alice Foard and served by Emily Barks, Executive Assistant turned waitress for the evening! The meal was followed by dancing to romantic songs specially chosen by each guest and dedicated to their loved one.

Stuart, who is supported by Aspens in Kent, went along to the evening and told us about his experience: “I came to the date night with my girlfriend Gemma and Peter, my support worker. We had a nice dinner – with a starter and pasta for the main meal and a chocolate brownie for pudding. It was nice. We had a little dance afterwards. I enjoyed it and my girlfriend enjoyed it too. It felt like a special treat.” 

Janine Jacquin said: “We wanted to hold this evening for the people we support who may have anxieties about going to a restaurant with their loved one. Some of the people who attended the date night had never had this kind of opportunity, so we talked to them beforehand about suggested etiquette for such an occasion. This included wearing appropriate clothing, waiting to be seated, holding the chair and complimenting their partner. They were also encouraged to talk about what they like about each other, how to maintain conversations and were shown how to slow dance. At Aspens we like to celebrate positive relationships, which are beneficial for our health, and hopefully the couples will now feel more confident to go on to have date nights in their local communities.” 

A huge thank you to Janine, Alice and Emily for making the evening so special for the attendees, another of the many examples of how our wonderful team are putting our core values of empowerment and inclusivity into action every day.

To find out more about attending future events such as this contact Janine at [email protected].