Banbury’s ‘Date and Dance’ night with a difference

Ryan Mold of the Atic, DJs Harry Prior and Jamie Mithchell, and organisers Tina Castle, Laura Cuthbertson and Maxine Hemmings NNL-161025-091648001

Ryan Mold of the Atic, DJs Harry Prior and Jamie Mithchell, and organisers Tina Castle, Laura Cuthbertson and Maxine Hemmings NNL-161025-091648001

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A date night with a difference will once again be opening its doors to those with learning disabilities and their carers to enjoy an evening of great music, dancing and dating.

The Date and Dance night is ran in conjunction with Oxford-based Mates and Dates and provides those with cognitive impairments to socialise in a safe and fun atmosphere.

Laura Cuthbertson, who co-promotes the events with Tina Castle and Mates and Dates’ Maxine Hemmings, said: “I’ve got a long background with people with learning disabilities and we wanted to provide a top quality night at a top quality venue outreaching to those within the disabilities community.”

This is the third such independently promoted event and is hosted by Butchers Row late night bar Rock The Atic.

Co-promoter Tina Castle said: “Me and Laura used to work together through the NHS with people with learning disabilities and we thought it was a project we wanted to do together.”

The events have been a huge success in Oxford bringing together many individuals who would ordinarily have no common place to meet and Banbury is the only other Oxfordshire location to hold such an evening.

The successful organisation of the events relies heavily on volunteers from events staff and DJs to providing transportation for the attendees and their carers.

News of the events has been spread throughout the disability community and it already has a dedicated following.

Laura said: “Harry and Jamie are really popular and bring lots of friends.”

Maxine said: “People like the venue, it makes a change from a community space.”

Laura added: “It’s more like a club night environment for them here.”
The next event is on Sunday, November 6 from 7pm at The Atic, tickets are just £6 to enter with carers entering free.

Laura said: “It’s a great night out and we want to encourage as many carers to come and make it a fun night out or them as well.”

Date and Dance are also planning a fancy dress themed Christmas spectacular including a photo booth to capture the fun for prosperity.

The event will be held on December 7 from 7pm until 10pm also at the Atic.

Ryan Mold, proprietor of the Atic said: “We like to help the community and get behind great initiatives like this and we’ve worked hand in hand with them. It’s worked really well.”