A CHARITY is tackling the issue of social exclusion by launching a nightclub experience for those with learning difficulties and autism.

MacIntyre, a charity which supports these individuals, is hosting the club night in Bridge Street bar, PJ's, to give people who need additional support the same chance to unwind in a safe environment.

Alongside Birchwood-based Creating Adventures, which raises funds for adults with autism and learning disabilities, MacIntyre's frontline manager Becky Brindle was responsible for getting the idea started.

She said: "There was a similar thing happening a couple of years ago and we're going to get it back up and running again.

"We just contacted people and looked for appropriate accessibility and the right layout of the space."

PJ's was Becky's first choice, with a ramp to allow wheelchair users access to the dancefloor, as well as being bright and spacious.

Guests can come along with their carers or make use of the additional support available in the club.

Becky added: "It's all about creating a safe space for people, enjoying yourself and getting to know others."

MacIntyre, which has an office in Orford, is a national charity which provides learning, support and care for more than 1,500 children, young people and adults who have a learning disability and/or autism across England and Wales.

As well as providing residential care, supported living and outreach schemes, the charity also offers a range of trips and group activities to those who would not usually have the opportunity.

Pete Connor, manager of the charity's Great Communities programme, explained: "Our activities are very much community related and enable people to get out there and tackle problems such as social exclusion.

"Therefore, we wanted Infinity at PJ's to be the same as any other nightclub- it is something other people might take for granted.

"The staff at PJ's have been really helpful in serving us all.

"They have really bought into the whole idea and are very welcoming."

Will Tran, one of the individuals Pete helps support, said he would find it difficult to go to a regular nightclub event alone but can attend Infinity at PJ's easily with his friends.

Stacey Wilson also praised the efforts of PJ's in making the experience special.

She said: "We love it. You can enjoy yourself with your friends. The staff make it fun."

Ami Grierson added: "I enjoy the music that gets played- there is lots of dancing!

"You get to see your friends and it feels like a safe place."

Infinity at PJ's takes place on the first Wednesday of every month from 7pm until 10.30pm.

Entry costs £2 but carers accompanying individuals will get free entry.

Visit the MacIntyre


for more information, or search for the charity on Facebook or Twitter.