New Wollongong club night Ables a hit: photos

The organiser of a nightclub event for people with a disability has been ‘‘overwhelmed’’ by the success of the launch party.

More than 150 people of all abilities turned up to the first Ables club night, held at The Grand Hotel on Friday night.

Co-organiser Beau Thatcher said the numbers confirmed the need for an event like this, where people felt safe and supported.

‘‘It was great. So many people turned up – on their own, with friends, with family members or carers,’’ he said.

‘‘It was such a great atmosphere and you couldn’t get people off the dance floor.

‘‘There’s nothing like this in Wollongong and people just loved it – the response we’ve received since the event has been overwhelmingly positive.’’

Many who attended have taken to Ables Wollongong Facebook site to thank organisers.

‘‘I felt the night was fantastic, I can’t stop raving about it and personally can’t wait till the next one,’’ said one.

 ‘‘We felt very welcomed and had a good time,’’ posted another.

The concept was the brainchild of Mr Thatcher and Sean O’Neill – both of whom work in the disability services sector.

They have teamed up with Wollongong nightclub manager Lu Ristov - whose sister, Monika Ristova, uses a wheelchair.

‘‘The first event was at The Grand Hotel and everyone loved that venue, but we wanted to move it around so that people with a disability could experience different venues in the city,’’ Mr Thatcher said.

‘‘It’s about getting people out there, and getting rid of their anxieties and shyness so they can have a really great time.’’

The next Ables event will be at The Ivory Bar on Friday, September 12.

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