So much more than a cafe
Wave Cafe Social Impact Stories
"I remember a harpist performing at one Pop Up, Everyone was brought together by the beautiful music. Later she played an impromptu set, inviting people to dance if they wanted. It was the perfect end to the event - mixed ages and mixed abilities dancing and having fun together in a small cafe!"
"It’s such a relief to have somewhere to go where we don’t have to worry about our son (a young adult) being accepted or included as everyone is so welcoming. Each person is genuinely valued for just being themselves."
"At the Ally Pally Pop Up, I helped a young girl who has autism with weaving a keychain. Her mother commented that she doesn’t usually engage in activities, so must have felt very comfortable in her surroundings to do so."
"I recall watching a member dance at an event, a really talented dancer. Seeing her perform in a way I could never dream of, it struck me that this isn’t about “abled” or “disabled”. She can do things I find impossible; quite probably I can do things that are impossible for her. But isn’t that just being human?"
"I once spent an evening serving drinks with one member. It was such a lovely experience - she can be a bit shy, but she went way out of her comfort zone to make conversation with guests. When her father collected her, he said how much she looks forward to Wave evenings, and what a difference they make."
"Young adults with learning disability singing and reading poems into a microphone, beaming as they do so, has brought tears to my eyes more than once. But even more powerful is seeing genuine mixed groups demonstrating such effortless inclusivity."
"One parent wished for nothing more than to enjoy a beautiful evening together with her daughter, but wherever they went, she felt unwelcome because of her daughter’s disability. The pain of isolation had become unbearable. That’s when she decided to Google “inclusive events in London”, which led her to our Pop-Up at Ally Pally. Her feedback speaks volumes: “In all the years since my daughter was born, this is the first time I could sit back and relax because she was so valued and accepted. I didn’t have to worry. Those two hours were a big gift to me.
You probably have no idea how much events like these are needed.”
A friend came to a Wave session one evening. When I invited them, they said they’d be happy to come as a “helper”. I explained that we don't really have helpers – all are welcome as guests of equal standing! Seeing them in the mixed ability atmosphere, later on, I think they really understood what that meant. In fact, those with learning disabilities are often the biggest “helpers” - helping people grow in both their understanding of disability and their appreciation of how much value there is in being different!"