Disabled people bowled over by Christmas treat

Tenpin at Eagles Meadow have put on a free event for disabled bowlers. Duty manager Nicki Murray, front right, welcomes the group.

A group of Wrexham disabled people have been bowled over by the Christmas spirit and generosity shown by a shopping centre’s businesses.

Every Thursday afternoon teams of adults with learning, physical or sensory disabilities as well as mental health issues head down to the Eagles Meadow shopping centre’s Tenpin for a few competitive games.

The group, mainly from Wrexham’s Cunliffe Centre, were delighted when they turned up for their usual session to find Tenpin staff had laid on a glittering party as a thank you for their support.

The Cunliffe Centre is run by Wrexham County Borough Council’s Social Services and supports individuals by offering a wide range of activities to prevent social exclusion.

Nicki Murray, who has worked as a supervisor at Tenpin for a year, organised the free event with the help of colleague Lynn Surman.

Nicki said: “We wanted to thank the disabled bowlers for coming week in and week out throughout the year to bowl. So we laid on a party with free bowling and lots of lovely Christmas food thanks to the restaurants in Eagles Meadow.

“Frankie & Benny’s, Pizza Express, Nando’s and Greggs all helped out by donating a fantastic spread of pizzas, cakes and other goodies. Everyone had a wonderful time and we hope this will become an annual Christmas event.”

Support worker, Kevin Bimpson, who works at the Cunnliffe Centre and enjoyed the bowling party said the Tenpin hospitality and gesture was much appreciated.

He said: “Everyone had a great time bowling and the food was delicious. Some of the teams were quite competitive although that’s not unusual. We have quite a few who are desperate to win a game or two every week.

“The Tenpin staff just couldn’t do enough for us and everyone left with a party bag full of goodies too following a visit by Father Christmas. We had more than 30 bowlers along with their carers for the party although some were from other agencies.”

He added: “We play at Tenpin every Thursday throughout the year and bowling is certainly very popular with our supported clients. Playing gives them a chance to learn new skills, make friends and enjoy physical activity.

“It’s just fantastic that Tenpin put this Christmas event together. There really was a festive atmosphere and everyone had such a wonderful time.”

Manager of Pizza Express, Christian O’Connor, says he was delighted to be able to donate free food for the bowlers.

He said: “We were only too happy to help. I was asked by Tenpin if we could donate some pizzas and other goodies for the party and we were thrilled to be able to say yes.

“I’m sure the bowlers had a really good Christmas party and I’m pleased Pizza Express was able to help make it a day to remember.”

Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley says he was delighted Tenpin and the shopping centre’s restaurants had come together to organise a free party for the disabled bowlers.

He said: “All our businesses seem to get involved in one way or another with charities and good causes. I know the disabled bowlers attend Tenpin every Thursday and this was a fantastic gesture and a brilliant way to thank them for their support throughout the year.

“And of course for the Eagles Meadow restaurants such as Frankie & Benny’s, Pizza Express and Nando’s, as well as Greggs, to supply free food in support of the event is just a fantastic gesture. I really am pleased they enjoyed a wonderful free Christmas party here at Eagles Meadow.”