Love4Life members shine on stage - FitzRoy
Group of people wearing red t-shirts performing on a stage

Love4Life members shine on stage

Published: March 22, 2024

Love4Life, the friendship and dating network for people with learning disabilities and autism, took to the Portsmouth Theatre Royal stage on Sunday 17 March, and wowed the audience with their variety show, Step in Time.

More than 35 Love4Life members showcased their talents through a medley of performances ranging from the swinging sixties to Mamma Mia and Mary Poppins.

Among the shining stars of the performance was Nathalie. When she first joined Love4Life, Nathalie was quiet, usually staying close to her carer and speaking very little. However, since joining Love4Life, her peers have helped her confidence grow.

Love4Life is a safe space for people with learning disabilities and autism to build relationships and explore their interests and talents in a relaxed setting, through workshops and online and social events. This peer support and community building are central to Love4Life’s mission, creating an environment where their members can flourish.

As Love4Life prepared for this year’s show, Nathalie began gaining confidence and finding her voice. Despite her initial reservations, she embraced the opportunity to take to the stage, showcasing not only her talent but also her newfound confidence.

Nathalie’s mother told us: “Most mornings, Nathalie stands in the bathroom and says to me ‘Am I letting you down?’ As a mum, I’ve found this statement mortifying and I give countless reasons for her being the pride of the family.

This morning, as we stood in the bathroom cleaning our teeth, Nathalie said, ‘Are you impressed with me?’ I’ve been waiting for years to hear that and to pour praise onto a positive reflection of Nathalie’s self-esteem.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you. It was a fabulous show, they all made me cry, I simply adore the cast, the staff, and my daughter’s opportunity. The mental strength and physical willingness of the audience wanting the cast to do well is overwhelming. The very best of society. I truly felt privileged to be there.”

Reflecting on Nathalie’s journey, Love4Life Managing Director Shirley said, “It’s been incredible to see Nathalie’s growth throughout. She has just flourished since joining Love4Life. Through our inclusive community and supportive environment, Love4Life enables our members, like Nathalie, to shine brightly on stage and beyond.”

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about joining Love4Life, you can find out more and sign up to become a member here.

You can also read more about Love4Life from member and Love4Life Trustee, Hollie.