The @ssnomadic Black ball event


One of the most inclusive black tie events of the year will be taking place in the historical surroundings of the SS Nomadic during Valentine’s Week.

The 2014 ‘Black Ball’ – which takes place on February 11 and is jointly hosted by the supported training and employment organisation NOW and Belfast’s Black Box – is the annual black tie celebration marking the groundbreaking success of the innovative ‘Black Moon’ club. Black Moon is a monthly club night for people with learning difficulties by people with learning difficulties which is held in the Black Box venue on the first Tuesday of every month.

Black Moon has built-up a dedicated list of regulars who travel from all over Belfast and beyond to enjoy good music, dancing and craic in a friendly and welcoming environment. The Black Ball is the latest in a long line of events and activities for people with learning difficulties / disabilities that has come about thanks to the partnership between NOW and the Black Box.

NOW service users and Black Moon regulars, Janette Green and Paul McGuiness, said they were really looking forward to the ball.

“We can’t wait until February. We’re really looking forward to getting dressed up and going on SS Nomadic,” said Janette.

NOW Volunteer Services Manager, Jayne McStay, said anticipation was building ahead of this year’s Black Ball after the sell-out success of last year’s event.

“This is a great opportunity for Black Moon regulars and NOW service users to dress up and enjoy a gala black tie event in the historical surrounding of SS Nomadic,” she said.

“But we must stress that the Ball is not just a night for people with learning disabilities / difficulties, this is an all-inclusive event for anyone to attend.”

Joy Dreaning from SS Nomadic said: “All the Crew at SS Nomadic are delighted to have the Black Ball on board. Not only is it a unique opportunity to showcase the ship and what it has to offer, but also a chance to get involved and support a special event in the local community. It sounds like it is going to be a really great night.”

Tickets for The Black Ball are priced at £20 and are available to buy directly from NOW’s headquarters at 428 Springfield Road, Belfast, or directly from the Black Box online at

For more information, email Gráinne Brinkley at

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