Sprowston woman creates virtual Valentine’s Day event to celebrate friendship

Single people without a sweetheart on February 14 are being invited to join in with an online Valentine's Day party celebrating friendship around the world.

Baking Valentine's Day cookies and buns, enjoying a virtual tea party in a rose garden, and having a go at a Cupid-inspired virtual archery session and just some of the activities planned for the occasion.

It is the latest idea from Sprowston-based Claire Wade, whose social enterprise Holidays From Home aims to bring vacations and events to people who have difficulty leaving their homes because of illness or disability.

For a number of years Miss Wade, 28, has offered virtual holidays for people to places including Australia and New York, and towards the end of last year she branched out into creating special events including hosting a Halloween party and a New Year's Eve party.

Miss Wade, who came up with the idea for Holidays From Home because she was bed bound for six years with severe ME, said: 'I know how hard it is when the world is celebrating and you feel so left out.

'The virtual New Year's Eve party was so much fun. New Year's Eve normally feels like a let down, especially being stuck at home; but because of the virtual party, people from around the world celebrated together. We got dressed up, had cocktails and canap�s and even chatted online. Everybody said how much they enjoyed the night and that it was the best New Year's Eve they'd ever had.'

She added: 'The guests had so much fun, they asked me to organise a party for Valentine's Day. They said that normally they feel very alone on February 14 and they wanted a virtual party, so they would have something to look forward to and fun things to do on the day.

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'We're going to be having a virtual tea party, with lots of easy Valentine's-themed activities including recipes, crafts and virtual experiences; all of which can be done without having to leave the comfort of your own home.'

After the Valentine's Day event Miss Wade is planning to organise a virtual trip to London during the Olympic Games.

• It costs �9.99 to join in with the Virtual Valentine's Day Party on February 14 and receive the related pack. Among the activities on the day there will be an online chat for people taking part at 2pm and 8pm.

For more information visit www.holidaysfromhome.co.uk

• Are you organising an unusual event in Norwich? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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