Supporting people with learning disabilities to be full and active members of their communities, one gig at a time
Our charity was started by the punk band ‘Heavy Load’. Three of the members of Heavy Load had learning disabilities and they were tired of seeing their fans leaving their gigs at 9pm due to support staff working inflexible rotas. They started the Stay Up Late campaign in 2006 and it was featured in the award winning feature documentary about them. After 15 years of anarchy and mayhem the band decided to call it a day in 2012. But set up Stay Up Late as a charity in order to continue the campaigns good work.
The work of Stay Up Late falls into three main areas; campaigning to change institutional and inflexible care practices, educating people about the issues facing people with learning disabilities and running the Gig Buddies volunteer project.
We started Gig Buddies in Brighton and Hove in Jan ’13, the concept is simple; we match people with learning disabilities and autism with a volunteer who loves the same kind of music so they can go to gigs together.
Through Gig Buddies we are able to support people to be less socially isolated and lead healthier and more fulfilled lives that they’re in control of. We’re also able to support people with learning disabilities and autism to develop their informal social networks and friendships outside of typical social care settings.
We know that this is not just healthier for individuals, it’s also healthier for communities. A community that sees people as individuals with particular interests will see past any disability and get to know the person.