1. www.stayuplate.orgStay Up Late is a small national charity that promotes full and active social lives forpeople with learning disabilities.We believe that all people have a right to a full and active life.BackgroundThe charity grew out of the Stay Up Late campaign, which was launched in late 2006by members of the punk band Heavy Load.3 of the members of Heavy Load have learning disabilities and the band werebecoming increasingly frustrated at fans leaving their gigs at 9pm. Why were theyleaving? Because many support workers work inflexible shift patterns with eveningshifts typically ending at 10pm.This meant that lots of people with learning disabilities were not being supported tolead a full and active social life; the place where you can express yourselves, meetfriends and develop relationships.The birth of Stay Up Late was also featured in the feature documentary movie ‘HeavyLoad’, which gave the band an audience through the BBC, cinemas, and US TV,which enabled us to connect with a wide range of people all experiencing similarissues and frustrations.Stay Up Late’s origins are firmly rooted in music but the issue is much wider thanthat. And we even agree with people going to bed early – as long as they are incontrol of making the decisions about how they want to lead their lives!Our main areas of work are: - Advocacy – making people with learning disabilities aware of their rights and the sort of support they should expect to receive. - Campaigning – working with support providers and staff to help them think about ways in which they can change their working practices. - Influencing – working with commissioners of services to encourage the commissioning of services that fully promote choice and a person centred approach. - Direct action – providing opportunities for people to Stay Up Late through nights such as our pop-up club nights ‘Kiss My Disco’Stay Up Late is currently a very small charity which is run by volunteers.We’re committed to working on a very serious issue which we believe is fundamentalto human rights, however, we are not a ‘preachy’ organisation and try and doeverything with a sense of humour, and some sort of punk aesthetic!
2. The challenge for Good For Nothing:The idea is simple. We know there are people out there with learning disabilities wholove music and would like to see more live music. However, there are obstaclespreventing this from happening: - Community safety concerns (perceived and real) - Possible lack of motivation and lack of confidence - Not knowing what to see - Needing a companion to go with - Support around transportSo the idea is to match up people with learning disabilities with gig-goers withoutdisabilities who may be going to a gig anyway, the important part being that theyenjoy the same kind of music.From this we hope that people can extend their social networks and form newfriendships with people that they may have found it difficult to meet otherwise.The plan is to use the social capital that already exists (the gig going public) andutilise parts of that to support people with disabilities.It’s volunteering without trying, or as we like to say, it’s our vision for the Gig Society.To set the scheme up we are fundraising (already with some success) to appoint apart-time project worker and they will coordinate the volunteer part of the scheme.However, we have also been researching how people with learning disabilities spendtheir time and have discovered that there is a lack of accessible information to enablepeople to make real choices about how they can spend their time. We therefore wantto develop something that will not only support the Gig Buddies with planning theirsocial lives but anyone else too. 1. The App.We’re aware that all the tools exist online to facilitate social lives however they arenot particularly friendly for people with learning disabilities. We therefore need todevelop something that can scrape information from a variety of sources so thatchoices can be made around dates, venues, genres, specific bands and similarbands (like Pandora). There could also be an element of evaluating nights out andcommunication between buddies.Most importantly we need something that is very easy to use and doesn’t requireweeks of attending computer classes to work out. Ideally something that can be usedon a smart phone or tablet.One of the most effective ways of making things accessible is not only to have clear‘big buttons’ but also the use of video. Whether that’s to enable choices to be madeabout potential bands but also to make short filmed evaluations of nights out. 2. Advertising the Gig Buddy schemeThe service will be most successful if we can grow an engaged user based ofpromoters, venues and potential buddies. We need to promote the scheme and itsbenefits to these people. How might we effectively do that and what tools should beproduced?
3. 3. Funding Stay Up LateCreating a sustainable funding platform is core to our on-going success. We need tocreate a short video pitch/advert to use for funding bids, either about Gig Buddies orStay Up Late and it’s other projectsGathering evidence for the changes Stay Up Late has made and showing this in aneffective, engaging way.