Fight for People with Autism and/or Learning Disabilities' Right to Party with Stay Up Late!

Posted on 22 Jan 2024 by Emily Atkinson-Dalton
This February, we have the incredible Stay Up Late taking part in our charity poll - the charity dedicated to enabling adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to have an active social life. Find out more about their work below and don't forget to vote in our Discount Promo Codes charity poll this February.

stay up late charity logo

Stay Up Late is a small charity based in Sussex that’s been fighting for adults with learning disabilities and/or autistic people’s right to party for over a decade! They work to bring more joy and friendship into people’s lives and create a more united society.


How Did Stay Up Late Begin? 

The charity began with Heavy Load, a punk band known for its chaotic sets and the fact that three of its five members were disabled. Heavy Load played all over the world, with highlights of Glastonbury and New York, and eventually began starring in a rockumentary! They wanted to show the world the barriers people with learning disabilities face when it comes to staying out late with friends and enjoying a rich social life. More specifically, the fact that a majority of the crowds at their gigs were made to go home before the end of their gigs by their support. This problem became even clearer when, during filming, Michael the band’s drummer, was interrupted mid-pint after an important gig and told to go home by his support worker. This was the moment that Paul, our founder and the band’s bass player, realised how much work still needed to be done and so the Stay Up Late campaign began!


What Do Stay Up Late Do?

Today, Stay Up Late’s main project is Gig Buddies, a befriending scheme that pairs up volunteers and adults with learning disabilities and autistic people (participants), based on their shared interests. Volunteers support participants to attend cultural events such as gigs, films or theatre; or to get active and participate in new sports together. The project was originally very music focused but quickly expanded as it became clear people had a whole host of interests and the most important thing was to have a friend to share them with. Gig Buddies is about people’s right to choose how they spend their time. They have buddies who go to the cinema, stay up late-night raving and some who just enjoy a gentle stroll with some cake at the end. Truly, your gig can be whatever makes you happy.

As well as Gig Buddies, they continue to campaign nationwide alongside their campaign ambassadors who have learning disabilities and/or are autistic. They do talks and workshops about the importance of a social life and why everyone should be allowed to stay up late if they want to! Isolation is a major issue for adults with learning disabilities and they believe that their work helps people to reprioritise what matters in people’s live and reshape what good care can look like for people with learning disabilities.


What Is Stay Up Late's Vision? 

They believe in joy and partying as an act of resistance and that lots of what makes life wonderful is really rather ordinary. Their vision is to create a society that encourages people to recognise what truly matters in people’s lives and to expect the same quality of life for adults in care as they would for themselves.


Voting for Stay Up Late

They'd love your support to carry out their mission and help people enjoy all that life has to offer through their initiatives and campains. If you want to support them, don't forget to vote this February by heading over to our Homepage and casting your free vote for Stay Up Late.

Thank you for taking the time to find out more about Stay Up Late and what they fight for!?

You can vote for Stay Up Late in our February 2024 charity poll between 1st February and 29th February

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