A Look Back At 2020 With Our Advisory Groups

A look back at 2020…

2020 has certainly been a strange year, but that hasn’t stopped our advisory groups coming together to inform, guide and advise Stay Up Late and the Gig Buddies Project. We have three advisory groups across Sussex, one for Brighton called Storm & Thunder, one for East Sussex called Wise Owls and one for West Sussex called Stormzy’s crew. However, due to the unexpected turn this year took, our advisory groups have joined together over the lockdown and have been meeting on Zoom each month.

At our final joint advisory group meeting we reflected on the past year and discussed what we are looking forward to in 2021. At the start of 2020 the members of the advisory groups came up with new activities or interests they would like to try throughout the new year. Despite not being able to do a lot of these things, everyone agreed that we had still managed to try new activities or do something positive throughout the lockdown.

  • Victoria explained that she is really grateful for the Gig Buddies coffee mornings, socials and advisory groups. These have meant that over the lock down she has become really close friends with people she may not have seen that often. With the power of Zoom we have all been able to see each other a lot more and we have created a strong online community.
  • Sas said that the new thing she achieved this year was being on the radio!
  • Daniel told the group that he was proud to have learnt how to use Zoom and that it’s been a great way to connect with people. He has also been on the radio, taken part in a research project for UCL and has been part of some filming!
  • Lucy also agreed that Zoom was something new she had tried this year and it has meant that she can stay in contact with people. She has also been getting creative during the lockdown by drawing on leather jackets, writing scripts and creating a new persona; Lister Cat.
  • Over the lockdown Lucy and Daniel also came up with the idea of an Anime-style graphic story which illustrates the issue of racism and other forms of discrimination. After their discussions, Lucy produced a wonderful piece of art that highlights the issues people face as a result of discrimination, and shows how we can come together as a community to show a better way forward. It can be found here: Black Lives Matter Storyboard

We then watched the wonderful video that Jess made. It shows that although we haven’t been able to party in person, we have still managed to stay connected and have had loads of fun online. From dance parties, quizzes, karaoke to masterchef, we discussed our favourite Gig Buddies moments of 2020 and its safe to say we didn’t let the lockdown dampen our spirits. However, we are so excited to see each other in person when it safe to do so!


It is really important for Stay Up Late and Gig Buddies to make sure that we have adults with learning disabilities involved in every part of the charity. This is why the advisory groups were started and why they remain a vital part of the project. If you are interested in joining one of the advisory groups then please contact us:

Brighton and Hove Storm and Thunder: katie@stayuplate.org 07305056122 or annie@stayuplate.org 07971 760149

East Sussex Wise Owls: jess@stayuplate.org 07827 228171

West Sussex Stormzy’s Crew: malcolm@stayuplate.org 07971759668

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