Fusion inclusive club nights – guest post about club nights in Leigh
We’re publishing a series of guest posts about inclusive club nights from around the UK. We’ve asked everyone a few questions to find out more about the ways in which different nights are planned, what their plans for the future are, and what challenges they face.
First up we’re looking at Fusion whose nights take place in Leigh in the North West. This post is written by John White, one of the organisers.
Who are you?
We are – Fusion North West CIC ( Community Interest Company)
Our night, Fusion @ Cafe Stella is an inclusive club night for adults, 18+
It started in Sept 2013 and takes place at Cafe Stella, King St, Leigh, Lancashire, on the last Tuesday of the month.
How much does it cost?
The first visit is FREE entry. After that entry is £2.50 or £4 including your support. We run a loyalty card scheme and cards are issued free of charge. Cards are stamped each visit and once card is full ( 5 stamps) the holder can get in for FREE.
How do you run your nights?
Our nights are run 100% by volunteers. Lead by myself, John White and Justin Fellows with a small team of volunteers with and without a disability . We are extremely fortunate and grateful to Alex and Zoe, owners of Cafe Stella, for allowing us to use their venue free of charge allowing us to keep our running costs to a minimum.
Initially we planed our night to be a one off event after one of the group at “Just BU” asked Justin if she could have a “Club Night” style party like her sister went to at weekends. Being a former DJ Justin asked if I would be willing to help out on the night.
A plan was put together, venue sorted, tickets printed, date chosen and Facebook page set up. Interest exceeded our expectations so much so we immediately decided to make this a monthly event.
Our fifteen minutes of fame… (well 7 to be accurate) came two years ago when a tweet was picked up by a film maker from the cable/satellite TV station “The Community Channel”, resulting in a camera crew filming one of our nights and including in an episode of “Brilliant Britain” Some of our volunteers were included in the episode talking about their involvement. Here’s the video they made.
What time do the nights finish?
Our original opening times of 7pm to 11pm after a couple of years changed to 7.30pm to 10.30pm. Like many similar nights across the country we also experience many of our group leaving with carers around 9-930pm . We have looked at how we can address this but to date have not been successful in resolving the issue.
What advice do you have for starting a new night?
For anyone looking to start their own night the important things I would say to consider are:
- Venue location – are bus stops, taxi ranks and free parking close by? Also is it easily accessible for visitors with a physical disability to get to?
- Venue look – is it a working pub/night club or just a village hall/function room.
- Ticket price – keep running costs to a minimum as most people attending will be on a limited budget.
- Check the date – Is your planned event close to, or the same night as, something else. This might not only may clash but also as most people attending are likely to be on limited income so their financial limitations will often play a major part of their decision making .
- Sound system and gear – Our venue “Cafe Stella” is a licensed night club and at weekends probably the busiest in town. So it already has the lighting and sound system set up, we just bring along a laptop and Denon Dj controller . Opposite we have the towns bus station and taxi rank along with plenty of free parking within a short walk.
What are your plans for the future?
We have many enquiries from interested young people with a disability who are too young due to the age restrictions at the venue. To address this we are looking at a regular afternoon event using one of the local schools facilities during the schools/college holidays aimed at the 16 – 18 age group with their family members/carers.
How can we find out more and get in touch?
You can follow us via our social media pages .
Contact us by e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you want to tell us about your club nights?
Do you run an inclusive club night for people with learning disabilities? We’d love to hear from you and here are some questions we’ve written to help you write a short article. And do drop us a line if you need some help at email@example.com
Download the questions here
Our tips on running a club night
If you’re thinking of setting up your own night please also see our article on top tips for running your own night.
Tell us about your nights
And don’t forget to tell us about your nights so we can share the love on our events listings.