Introducing the work of Stay Up Late Scotland

We all know that feeling when your all-time favourite musician releases their tour dates. A frenzy of excitement occurs – the thrill of getting tickets, planning your outfit with precision and the final countdown to the big night. Entering the venue, ticket in hand and a smile on your face. The opening song – you cheer from the bottom of your lungs with delight. You are having the night of your life, it’s something you’ve waited for so long to enjoy and you want to savour every moment.

Now imagine being half way through the set of your favourite singer and having no choice but to pull yourself away and go home. This is the reality for people who require support. All over the country there are people who have a disability having to cut their social lives short due to their support workers shifts finishing at 10:00 pm or even earlier.

Stay Up Late Scotland are a group of people who believe that everyone should have the right to a good social life, whether they get support or not. The group is a mix of people who have learning disabilities and people who are passionate about rights and real change. Stay Up Late North East is the first regional group to be active in Scotland, hosted by the Learning Disability Group of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Recently they have created champion roles which focus on sharing their vision to local providers and making sure people have access to information and support about what’s on. Their aim is to encourage change and raise awareness around this issue.

William and Denise are part of the regional group and have first-hand experience of the problems surrounding evening activities. Denise requires support when attending local events and has been directly affected by her support hours, reflecting on the discos and parties she’s attended which become an eerie empty hall past 09:00 pm. Denise has a great vision for the future of the project and said, “In the future I want there to be a generation who don’t have to ask their mum for help to put them to bed so that they can go out past 10:00 pm. A generation who have support workers that can stay out later to enable people to live fulfilling and valued lives, not just have their basic needs met.”

Cornerstone Self-Directed Support have been following the Stay Up Late journey and share a passion for the campaign. Recently, Cornerstone SDS received funding from Support in the Right Direction and have donated £500.00 of this to the Stay up Late Campaign. At the moment, Stay Up Late North East has no funding in place. This donation is a small start to help create more opportunities for people to have their voices heard.

Everybody should have the opportunity to experience the encore of their favourite band. It’s hoped through educating and raising awareness that the Stay Up Late campaign can make this a reality for every person. Contact them at stayuplatescotland@gmail.com for more information.

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