Keeping the revolution positive

  •  PaulR
  •  22/04/2015
  •  News

This week marked the re-launch of the Stay Up Late campaign and to be honest my head has been swimming with ideas for what we ought to do first.

Following the workshops we’ve been running it’s apparent at what cultures and attitudes need to change if people with learning disabilities are going to be able to lead the lives they really want.

The question for me is where do we start? And who do we start with?

Is this a ‘commissioning thing’, or is it something that starts at a grassroots level?

The other issue is that we want to keep the campaign as positive as possible – looking at what is working and finding out how enlightened managers and staff teams are making that happen. We now there are some brilliant people out there, doing amazing things in difficult times and we want to find out why they can make brilliant stuff happen when other people are struggling.


So that’s where I’ve been this week – thinking what to do first when there’s some many things that need changing.

Then on Tuesday I had a meeting with a couple of long time Stay Up Late supporters from Croydon Borough Council (who run the fantastic Club Soda and Soda Beat nights) and Advocacy For All who are running a Stay Up Late workshop in Sutton next month.

In the meeting were pondering all the questions I’ve started this blog with and thinking how we could use Club Soda nights as a way of engaging with support staff. And we’ve hit on an idea.

We’re going to create a pop-up Stay Up Late stall for anyone to run at their club nights which will have some resources on to help spread the word about the campaign and find out why people are leaving.

We’re going to keep the set-up simple so as to keep costs down, and it will contain a pop-up banner, our ‘green cards’, leaflets and a couple of t-shirts for volunteers to wear.

People staffing the stall will also get guidelines about how to keep it friendly and positive, we do want people returning to your club nights after all!

The thing is that while this will be a fantastic way to raise awareness but I’m not sure it will go far enough to actually changing cultures. This was an issue I was pondering on Friday evening in the pub with one of our trustees. I don’t know if it was to do with a very nice IPA called Timothy Taylor but we hit on an idea.

Why don’t we concentrate more on those staff who stay after 9pm and find out what it is that makes them tick, and what sort of leaders their management are?

So that’s what we’re going to do – we’ll be asking our Stay Up Late activists at their club nights to find out where these support workers work – and then we’ll follow-up by aiming to interview their manager and find out how they’ve managed to provide flexible support and why they do it. (What are the positive outcomes for the people they support?).

So that’s it, after a week of scratching my head and wondering what to do as ever the answer seems quite simple. We’re now going to get designing the ‘pop-up’ stall and will post details on our site on what it contains, how much it costs and how to get hold of one.

Let’s keep the revolution positive!



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