National Stay Up Late day – 17th May

National Stay Up Late day

We’re organising a clubbing all-nighter and we want you to join us, wherever you may live. Everywhere and anywhere can be part of our national Stay Up Late day.

This is about what we’re doing and how you can get involved in any way you want to. It’s all about having a night out with nobody telling you what time it has to end, the whole focus of what we’re about as a charity.

“I dream of seeing my friends in the pub.”

Dreaming of a late night out

A few years ago, we were asked to run a conference in Chester for people with learning disabilities; it was well-attended.

In the afternoon, we designed a session to enable people to dream—big or small—about what they’d like to do.

Then, we asked everyone to consider how they could make that happen.

What surprised me and made me feel quite sad and very frustrated was most of the dreams were things like:

  • “to see my friends in the pub.”
  • “watch a movie at the cinema.”
  • “go bowling with my mates in the evening.”
  • “see a band.”
  • “go clubbing.”

They were all easily achievable dreams—in fact, they absolutely shouldn’t be ‘dreams’—if we put our minds to them as support workers, those things could happen tomorrow, if not next week.

There were other big dreams like:

  • “watch Manchester United at Old Trafford.”
  • “visit my family in India.”
  • “go to Disneyland in Florida.

These are all also achievable but require planning and consistent support to become a reality, and that’s a topic for another blog.

This blog focuses on making dreams of clubbing and going to the pub with friends happen.

Our national day of lateness – May 17th

We’ve decided to organise a clubbing night during this year’s Brighton Festival. When I say ‘organise,’ I mean we’ve picked a pub to meet in, a venue (‘Guilty Pleasures’ at the Spiegeltent), and a place to end the night/morning (probably a kebab shop on the seafront).

We’re going out with a bunch of our Gig Buddies and we’ve asked everyone to buy their own tickets and let us know if they’re coming.

That way, we can work out our plans to ensure people leave when they want to. Team members or volunteers can walk people to the bus stop or station or even give them a lift if needed.

We’ve done it before; we know it works. That time, we started with 25 people in Wetherspoons and ended up with six of us seven hours later in the all-night diner. We got home at 5 a.m. It was a brilliant night out.

The hardest part of organising it this time has been finding a night our team is all free and there’s something fun to go to. (We accidentally chose a night that clashed with the Great Escape Festival, which narrowed our options as the city will become incredibly busy with almost every venue booked. But we’ve done it.)

Why are we doing this?

It’s simply part of our mission to show that people with learning disabilities:

  1. Can have a great time at mainstream events.
  2. Are welcomed wholeheartedly at these events (from many years of experience).
  3. Should be able to Stay Up Late and have fun.
  4. Ought be in charge of deciding when to go home.

Join us

We’re asking you to join in the fun wherever you live. All you need to do is arrange to go out with a few friends locally and make a night of it.

Whether you’re a person with a learning disability, a support worker, friend, carer, ally or volunteer why not join in the fun?

How to plan your night

  1. Pick a pub or café to meet up in
  2. Pick a venue where there’s live music or a club night
  3. Invite your mates
  4. Dress up nice (and don’t forget to smell posh)
  5. Dance, enjoy the night, enjoy the company
  6. Go home when you feel like it
  7. Don’t forget the kebab on the way home!

Staying safe on a late night out

There are a few things you need to do before you go to make sure you stay safe:

  1. Ask your support worker for advice on good places to go
  2. Tell your support worker or carer where you’re going if you’re going out independently
  3. Take enough money, make sure you have something left for the taxi home (if you need it)
  4. Make sure you have charged up your phone

Check out our guide to a safe night out with its easy-to-read tips.

Share what you do

We’d love to see what you get up to. Share your photos or send a little write-up and any quotes you’d like to share from the night out.

Can’t make May 17th?

It doesn’t matter if you can’t make it Friday, May 17th; every night can be a late night out.

Just organise it for a day that’s good for you and when there’s a good night planned at your local club or venue.

As support workers, we need to encourage people to live full and fun lives and (with the clue in our job title) support the people we work with to make that happen.

Take your role in making things happen for people as seriously as you can. But embrace the fun of a great night out, join in, and dance (phones firmly away in your pocket).

A late night out with your mates should not be something that only exists in your dreams.

There is no good reason why it can’t happen next week!

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