Our round-up from our website for 2017

A round-up of some of our favourite moments and highlights from the past year.

Making a Meal of Social Work

This was a project we ran with the School of Social Sciences at University of Brighton where we looked at a different way of enabling people with lived experience to help with the teaching of students. We literally made a meal of it

Making a Meal of User Involvement

Gig Buddies in Bognor

Victoria, our Gig Buddies Quality Checker talks about her plans for developing Gig Buddies in Bognor.

Round-up 2017

Launching Gig Buddies in Bognor

And here’s Victoria’s review of the launch night

Gig Buddies in a Box – What’s in the box?

How we launched Gig Buddies as a social franchise 

and the pitfalls of getting copied.

Finding out what’s happening at club nights

We asked if you run nights for people with learning disabilities to find out what’s going on around the UK.

Here’s what we found out.

Recruiting staff

We don’t often hire new staff but when we do we challenge ourselves to make sure that the people with learning disabilities that we work with are fully involved in choosing them. This is what we tried this time.

Round-up 2017

Gig Buddies on Noise Reel

Some of our buddies were interviewed by Bmusic TV for their Noise Reel feature alongside the awesome C Duncan and AK/DK

Chester Voluntary Action

We loved this podcast by Chester Voluntary Action and it got us in to working more with them in developing the Stay Up Late campaign in their part of the country.

Thank you to our community fundraisers

As ever we were grateful to Karen and Jade who ran for us in the Brighton Marathon:

Find out more about them here:

Karen and Jade

and also to Pete Thomas who donated funds from his book ‘Taming The Saxophone’ to support Gig Buddies.

(hats off too to our office volunteer Chris who organised a bike ride from Bognor to Brighton).

Paul at TEDx Brighton

Paul was thrilled to be asked to speak at TEDx Brighton, an experience he describes as one of the most frightening and uplifting experiences of his life as he spoke to 1300 people in the Brighton Dome.


Meet The Wild Rainbows

This is about our new advisory group for participants who identify as LGBTQ+

and them marching in Brighton Pride

Round-up 2017

Campaigning resources

As part of developing our on-going campaigning work here’s some resources we created.

The Heavy Load ‘re-union’

What was going to be a re-union turned in to something else thanks to some chaotic diary management by Jim’s manager. We weren’t at all happy and it got us thinking about the wider issues around this sort of behaviour for people who need support to help organise their social lives.

Here’s why.

Round-up 2017

The Heavy Load single

Never-the-less there will be some brand new Heavy Load tunes released in the new year – on limited edition 7inch vinyl too!

Rave On or Rave Off?

The BBC started putting out ‘good news’ stories about club nights and festivals for people with learning disabilities. Here’s why we actually think these stories could be bad news for people with learning disabilities in the long run.

Rave on or rave off?

Guest posts from other club nights

We wanted to hear what is going on in clubs around the UK. Here’s some guest posts:

Get2Gether in Scotland 

Hannah’s in Devon 

Fusion in Leigh 

Bluebird in Crawley 

Nadine Dorries MP and disability hate speech

As an elected member of parliament Nadine Dorries should know better than to use disgusting disability hate speech on Twitter. We called on her to apologise, she did, reluctantly, and eventually!

No Bed Times – a DJ’s perspective

DJ Chris Love made a short film to talk about his frustration at people having to leave club nights early.

round-up 2017

Three heroes called Andrew and why we love them

This article is saying thank you to three people called Andrew who have all supported our work in their own different ways.

Heavy Load movie – Top 5 of 21st Century

This one truly blew our socks off. Heavy Load, the movie that helped us launch the Stay Up Late campaign gets rated by top film critic, Mark Kermode, as one of his top 5 rockumentaries of the 21st century!!

“Heavy Load is a really great documentary about a band called Heavy Load and the Stay Up Late campaign and how they manage to overcome obstacles to get their music out. I thought it was so uplifting and so moving. It was a thrilling watch.”

Mark Kermode

Digital inclusion is not real inclusion

In this article we reflected on a workshop we ran at BILD’s annual conference in Birmingham, looking at how support workers roles should be to enable people with learning disabilities to create stronger links with other people in their communities.

Digital Inclusion is not real inclusion.

Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more of this sort of thing over the coming year.


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