Stay Up Late Ambassadors: Shannara’s story

Shannara Woodward is a Stay Up Late Ambassador and has been part of Gig Buddies in Sussex since 2017. We caught up with Shannara to talk about coping with lockdown, the #NoBedtimes campaign and what he’ll be doing with his gig buddy, Steve, when places reopen.

Shannara’s story

Coping with lockdown

Shannara started off by telling us what his experience of lockdown has been like over the past year and how he found ways of coping:

“At the beginning it was getting stressful and then when I started watching things on YouTube and X-box all the stress went away.”


Isolation proved a bit of a challenge at one point:

“I had to isolate myself for a while and then I had to wait six days to be cleared ready to move to my new place – and it was bloody annoying. I didn’t want to stay in my room I wanted to get out.”

Masks and lanyards

Wearing a mask proved another source of stress for Shannara:

“If you’re wearing the mask it’s like it’s suffocating you. Now I’ve got this sunflower lanyard I can go to shops and don’t need to wear a mask at all. If you go in and you show the lanyard they’ll let you in.”

Travel support

Shannara is clear that when things start opening up again he’ll need some support to get to places after not travelling independently for over a year.

“I’d need someone to come over and help me with the travelling back and forth for the first couple of trips.”

The #NoBedtimes campaign

Shannara is a keen supporter of Stay Up Late’s #NoBedtimes campaign:

“I started campaigning before the lockdown and I want councils around the UK to listen to us and get involved. Once a council finds out about it and they start work then it’s like a domino effect.”

Shannara (second left) at a Stay Up Late campaign workshop

As lockdown eases and places start re-opening Shannara is keen that the message behind Stay Up Late’s #NoBedtimes campaign gets out there and no-one is prevented from enjoying a late night out on account of having a learning disability:

“Let’s fire the ball. Let’s rock and roll. Let’s get the campaign going.”


Shannara has his sights set on a Stay Up Late campaign in Canada, too:

“I’d like to go over to Canada and help set up a Stay Up Late in Canada. Go over to Canada in a couple of years time after we’ve got everything built up in the UK first.”

Being open about mental health

Being able to talk about your mental health is important to Shannara and the recent Harry and Meghan documentary made him quite upset:

“She is like me. I’ve got mental health issues. I go through similar feelings to what she was thinking of. People need support.”

Life after lockdown

Finally, Shannara shares with us his plans for when lockdown ends:

Me and Steve said we’ll go for the full works – like lunch, dinner, the whole day. Have a double birthday, Christmas, everything when we meet up. Get ready to rock and roll. That’s my motto and it’s still my mantra.”

You can read more about our Stay Up Late Ambassadors here



Copyright © 2021 Stay Up Late. | Web Strategy and Design by