Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15, what are our next big ideas?

  •  PaulR
  •  25/11/2015
  •  News

Punk AGM #2

Last year we held our first ‘Punk AGM’ – we thought it went so well we’d do it again, and this time loads more people turned up. As a new charity we’re really keen to make the most of our charity Annual General Meeting and this is the second year running of us opening it up to anyone who wants to come, so we can use their ideas to develop our work.

Read more about it here…

(Click on the picture below to access the easy read AGM notes)

The Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15

At our Punk AGM this year we asked the question:

The Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15

What can we do to help the 1.4 million people with learning disabilities in the UK have more friendships, more fun and feel more involved in their community?

We called it the #Punk AGM because it’s all about making it up on the day – using the true spirit of punk. Everyone who comes is encouraged to take part and dream up ideas for how we can develop our work. This year we had people with learning disabilities, parents, volunteers, trustees, staff, people from other organisations and friends of the charity (like the Brighton Centre), we didn’t get any local authority staff along but we’re working on that for next year!

In all 40 people came along and contributed by suggesting their ideas and leading mini-workshops to develop each idea.

Idea 1: Training for managers

Punk Idea No. 1 was: Getting managers of services to let staff stay on shift later to let people with disabilities stay up late!    The Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15

Getting managers to be aware of what Stay Up Late is!

Next steps:

  • Designing training packs for managers and staff
  • Get local authorities involved to help them understand what Stay Up Late is – and the outcomes for people
  • Local authorities also need to understand what Stay Up Late is
  • Talk to organisations like Southdown, commissioners, parents/carers, other service providers and Stay Up Late campaigners in other areas.
  • Deliver Stay Up Late training sessions

Who’s going to be involved?

Kate, Paul, Mads, Neil, Andrew

Idea 2: Planning something fun with me

Punk Idea No. 2 was to help Emilia to plan something fun.

To have a session in a pub with karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays. (There’s a pub near Tescos in Eastbourne and Buskers on a Thursday).

Could also have a session making Christmas cards to save money and have fun together.

Next steps:

  • Organise an event in Eastbourne or Brighton so we can meet new people.
  • Organise a Christmas card making event.

Who’s going to be involved?

Gig Buddies, Stay Up Late and maybe other charities plus volunteers.

Idea 3: Pop-up parties

Punk Idea No. 3 was to get different organisations take it in turns to host events in their community for people with learning disabilities.The Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15

Next steps:

Organise pop-up parties and Gig Buddies invites organisations to host nights like dinner parties, live gigs, discos and cabarets.

We support and educate them to make it accessible – help people with learning disabilities to access more mainstream events.

Who’s going to be involved?

Local authorities, venues, promoters, social services and volunteers.

Universities, colleges – students.

Claire, Bernie and Andrew would like to be involved.

Idea 4: Gig Buddies beer cans

Punk Idea No. 4 was: Gig Buddies beer cans – building on the ‘Buddies Beer’ brewed by North Laine for today.

Maybe ask Bison, Laines, 3 Oaks?

The cans would have details about Gig Buddies on and a QR code that links to a video about the project.

Idea for PR:The Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15

Picture of ‘Jane’ which says:

‘Jane wont get to drink this at the pub. She hasn’t got a local friend to support her to get there’.

Picture of ‘John’ which says:

‘John will be drinking this at home because he hasn’t got anyone to go out with’

Stats about x% of people living in social isolation.

Would be a way of generating income and awareness.

Could distribute through HiSBE?

Idea 5: Holiday Buddies

Punk Idea No. 5 was supporting people to go away for short breaks/weekends and holidays. For example inter-railing and clubbing holidays to Ibiza, Magaluf, Zante, Malia.

The Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15Next steps

Have more advanced thoughts – research and planning to work out the costs and work out the best time of year to go.

Idea 6: Change opinions about people with learning disabilities

Punk Idea No. 6 was getting people to meet more disabled people to bust preconceptions and give disabled people more opportunities.

Next steps

Research the internet – find out who’s done this before

Who’s going to be involved?

Sedley – Club Soda

Idea 7: Feeling safe in the cityThe Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15

Punk Idea No. 17 was for Gig Buddies to be involved in combating more hate and mate crime and enable people with learning disabilities to feel safe in the city and also widening the community of people involved.

Early signs – have some focus – move away from the shock factor and to real case studies of the ‘early signs’

Why do we not address it?

Constrictions of images – hidden disability

Educate – identify mate crime – look for signs

Educate the teachers/workers – 8-9 years up.

Educate everyone responsible.

Campaign about mate crime which is still not against the law – it’s not seen as a disability hate crime.

Next steps

In 12 months time (Oct 2016) Stay Up Late to be jointly working with 3 key organisations eg Police, MASH, Victim Support, LGBT Forum, Educators

Collecting case studies

‘Empowered’ to say NO! – we are all responsible

Who involved?


Victim support

LGBT forum for people with learning disabilities

Educators – 8-9 years +

Gig Buddy volunteers as people who can look out for warning signs

Idea 8: Being a friendly city
The Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15

Punk Idea No. 18 was was from Rebecca from the Brighton Centre, which was working out how to be more welcoming and friendly to people with learning disabilities.

Be part of working with tourist boards.

Loads of ideas about how to make things accessible

Present this info to organisations in the city.

Next steps

The journey from deciding to go to getting home:

  • journey
  • tickets
  • website
  • leaflets
  • other such as ticket websites

Complaint letters – so venues learn then things will change

Who involved?

Staff disability training and be involved in asking questions

Idea 9: Football match and music festival

Punk Idea No. 9 was a Lewes FC music festival

A 3pm football match

DJs from Kiss My Disco, Blue Camel, Stay Up Late

Chris Difford from Squeeze

Adam/Julia Wolecki


Next steps

Set up a committee

Hold it on 7th May

Book the venue

Who’s involved?

BBC, Sussex FA, Harveys, FA, Vines, Heart FM, East Sussex County Council


Ed Harcourt

Blue Camel

Heavy Load/ Fish Police

Idea 10: Dinner BuddiesThe Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15

Punk Idea No. 10 was Dinner buddies

Have a budget on food to spend.

Everyone brings a dish – starter, main and think about diet needs

Theme the nights

Get the Real Junk food project involved?

Different cuisines

Watch entertainment and eat

There’s a prize at the end

There’s a list of people involved – change the host – one a month

Next steps

A helper to organise the evening with dates and the time

Speak to the junk food project (Real Junk Food Project)

Gig Buddies/Stay Up Late – gig tickets (One Inch Badge)

Who’s involved?

Junk food project

Stay Up Late/Gig Buddies

Chris Rider

David Briggs

Sedley Wilson

Idea 11: Getting schools involved

Punk Idea No. 11 was getting schools involved. Linking it with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

A session on Gig BuddiesThe Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15

Get a training pack for colleges and universities

Reduce bullying with autism and learning disabilities

Next steps

Go to freshers fair

Getting in to local colleges and BIMM

Getting a project involved around Gig Buddies in secondary schools

Senior schools linking up with student union to get gig tickets and make sure they are easy to access.

Who’s involved?

“I would like to get involved with giving a talk about this subject” – Chris Rider

Karen – at schools

Chris Love


Idea 12: Reaching more people

Punk Idea No. 12 was to reach out to people who could find it harder to join Gig Buddies so they can find out about it.

What’s the problem?

  • It relies on goodwill of staff to pass information on
  • Some people aren’t networked in to services at all
  • If people have more communication difficulties they may get missed
  • It’s so easy to miss certain people
  • Getting good messages to carers and participants that it’s not risky

What’s the solution

  • Shifting from care and support providers to the general community
  • Creating a happy plan
  • Linking with parent and carers groups
  • Get films of carers talking about how it’s affected them
  • Think about how we market it ‘Do you love?’
  • Find out where people hang out

Next steps

Doing a focus group with carers and a support worker

  • What appeals to them?
  • What would reassure them?

Who’s involved?

Anyone who’d like to be but especially YOU!

Idea 13: Building relationships

Punk Idea No. 13 was developing the relationships between buddies

What’s the problem?The Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15

It’s hard to find time and people are busy.

Relationships need time to develop.

The distances people live

Lack of confidence

Communication barriers

Gig Buddies moving away


Not listening

100s of care workers changing shifts and not communicating what’s going on well enough.

What are Gig Buddies trying at the moment?

It’s good what Gig Buddies does already to support relationships. Things that could continue to develop are:

  • 2x monthly meetings
  • Bi-monthly phone calls
  • Record sheets from Gig Buddy volunteers
  • Supervisions every 6 months.
  • Give info of what you do to carers/support workers for them to know that it is safe – people are supervised

What’s the next step?

  • Could ask parents and carers if things get a bit stuck. Could they help shed some light on how to improve things?

Idea 14: Getting people politicalThe Punk AGM – 24th Oct ‘15

Punk Idea No. 14 was finding ways to influence politicians – local and national – around the issues facing people with learning disabilities due to government cuts.

What’s the next step?

  • Thinking about how could we create a ‘union’ of support workers – a national network of people communicating and learning from each other?
  • Link in with the Housing and Support Alliance – now known as Learning Disability England. They’re working on changing national policy.
  • Get some celebrity backing.
  • Being represented at local consultations (eg East Sussex County Council)
  • Telling human stories about the impact on real people’s well-being
  • Offering Gig Buddies as a solution
  • Speaking the language of commissioners and councillors but also of local people.
  • Create film stories about the impact on individuals’ lives.

Who’s involved?

Sally, Daniel, Simon, Rami, Paul, Aldingbourne Trust (Sue), John, Karen, Kittie

Idea 15 Education, education, education… At earliest opportunities

Punk Idea No. 15: Stay Up Late and Gig Buddies are already active at Universities with regards to recruitment… but has a wider ‘awareness’ campaign been considered for schools or sixth form colleges?

Targeting younger people to make them aware of the 1.4m people with learning difficulties – and the problems they may face in leading active social lives. Educating and changing perceptions for the younger generation could be hugely beneficial in the longer term.

What’s the next step?

Contact local schools & colleges to arrange visits / talks

Is it possible for Stay Up Late to arrange school/college visits where they can present to younger people. I think a ‘fun’ presentation involving music, videos, games, etc. could potentially open younger minds to Stay Up Late’s philosophy that people with learning disabilities have exactly the same rights as anyone else to stay up late and be welcome everywhere they choose to go.

Buddying to start at schools.

Idea 16 Gig Buddy-friendly venues

Punk Idea No. 16: We know that certain artists/venues/promoters are not only aware of Stay Up Late and Gig Buddies but are actively supportive (The Hope & Ruin/One Inch Badge/Love Thy Neighbour/Atom Promotions, Brighton Centre etc.) – however, wouldn’t it be great if VENUES displayed their SUPPORT with PRIDE to the GENERAL PUBLIC?

A lot of product packaging display ‘Environmentally-friendly’ logos, LGBT-friendly pubs in proudly display rainbow flags … why not have a “Gig Buddy-Friendly”/”Live Music For Everyone” poster or window-decal for venues to display?!

What’s the next step?

A CAMPAIGN IN CONJUNCTION WITH ‘ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING’? I realise that Attitude Is Everything have a venue CHARTER for venues, though there only appears to be 2 Brighton venues on it (Dome and Centre) … Linking up with AIE… How about targeting EVERY live music venue in Sussex?! Get them ALL proudly displaying their support… If every venue actively show its support wouldn’t that send a great message to the gig-going masses?!

Idea 17 – Finding out what people really want to do

Punk Idea No. 17 was asking all people with learning disabilities about what they would love to do/feel they are excluded from/excites them.

Create a list of possible activities and ask them what they would be interested in, note down responses

Suggestions for the list:

  • Group trips? To theme parks, museums, boat trips, theatre events etc
  • Restaurant visits? and/or preparing simple recipes together and then eating together
  • Sports days, in fancy dress?
  • Parties to celebrate annual events like Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas/Winter Solstice
  • Hire a venue/hall and have demonstrations from musicians/dancers, interactive
  • Visits/exchanges with other areas around the country or in Europe
  • Back stage visits to concerts/theatres/stadia/tv recordings to see how everything comes together before watching a performance.
  • Contact and visit TV shows like ‘The One Show’ or ‘Good Morning, Britain’ to raise Stay Up Late’s/Gig Buddies’ profile.
  • Try to establish support from celebrities, like Jools Holland, Zoe Ball, Chris Evans, Graham Norton…


It was amazing to see so many ideas come up and now the way forward is for us, as a charity, to decide which ones we can take forward, which ones fit with our existing work, which ones may be a brand new project and which ones may be really good but were just not the right people to work on them right now.

We’re only a small charity so have to think carefully about what work we’re going to do so it can support the most amount of people.

Thinking back to the question at the start that’s only 1.4 million people! So now it’s down to the trustees, the Storm and Thunder Team and the staff team to start making something happen.

I’d also like to say a special thank you to our trustee Max, and his little boy Dillon (who did a short presentation on volcanoes) – Max facilitated the afternoon wonderfully and I really can’t imagine wanting to run our AGM any other way.

Thank you to everyone who attended and keep an eye on the website, Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Keep it PUNK!!!



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