Zoom! Stay Up Late Ambassadors are go!
Stay Up Late Ambassadors: catching up online and planning for the future
by Darren Johnson – Stay Up Late Campaigns Co-ordinator
In the aftermath of the Government’s lockdown rules being announced our campaigning at Stay Up Late took something of a back seat. As a charity we concentrated on keeping in touch with our Gig Buddies participants and ensuring they were not completely socially isolated, even when all the pubs and bars are closed. We also got on with setting up our Coronavirus online festival as a way of people being able to continue coming together to enjoy live music. We knew lockdown could hit many people with learning disabilities especially hard and it was important for us to adapt.
However, with our Stay Up Late Ambassadors itching to stay in touch with one another and sharing with us all sorts of creative and wonderfully positive ways in which they are occupying their time, now seemed like a good time to start bringing our brilliant team of Ambassadors together again.
We have just held our first Ambassadors Zoom meeting, bringing together over a dozen Stay Up Late campaigners from across the UK. For the first one we kept it nice and informal: a catch-up to see how everyone was coping and a chance to share some of the amazing things that people had been up to.
William told us about his blogging. Amber told us how she was still carrying on with her radio show by recording pieces at home. Simon filled us in on his amazing achievement of walking the equivalent of a marathon for charity – in his own flat! Phil showed us some of his Lego creations. Dan told us about his tapestries. Emily showed off her needlework. Fiifi showed us the Stay Up Late posters he’d designed. Andrew showed us some of his artwork (below).
The first meeting was a lot of fun. Our Ambassadors might be spread out across the UK but genuine friendships have been made over the past year and it was a joy for us all to see one another again. It was also a great reassurance for all of us taking part to see everyone keeping safe and well. The question, though, was would our Ambassadors like these meetings to become a regular thing and do we want to start thinking about future plans for campaigning. The answer to both of those questions was a resounding yes.
So from now on we’re going to be having fortnightly Ambassadors’ Zoom meetings. And given what a fun, easy and worthwhile way of bringing together campaigners from across the country this is, we’re pretty sure it’s something we’ll continue doing well beyond the lockdown period. Watch this space!
Stay Up Late Ambassadors in pre-lockdown times