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Stay Up Late

Lead service provider/commissioner


Stay Up Late

Type of knowledge

Type of knowledge:

Project description only

Prevention service description

Heavy Load relished in a successful fifteen years of fame and chaos, spreading joy around the UK with their five band members. Its members met at Southdown Housing in 1997, a non-profit supported housing provider for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities, and were a mix of service users and staff. After the bands retirement, Stay Up Late Director Paul Richards furthered the campaign and gained charity status in 2011. Based across three Sussex local governments, Stay Up Late run Gig Buddies which aims to help adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to overcome barriers to getting out in the evenings.

Gig Buddies aim is to expand peoples informal support networks, so less reliant on statutory support, and most importantly reducing social isolation. The project marries up adults with learning disabilities and/or autism skills, talents and aspirations with their community, through a voluntary befriending model. The idea is to create on-going friendships and widen peoples’ informal support networks through a shared passion. Over the years there has been 80+ buddies paired up, and currently there are forty eight people which have been matched to their volunteer for over nine months, suggesting long term, sustainable support.

Intervention/service type:

Befriending, mentoring and peer support; Community services; Low-level support; Carers support; Community capacity building

Target client group(s):

Adults with long-term health conditions; Adults with learning disabilities

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