Fight for our right to party

Social isolation is common for people with learning disabilities and people have fewer opportunities to meet new and existing friends. A shockingly high percentage, 34%, only see their friends once a year (mencap).

Far too often people with learning disabilities are unable to enjoy a full social life as they have limited access to information about where people their age socialise, or they are told that there aren’t staff available to support them out late.

Frequently people have to leave events due to inflexible staff rotas. And what does this social event look like? It’s usually held in a council hall with kids artwork on the walls, finishes at 8pm and the only fizz on offer is ‘pop’.

Big Life Events wants to see something completely different

Big Life Events is part of BL Adventure, a subsidiary company of Peak15, an innovative Social Care organisation based in Surrey. The Big Life products and services seek to revolutionise life opportunities and experiences for people with learning disabilities and to create true equality between people with learning disabilities and other citizens. Managing Director, Alexis Ali, says,

“At Big Life Events we want to raise expectations about what people can achieve by adopting a no limits philosophy. We aim to influence and energise people to be imaginative, adventurous, and experimental with their lives. Clubbing, relationships, staying up late, partying – they are all things that we take for granted and it should be no different for adults with learning disabilities. They have the right to party just like everyone else and Big Life Events advocates strongly for that.”

Get ready to Go Big or Go Home

Frustrated at the lack of events available locally and determined to offer up an authentic experience, the ‘Go Big or Go Home’ club night was born. Alexis searched for a venue but found it surprisingly hard,

“Often we didn’t hear back from venues like nightclubs and there was no information online as to whether they had disabled access and toilets.”

But eventually, the Redz Bar in Crawley came up trumps, and the club night has been booked in for Friday 3rd September. Alexis is excited about the concept,

“Our event will end late, have a licensed bar and professional DJ’s. Although the venue isn’t a night club, we want to bring a night club experience. There will be a glitter’n’glam stall, a photo booth and a light-it-up stall where people can purchase light-up clubbing items. People will be encouraged to stay until the end and with the minimum of support.”

Alexis hopes this will become a regular event and Big Life Events are supporting the #stayuplate and #nobedtime campaigns which fight for peoples right to party and a change to how people with learning disabilities are supported. Alexis says,

“Too often people with learning disabilities are just supported to stay alive (medication, health and safety etc) and although this is of course really important, we also think people should be supported to live and this includes staying out late and partying with your mates!”

For further information on the event or to reserve a ticket, people can get in touch with Alexis on 07712 672661.