Fiifi Tetteh became an Ambassador for Stay Up Late after giving a moving speech at our (un)Ordinary conference last year. Thinking about what he wanted to do to bring people together and help people with learning disabilities stay up late and have fun, Fiifi hit upon the idea of having pool knock-out nights at Frames Sports Bar in Croydon. Janine Hyland, Service Manager at Achieve together, and Fiifi update us on what a great success these nights have been.
Fiifi has organised four separate ‘Stay up Late’ nights each month leading up to December 2019. We are now in the planning stage to hold an event every month throughout 2020. Fiifi has managed to attract other local services and external organisations to these events, together with individuals living at home with their relatives.
Every month the event has attracted more and more people. This campaign is now advertised across the Borough of Croydon in their leisure link magazine. To see people networking, making friends and having fun is truly amazing!
Some services started out reluctant to get involved, perhaps avoiding the concept of having to change shift patterns for staff. But with the support and influence of our senior management team we are starting to overcome this.
We now plan to advocate to have a ‘Stay Up Late’ champion in as many services as we can, so that we can spread the news of these events further and further.
We are also planning to link up with local schools, colleges and other organisations who support people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs to increase the interest and involvement in these events.
So, for me, Stay Up Late – No Bedtimes is a massive hit!
As a service, we won a first-place company award for excellence in social inclusion. In addition, Fiifi and his Campaign for Change group won a National award for Leaders in Learning Disability & Autism 2019 and enjoyed a day out to Birmingham in recognition of this award.
Fiifi tells us, “I like organising events so that people can come along, have a chat, socialise, get to know each other, and have fun.”
So watch this space…