Charity Stay Up Late’s gig in Hastings centre on Sunday

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A charity that matches up adults with a learning disability to a volunteer to go to gigs together will be taking over Hastings town centre on Sunday (August 23) with a busking campaign, to recruit volunteers to its Gig Buddies project.

Stay Up Late is a Sussex-based charity which started as a national campaign to ensure that people with a learning disability receive the practical support they need to enjoy a full and active social life.

The charity’s main project, Gig Buddies, links adults with a learning disability to volunteers with a similar interest in music or other events to go out together.

The project helps to combat social isolation by enabling people with a learning disability to build friendships within their communities and make choices about how they live their lives.

Stay Up Late is hoping to attract some new volunteers through its busking campaign on Sunday between 12.30pm to 2.30pm.

There will be groups of musicians both with and without learning disabilities, and as they play a few songs, Stay Up Late staff and volunteers will be talking to members of the public, discussing how Hastings residents can get involved in the Gig Buddies project.

The current line-up includes local band Delta, and Paul Richards, guitarist from the successful punk band Heavy Load, who co-founded the charity and acts as director.

Paul said: “The charity was set up as a response to seeing people with learning disabilities being denied the sort of social opportunities that many of us take for granted…we’re keen for many more people to benefit.”

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