Stay Up Late

Gig Buddies - fighting for the right to party!

We support socially isolated people with learning disabilities and/or autism to be active in their communities by matching them with a volunteer who loves the same cultural activity. The aim being to reduce loneliness and develop sustainable friendships based around a share passion.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 12:00 PM, 3 December 2019 to 12:00 PM, 10 December 2019

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1145040)

Check mark Match funded

Campaign target


Amount raised




Championed by The Reed Foundation


  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing
  • Human Rights/AdvocacyHuman Rights/Advocacy


  • People With DisabilitiesPeople With Disabilities
  • OtherOther


United Kingdom


Loneliness is a huge issue facing people with learning disabilities and autistic people in the UK. Pressures on social care budgets mean that social activities are not generally seen as as ‘essential’ support. However, the long-term impact of loneliness is known to be greater than that of smoking or obesity. Additionally they face challenges to being active in their communities due to communication needs, worrying about keeping safe and practicalities such as transport and knowing what's on.


We match socially isolated people with learning disabilities and/or autism with a volunteer who shares the same cultural interests. All volunteers are vetted and trained, and have a full police check before being matched with their 'buddy'. The buddies then go out and enjoy mainstream events together as friends. The aim is to enable the person with a learning disability to develop their informal support networks and friendships as well as developing confidence in being part of their community.