New club night for disabled people

Lyndsay, Steve and Alistair with event poster. Picture: Greg Macvean
Lyndsay, Steve and Alistair with event poster. Picture: Greg Macvean
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A CLUB night giving disabled people the chance to enjoy the thrill of clubbing is about to take off in the Capital.

The event has been set up to help young people with disabilities or conditions such as epilepsy or anxiety, who can often find nightclubs difficult to access and navigate.

The founders, Alistair Stewart, 20, Lyndsay Forrest, 21, and Steve Phair, 22. All three have been in care and use Horizons, a scheme run by Places for People Scotland Care & Support, which supports vulnerable young people who might struggle to find accommodation and employment.

“There’s nothing out there like this, a club night for ­everyone,” said Lyndsay. “We’re trying to make a safe area and environment for ­everyone to come to.”

The night will make full use of Electric Circus, with different rooms including a chill-out room, a karaoke room, and a space to play Wii for anyone that feels they have to move away from the main dance floor. No strobe lighting will be used, and there will be extra staff on hand, many of whom will be service users or charity workers themselves. “We’re going to cater for everybody’s needs individually,” Steve added. “No matter what background you have, no matter if you’ve got learning difficulties or disabilities, you’re free to come in and enjoy yourself just the same as everybody else.

“You’ll know you’re going to be looked after as well, it’s our priority to make sure ­everybody has a good night and wants to come back.” Over the last four months, the group has put hours of their spare time into developing the idea for the club night, writing a business plan, designing and printing merchandising material, and organising advertising and promotion.

They hope to see the crowd fill the capacity of 250 on the night, where they will also be working as stewards and say that the organisational, teamwork, and business skills they have acquired and developed throughout this process have given them the confidence to try and enter the job market.

“Trying to get a job as a care leaver is hard,” Alistair said.

“It’s hard as a young person, but even harder as a care leaver.

“This will go on my CV and by doing it I’m saying, I am capable of doing this work. I’m not what you think I am.”

So what’s their dream for the night? “I want to see a full house, with everyone enjoying themselves, away from the normal nightclub scene where it’s fights and arguments,” said Steve.

And Alistair admitted he could be moved to tears if the event was a success. I want to see groups coming together and meeting new friends.

“If I see this night succeed, I’ll probably cry. For us, it means so much.

“People have judged us for what we are, being in care, but if we can prove to everyone we can do this, it will break down stereotypes and barriers.”

The event is being held from 8pm-1am at Electric Circus this Sunday, 30 June.