Reach for the Stars is a social enterprise that runs monthly club nights called 'Under the Stars' for adults with learning disabilities across South Yorkshire. The club nights were set up in 2007 in response to calls from people with learning disabilities for more fun, safe and inclusive nights out. The nights attract up to 600 people a time and they will be celebrating their 5th birthday in April 2012.
'Special' 'Happy' and 'Wanted' are some of the comments from those that attend these club nights, which are organised and run by people with learning disabilities for people with learning disabilities. The nights support people to grow in confidence and independence with one clubber commenting; "It has helped me with my confidence and helped me meet people". Whilst another regular added; "When I first came to the night club I was really quiet, now people can't get a word in edgeways, sideways or anyways!"
As well as creating a safe and fun environment for people to socialise with their friends and meet new people, ‘Under the Stars’ club nights help people to develop skills whilst working in promotional, entertainment and organisational roles. Volunteers DJ, sell T-shirts and tickets and are the spokesmen and women during media interviews.
Leading learning disability and autism support provider Dimensions awarded 'Reach for the Stars' £1000, in recognition of their achievements; making a difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities.
As winners of the Erica Awards' group category 'Reach for the Stars' plan to take their activities one step further, organising a talent search throughout South Yorkshire for people with learning disabilities and people with autism, aptly named ‘The Star Factor’.
Chair of the Judges, Steve Scown, Dimensions Chief executive said: “Reach 4 the Stars helps people with learning disabilities to develop their independence, use public transport, volunteer and perform, not to mention providing a safe environment for people to go out, dance, drink and have fun. The group impressed us with their ideas and the effort that had already gone into making these ideas a reality. I can’t wait to see the stars that are born from the Star Factor!”