When Peter Drury was denied entry to a nightclub for being “too drunk”, he was left in tears.
The 21-year-old’s sister claimed he was turned away by a bouncer at The Empire in Middlesbrough in August due to a learning disability.
Abigail Drury complained of a lack of understanding about people who have disabilities, claiming Peter “has spent 21 years of his life being judged and discriminated against”.
But instead of dwelling on the incident, his family – with the help of former Benidorm bar boss Michael Harvey – have decided to turn it into a positive.
They have launched a new awareness campaign called ‘Don’t Dis Our Ability’ – which aims to educate people about disabilities and learning difficulties, and help stop discrimination.
They launch the campaign with a fundraising band night for “music fanatic” Peter at The Normanby pub in Normanby, on Saturday.
Michael said: “The whole thing is more about integration than anything else.
“I’ve worked in pubs and bars, and I know it’s a difficult job, but what happened to Peter just shouldn’t happen.
“When I saw his story it really stuck with me and I wanted to get involved.
“Everybody should be treated the same, no matter what.”
Funds from the £5 a ticket night will go to My Place, the Middlesbrough charity where Michael has started volunteering.
Abigail told Teesside Live in August: “As we were gaining entry a doorman shoved my brother to the side telling him he wasn’t allowed in because he was too drunk.
“I immediately went over to kindly inform him that he was not drunk and presents the way he does due to him having a learning disability.
But she claimed the bouncer did not listen, and then she and her party were also asked to leave.
The Empire, in a statement, apologised “unreservedly” following the incident and said it was saddened to hear of the report.
“We take any issues of this kind incredibly seriously and have launched a full investigation,” it said.
“As part of this, we will be sitting down with our external security team to get to the bottom of exactly what happened and work out a way to ensure that we have the best policies going forward.
“We are very disappointed that Peter hasn’t had the night he was looking forward to on Friday and apologise unreservedly for any distress this has caused him.”