DJ pals team up for online rave to raise cash for Johnstone autism group

Four DJs teamed up for an online festival to get people all over Renfrewshire dancing in their living rooms to raise cash for an autism centre.

Pals Craig Roberts, Charles Docherty, Paul Toogood and Campbell Whyte got together to host the Facebook Live event, which saw thousands of people all over the area tune in to help raise money for Always Included.

The charity is currently working to build a centre in Johnstone’s Walkinshaw Street for youngsters in the area with autism.

Charles – who is known as DJ Cha Cha – enlisted the help of his fellow music pals to put together Dance for Autism.

With the help of dance school owner Gillian Whyte, the group had somewhere to host their event and spent hours belting out different rave tunes to people listening from home.

The online rave proved such a hit, that more than £2,000 was raised to help buy equipment for the centre, which hopes to provide groups and activities for children with autism and their families.

Ashleigh Spiers McSwegan, who is the treasurer of Always Included, was blown away by the response to the event.

She said: “The guys were fantastic. I couldn’t believe how well it all went.

“Everyone absolutely loved it and we can’t believe they have managed to raise what they have for us.

“It’s so nice as these guys all have jobs and they gave up their time to do this for us so we are really appreciative.”

Ashleigh originally got in touch with Charles, who is from Renfrew, to help promote another event that is being held to raise money for the centre – and he quickly wanted to get involved too.

Ashleigh’s husband Benny and six of his friends will be to completing the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge next month.

They will take on the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales – totalling almost 11,000ft – in just 24 hours.

Their efforts have also raised more than £2,000 for the Always Included centre, which is the first of its kind in the area.

Ashley added: “We thought about contacting Charles as he has thousands of followers and we wondered if he could help promote our fundraising.

“Before we knew it he had got back to us and got some of his friends involved and was talking about doing Dance for Autism.

“He was amazing and really wanted to be involved. It all happened so fast and before we knew it there was a whole event organised.”

Charles, who is also auctioning off a bear to raise cash for the centre, added: “I have known the guys who are involved with the centre for years and when they got in touch I just thought it would be nice to help them raise some money.

“We set up the page thinking we could maybe raise £500 as it would have been money that they didn’t have in the first place and we ended up with over £2,000.

“It was great fun and we had a good time while we were doing it.”

You can still donate to the Dance for Autism event at

Daily Record – Paisley