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Stay Up Late

Author: Paul Richards

Promoting full and active social lives for people with learning disabilities.

Stay Up Late is a charity that was started by the punk band Heavy Load. They were made up of musicians with and without learning disabilities and they were frustrated at seeing people leave their gigs early due to support staff working inflexible shifts. They started a campaign called Stay Up Late which was featured in the movie about them (Heavy Load – a film about happiness).

What we believe in

We believe it is important to have an active social life. 

And whilst we’re called Stay Up Late we don’t actually care what time people go to bed – but we do think that people with learning disabilities should be able to make this choice, and be in control of making other choices about the way they lead their life.

What we do

  • Campaigning - getting support providers and staff to think about how they can work in more flexible and facilitative ways
  • Enabling people with learning disabilities to understand their rights through advocacy workshops
  • Running our Gig Buddies volunteer service
  • Inspiring people about the role people with learning disabilities can play when given the chance through projects such as Wild Things – showcasing music from around the world by people with learning disabilities
  • Running events such as Kiss My Disco (a collaboration with Freshtrack DJ workshops)

How we operate

We’re a very small charity with a very big mission, to change the way people with learning disabilities live in the UK. We are funded through grants and donations from our generous supporters.

For more information email: Paul Richards, Director, Stay Up Late or visit the Stay Up Late website.


The publisher is The Centre for Welfare Reform.

Stay Up Late © Paul Richards 2014.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.