Grassroots charity promoting the right for people with learning disabilities to have a choice about how they live their lives

Our People

Staff

Kate Ogden - Gig Buddies Manager

Kate Ogden - Gig Buddies Manager

I manage the Gig Buddies project in Sussex and the network of Gig Buddies partner projects across the UK.

My dream gig would be Prince at The Hop Farm Festival.

Paul Richards - Director

Paul Richards - Director

I’m the director for the charity.

My dream gig would be an evening with Tom Waits in his local bar or ideally his shed.

Katie Windsor - Gig Buddies Coordinator, Brighton and Hove

Katie Windsor - Gig Buddies Coordinator, Brighton and Hove

I’m the Gig Buddies coordinator for Brighton & Hove.

My dream gig would be to see Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock.

Kittie Vicious - Office Manager & Quality Team Coordinator

Kittie Vicious - Office Manager & Quality Team Coordinator

I organise the office and day to day running of the charity. I also co-ordinate the quality checking team.

My dream gig would be to go to Live Aid, 1984.

Darren Johnson - Campaigns coordinator

Darren Johnson - Campaigns coordinator

I work on organising campaigns for Stay Up Late.

My dream gig would be Jimi Hendrix at the Isle of Wight Festival.

Malcolm Hill - Gig Buddies Coordinator, West Sussex

Malcolm Hill - Gig Buddies Coordinator, West Sussex

I’m the Gig Buddies coordinator for West Sussex.

My dream gig would be to have seen The Beatles in Hamburg.

Victoria Smith - Gig Buddies assistant

Victoria Smith - Gig Buddies assistant

I’m the Gig Buddies assistant and also do the quality checking on the Gig Buddies project.

My dream gig would be to see Demi Lovato in Los Angeles.

Holly Bell - Gig Buddies Franchise Coordinator

Holly Bell - Gig Buddies Franchise Coordinator

I’m the Gig Buddies Franchise Coordinator.

My dream gig would be Michael Jackson at Wembley on the ‘This Is It’ tour.

Jason O'Neill - Quality Checker

Jason O'Neill - Quality Checker

I work on the Quality Checking Team.

My dream gig would be Boyzone at the Brighton Centre.

Andrew Walker - Quality Checker

Andrew Walker - Quality Checker

I work on the Quality Checking Team.

My dream gig would be to have seen Wrestlemania 18, The Rock vs Hulk Hogan in Canada.

Rohan Lowe - Quality Checker

Rohan Lowe - Quality Checker

I’m a member of the Quality Checking Team.

My dream gig would be to see Kylie in Brighton.

Lucy Walker - Quality Checker

Lucy Walker - Quality Checker

I’m a member of the Quality Checking Team.

My dream gig would be The Osmonds at the London Palladium.

Trustees

Dr Chris Whitaker

Dr Chris Whitaker

Chris has worked in the disability field for a number of years, bringing experience of customer involvement, strategy and engaging with disabled people in a variety of ways. He also has geeky interest in governance and insight. His claim to fame is that he was once described as an ‘intellectual powerhouse’ on Women’s Hour, having a PhD in Law amongst his qualifications. He also used to be a sports agent for Paralympic athletes. Chris also has experience gained as a trustee of other organisations, including in the disability space. Musically, he has an eclectic taste but says indie is a
personal preference!

Chris Hatton

Chris Hatton

Chris is an academic at Lancaster University, and over the last 30 years or so has tried to do his bit towards achieving social justice with people with learning disabilities. He lives in Kendal in the Lake District, with his wife, two kids and two cats (Ben, Fi, Kat, Pringle and Summer, not necessarily in that order). Chris sings in a local choir, and wishes he’d kept up his middle school tuba lessons to be part of a punk brass section.

Rami Mansour

Rami Mansour

I work as a steward at the Brighton Centre and I live in Brighton.
I have a Gig Buddy called Hannah and I love going to the theatre and seeing musicals. I also like listening to world music.
I have also made an animation film for the Oska Brite Film Festival called ‘Rami’s News Night’.
I get involved in lots of groups around the city and I’ve also been an active self-advocate.
It’s good to be a trustee of Stay Up Late.

Berhana Wells

Berhana Wells

I have been a Gig Buddy for many years and I also have a lot of experience with children. This is because I have a lot of adopted brothers and sisters. This led me to getting a play work qualification.

Daniel Randall-Nason

Daniel Randall-Nason

Hello my name is Daniel Randall-Nason I have been a gig buddy for 2 years I have been to lots of places like the Hastings beer and music festival, karaoke and music gigs my favourite band is Dory the Wise.
I have worked in the mind charity shop in Bexhill for over two years on the till as a cashier.
I am a member of the Storm and Thunder Team

Daniel Sawyer - Treasurer

Daniel Sawyer - Treasurer

Dan is a Chartered Accountant who currently works for NIO Comm as the Head of Finance. He has over 10 years experience in accounting working mainly with SME but some larger organisations such as The Body Shop International.

Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts

Julia has a background of varied experience as an actor, singer and director, television production manager, arts manager and Mum! Since being in Brighton, Julia has worked as a Creative Agent for Creative Partnerships Sussex and Surrey and Live Arts Creative Producer for Carousel. Alongside several other projects, Julia is currently managing the Arts Connect programme in East Sussex, funded by East Sussex County Council, working creatively with learning disabled adults and professional artists.

Phil Perkins

Phil Perkins

Heads-up the experts by experience programme for Choice Support, supporting experts by experience with learning disabilities to undertake inspections with the Care Quality Commission. Previously the events organiser for Pavilion staging the annual Learning Disability Today national conferences and other events around learning disability and social care.
Phil is a musician and plays guitar, bass and violin.

Simon Hughes - Chair

Simon Hughes - Chair

Simon started work in mental heath charities remodelling services. He moved on to housing and other services for vulnerable people, with brief forays into Government to advise on policy and implementing changes to demand led service provision. He has been a Non-Executive Director in IT, as well as holding positions on the board of social landlords and digital companies.

Simon is a regular speaker and facilitator at national, regional and local events. He has appeared on national, local news and phone-ins . He is actively involved in digital media and has delivered training and talks on its use in delivering, and involving people in, public services. He is passionate about helping people engage with and build their own capacity to shape change.

Our Advisory Groups

The Wild Rainbows

The Wild Rainbows

We are the Wild Rainbows. We are a group of Gig Buddies who identify as either Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning or other. Our founding member was in the Storm and Thunder team and raised the point that sometimes the issues that LGBTQ+ adults with learning disabilities face can be different to those who aren’t LGBTQ+. This makes it really important to have a group where people can come together, safe in the knowledge that there won’t be any judgement as a result of their gender or sexuality.

We meet up every couple of months as a group and are similar to The Storm and Thunder team in the fact that we also advice, guide and inform Stay Up Late and the Gig Buddies project.

We like to hang out as a group and socialise. We have been to drag shows, The Lady Boys of Bangkok, LGBT history month events and lots more!

If you would like to join the group then you can, confidentially, get in contact with Harri or Kate on 01273 600438.

The Storm and Thunder Team

The Storm and Thunder Team

We are the Storm and Thunder team. We are participants of the Gig Buddies project, that have a learning disability. There are about 10 of us who meet monthly to advise, guide and inform Stay Up late and the Gig Buddies project.

It is really important for Stay Up Late to make sure that adults with learning disabilities are involved in every part of the charity. This is why the Storm and Thunder team was created when the Gig Buddies project started and remains a vital part of the project.

We, the Storm and Thunder Team, believe that there should be “Nothing about us, without us!” and so does Stay Up Late.

This means we do lots of things. For example, protests and awareness raising, writing easier to read safety guides, advising the team on policies, socials and the annual Christmas lunch!

We are always looking for people with new ideas. If you think you would like to join the Storm and Thunder team then please ring the office on 01273 600438.