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

Our People

Staff

Harri Oliver - Project Co-ordinator

Harri Oliver - Project Co-ordinator

Harri is the project assistant at Gig Buddies. She works mainly in East Sussex and aims to help all those who want to to Stay Up Late! She has previously provided one to one support for people with physical and learning disabilities. Harri studied Politics and Social Policy at Brighton University and is proud to be working for the Gig Buddies team.

Katie Windsor

Katie Windsor

Katie is the Gig Buddies coordinator for Brighton & Hove.
She has worked as a music facilitator with people for learning disabilities for around 8 years and also has lots of other experience working in the music industry and in arts organisations. She has a BSc in Psychology and an MA in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy, the latter for which her dissertation was about punk music and social movements, so feels rather fitting to now be working at Stay Up Late!

Victoria Smith - Quality Checker

Victoria Smith - Quality Checker

Victoria is a Quality Checker for Stay up Late, I help people with disabilities and talk to them, I have experience of working with Aldingbourne Trust working as an Ambassador. I have also studied at Chichester College for four years and I did IT level 1 and I did art and design level 1 also got entry 3 in English and Entry 2 in Maths. I have lived in supported living for three years now and I’ve loved it. I like to support people with learning disabilities and hope I can help.

Holly Bell - Administrator

Holly Bell - Administrator

Holly is the administrator for Stay Up Late, dealing with the day to day running of the charity and our Gig Buddies project.
She also runs her own business providing maths and English tuition for children from 4 – 16 year olds, as well as volunteering at a local animal shelter. Holly previously worked for the Travel Buddy Project at Grace Eyre, supporting adults with learning disabilities to travel safely in Brighton when using public transport.

Kate Ogden - Gig Buddies Project Worker

Kate Ogden - Gig Buddies Project Worker

Kate is the Project Manager for Gig Buddies. Kate has worked in the charity sector and as a personal assistant for young people with complex needs for 10 years & rocked out with one of them at the Stay Up Late launch night, so as a born & bred Brightonian is excited to be part of the team & continue the stay up late campaign!

Paul Richards - Director

Paul Richards - Director

Paul is the Director of Stay Up Late and one of the co-founders of the charity (having been the bass player in the punk band ‘Heavy Load’). He was also the National Co-Production Adviser for Think Local Act Personal. He has also worked for Southdown Housing Association as their Involvement Manager where he also helped develop their Q-Kit Quality Testing Tool. Before that he managed a group home for 4 adults with learning disabilities. He is married with 4 children, and has quite nerdish tendencies around local history and probably spends way too much money on buying records.

Trustees

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.

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!

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.

Neil Holmes - Chair

Neil Holmes - Chair

Neil is passionate about social enterprise and is involved in developing and running a number of social enterprises in Brighton. He is the chair of two Brighton based charities, alongside being a trustee of two other local charities. Neil offer’s business advice and coaching within the community and voluntary sector, and he also run’s a private counselling and supervision practice. He has many years experience in the areas of Mental Health and Learning Disability services, and he is passionate about
campaigning for great equality and justice in these fields.

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

Simon Hughes

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.