Stay Up Late survey – what have we achieved in 10 years?

10 years ago this week saw the premiere of the movie ‘Heavy Load’ at SXSW Austin, Texas, probably the greatest music and film festival of them all! We’ve launched a new Stay Up Late survey to find out what difference it’s made.

Bearing in mind we launched Stay Up Late 2 years before the global economic crash and austerity we know things have got a lot tougher for people, but that there’s also been some amazing work going on too that has enabled real change to happen.

Many of you will know that the film told the story of the punk band that I played bass with and followed the lives of the different members. The lovely Simon, Jim, Michael and Mick – and looking back they were such fun times.

Heavy Load – One of film critic Mark Kermode’s Top 5 rockumentaries of the 21st century.

Watch Mark’s short piece about our movie, and other amazing music documentaries at the end of this article.

Stay Up Late survey

The film never asks a question like ‘what is it like to have a learning disability?’ but it does look a lot at the rigid systems that exist in social care that prevent people with learning disabilities from doing the ordinary stuff that many of us take for granted.

Such as having a pint or two with your mates, going to a gig and staying until the end, or being in control of when you decide you need to go to bed.

The movie effectively enabled us to launch the Stay Up Late campaign to a worldwide audience and led to us founding a charity and we then went on to starting the Gig Buddies project, which is now growing around the UK, and in Australia.

The Stay Up Late campaign

When we started Stay Up Late the message was pretty straight forward. ‘We want to Stay Up Late we want to have some fun.’

Supporters immediately got this accessible call to action and also got that this isn’t about going out late at all – it’s about determining how you live your own life, being treated like an adult, and being respected as a fellow human.

It may look like a lot of fun but this is very serious stuff.

Consequently people and groups went off and did all sorts of things in the name of Stay Up Late and we’d often hear we’d run a disco in some far off place, of course we knew nothing of it, but we loved the viral nature of how people were taking our message and using it locally to effect change.

To mark 10 years of the movie coming out we now want to try and capture some of what our influence has been so we can hopefully go on to do even more work to help people live the lives they want.

Please answer the Stay Up Late survey

So if you’re a person with a learning disability, a family carer, a commissioner, a social worker, a support worker, advocate, manager, CEO, fan of Heavy Load or whoever, we would love to hear from you and would be ever so grateful if you could complete this very short survey to tell us a little more about the impact we’ve had.

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And one lucky person will win a copy of the movie on DVD.

We’ll close the Stay Up Late survey by 15th April ’18 and will be in touch with the lucky winner soon after that.

Mark Kermode’s very own words about the movie

Watch this short clip to hear more about what Mark Kermode thinks about the Heavy Load movie.

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