About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Started: 2012
Based: Lewes, East Sussex
Website: www.stayuplate.org
Twitter: @StayUpLateUK
Category: Community Action

Stay Up Late was established in 2012 to enable people with learning disabilities to go out to clubs, see bands and have fun with the help of volunteers.

The charity was set up by former punk musician Paul Richards who recognised a lot of people with learning disabilities are not able to go out late and enjoy themselves due to inflexible rotas of care.

The aim is to connect people with learning disabilities with Stay Up Late ‘ gig buddies’ who can take them to mainstream events and form friendships beyond traditional care environments.

Since it began, Stay Up Late has set up 50 pairings and is working through a long waiting list of 'gig buddy' requests. The charity has also secured sponsorship from Mencap.

Looking ahead, the charity wants to encourage further expansion with pilot projects internationally. Alongside other charities, Stay Up Late is also hoping to host a music festival for disabled audiences in Malta next year.