Living It Up Events has been running since 2009. Originally a community group, it became Community Interest Company in 2016. LIU was first set up to promote Mencap’s ’Stay Up Late’ national campaign. This campaign was to promote the rights of people with a learning disability to stay up late and have fun. 


Living It Up Events is run by Claire Crawford-Smith and Fizz Hesseltine and has a team of 5 Directors one of whom is one of our members. We pride ourselves as being a user-led organisation and all our projects have advisory groups and committee meetings to enable our members to make decisions about how things are run.


Living it up could not run without the support of our volunteers, students, venues, other organisations and donations and we are really grateful to everyone who helps us in any way.

Going out to see bands, clubbing, or seeing friends is part of everyday life for lots of people. However, if you have a learning disability you may need support to do this. Stay Up Late charity have found that lots of people with learning disabilities aren’t able to lead full and active social lives because their support workers finish at 10pm. Meaning lots of people with learning disabilities leave events at 9pm.

We agree and passionately believe that people with learning disabilities have the right to stay up late and have some fun. Our projects have grown around this ethos. Our projects have recently been promoting the stay Up Late #nobedtimes campaign to continue to support people with a learning disability to fight for the right to choose their own bedtimes.

Living It Up Events

Currently we hold events in Bedford every few months for people with a learning disability or other disability. Members are able to meet friends and experience a club or pub setting in a safe environment. We have hundreds of members and the events are fabulous fun. 

Living it up performing arts centre

Living It Up Performing Arts Centre is an educational day time opportunity for adults with a learning disability or autism to learn and showcase performing and creative arts. Our experts teach sessions on musical instruments, singing, drama, dance, radio presenting, song writing, podcasting, film editing and art.


Gig Buddies supports people with a learning disability or autism to be partnered with one of our trained, DBS checked, volunteers who will go out socially every month to do an activity which is enjoyed by both people. It's not just about going to gigs, it could be going to watch a football match, playing pool or going bowling. Please contact us if you would like more information on how to volunteer or apply to have a gig buddy. Gig Buddies Bedford is part of a world wide Gig Buddy franchise set up by Stay Up Late.



Living It Up Gr8 Mates is a new friendship and dating project which has been funded by the National Lottery. We will hold events to support people to make new friends and possibly a boyfriend or girlfriend. See the flyer for more details and if you would like more information please get in contact.


postal address:

43 Bromham Road, Bedford. MK40 2AA

livingitupinfo@gmail.com / 07964 067443 / www.livingitupevents.co.uk

performing arts centre address:

St. Cuthbert's Hall, Newnham Street, Bedford. MK40 3JR