It’s always a pleasure to introduce the BBC to a client and that’s what happened recently when the TV cameras focused on Southdown.
Based in Lewes, Southdown is a leading provider of housing, supported employment and specialist services to disabled and vulnerable people inSussex. They do a fantastic job providing support to people who need it most.
And it was one of their brilliant team who the BBC came to see.
By day, Paul Richards is an unassuming, albeit dedicated, member of staff at Southdown, but by night, the 42 year old becomes a bass player in the punk group Heavy Load.
Heavy Load has been playing together for 16 years and three of the members have learning disabilities – and so do many of their fans.
Paul noticed that some fans were leaving at nine o’clock, because that’s when their carers needed to go home.

Paul is well known for his creative thinking and came up with the concept of the Gig Buddy. The Gig Buddies scheme matches up willing volunteers with people who can’t get to gigs by themselves.
Director at Cobb PR, Chris Gape, said: “I chatted about the initiative with one of my contacts at BBC South East TV and they loved it. A journalist came down in the afternoon to interview Paul and went on to a gig inBrightonto film a young man with learning disabilities and his Gig Buddie enjoying Heavy Load.”

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