Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

User-run nightclub for people with learning disabilities wins funding

A nightclub that purports to being the only venue run by people with learning disabilities for people with learning disabilities is celebrating after being awarded close to £5,000 in grant funding.

StingRay in Oxford, named after the charity’s founder Ray Metcalfe have won community funding from insurance company Aviva for the second year in a row after over 2,000 Aviva customers voted for them.

The club was established in 2007 and attracts over 200 people to each monthly event. 

Many people with learning disabilities experience social isolation, often only leaving their homes for a couple of hours each day.

The Stingray nightclub provides a fun environment for people to meet new friends, socialise, dance and learn new skills (as DJs, for example).

One in three young people with learning disabilities spend less than an hour a day outside their homes on a Saturday, according to Mencap, and 50 percent experience chronic loneliness.


“A team of people with learning disabilities receive support to manage the project, taking care of financial matters, safety, and PR – they make all the key decisions,” say StingRay.

“The funding from Aviva will help to pay the support staff needed to help make sure the club runs safely and smoothly for another 12 months.”

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