FRESH from our inaugural training day, the first three Gig Buddies Sydney volunteers’ have been put through their paces and are now primed and ready for action.
Under the tutelage of Sean - the Gig Buddies Sydney project coordinator - Tania, Dhana and Lauren took all that was thrown at them as they were prepped during our one day of extensive training.
Covering issues like innocuous social no-nos, tips on what to do in worst case scenarios, and outlining the role of the volunteer, the trio are the first of nearly 200 signed-up volunteers waiting to get paired up with their participant.
Training in action: Lauren, Tania and Dhana learning the ropes at Gig Buddies Sydney HQ
Tania, Dhana and Lauren also took timeout to answer a few questions regarding their training day experience.
What was the best part of training day?
Tania: From my point of view the best part was when we were asked how we would behave in specific situations. This has given us a clear idea of what "empower" the participant means. Dhana: The best part of the training was learning what I will be doing with my gig buddy, spanning from going to events, having coffee and making them feel welcome.
Lauren: (The best part was) getting amongst the action - learning heaps and being one step closer to getting buddied! :-)
What did you take away from the day?
Tania: The training gave me all the information I needed about the concept of gig buddies, and a clear idea of a different reality I was not completely aware of. Sean is also doing a great job in making us feel already part of the team. From my personal point of view, the training is clearly showing the passion and professionalism you all have. I'm now conscious about how often disable people can be abused and in so many different bad ways.
Dhana: I took away that I will not be the buddy’s carer but rather their friend which is what I prefer.
Lauren: A better understanding of what some of the challenges our buddy might face; understanding the dynamics of a participant/volunteer relationship, and it reinforced all the top stuff Gig Buddies Sydney is about.
Do you feel you’re now ready to become a gig buddy? (why/why not?)
Tania: I do feel ready to become a gig buddy because I know it won’t be easy but I will have all the support I need in doing it properly.
Dhana: I am prepared to be a gig buddy now because I know what it involves!
Lauren: Yes, the training covered a bunch of things so I feel as prepared as I can be! haha! But most importantly I feel happy that Gig Buddies Sydney has a great support system in place and will be there to help if I need it! :-)
Our second training day, where we will pass on our words of wisdom to six new volunteers, takes place in May. For those reading this and musing ‘I like music; I would like to give something back’, we’re always on the lookout for newbies. If you are interested in following in Tania, Dhana and Lauren’s footsteps click here and fill in your details.
Gig Buddies Sydney Social Media Coordinator