OUR QUEST to get the Gig Buddies Sydney message out to the wider community continues unabated, but we often get asked about outcomes. “Reduce social isolation by enabling people with disabilities to stay out beyond 9pm – the usual time their support calls it a night; create a person-centric project that increases self-worth and confidence, and promote the idea of volunteering and friendship based on mutual interests.”
That’s a more than worthy retort.
However, could we go further with our response? While the Sydney version remains a fledgling entity, British founders of the Gig Buddies initiative has the validation to suggest we could.
Based out of Brighton and in operation since 2013, Gig Buddies has successfully paired over 60 people to date. Madeline Denny, Gig Buddies Project Manager, as part of her January 2013 – December 2014 Project report surveyed some of those participants (below) who have benefited from being part of Gig Buddies.
Madeline’s report includes further success stories. Are we confident of replicating these successes here in Sydney? Absolutely. Tim (pictured below) and his gig buddy, Sean, attended their second gig this weekend - grabbing a slice and checking out the live music dished up at Frankies Pizza place in the city. Moreover, as we told a journalist from Every Australian Counts in an interview this week, we presently have 20 active gig buddy participants (with another 15 and counting waiting to be processed), and 24 people (from well over 200 volunteers) ready and waiting for a suitable pairing.
Pairing does take time, but to replicate the stories of Brendan, Bella and Jasmine we need to ensure we do things correctly.
Gig Buddies Sydney Social Media Coordinator