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Chelsea tells us about her trip to the UK!

Chelsea (Gig Buddies NDIS Coordinator) tells us a bit about her recent trip to the UK!

I was lucky enough to spend the majority of June 2022 in the UK, I was so excited to see my family and friends again after years of COVID lockdowns. But before taking some time off to do this, I was even luckier to visit a couple of the Gig Buddies projects in the UK!

Firstly, I drove to Bedfordshire (about 2 hours south-east of Birmingham) to visit the legends at Gig Buddies Bedford. It was fantastic to finally meet Fizz (GB Bedford Coordinator and co-founder of Living It Up!) in person after months of chatting on zoom during our partners meetings.

Fizz introduced me to a group of the GB Bedford Buddies and we had a few drinks. We talked about some of the great things they have gotten up to. I got asked a lot of questions about Australia (including if we have bounty hunters!), and got to ask them about some of the things they get up to like their internet radio station, music-making, craft days and other epic socials.

Fizz also took me to see the Living It Up HQ at St. Cuthbert’s Hall, which was absolutely awesome! They have their own band room, stage, radio studio room and bar - with the hopes of turning it into a not-for-profit music venue in the future. I’m really grateful to Fizz for taking the time to make me feel so welcome and also show me around their HQ.

Also a huge congratulations to her, Claire and the rest of the Living It Up team for recently being granted full charitable status!!

For the next part of my trip, I travelled about 3.5 hours south to Brighton & Hove to meet-up with Paul Richards (Founder & Executive Director of Stay Up Late and Gig Buddies) and Katie Windsor (Operations Director of Stay Up Late and Gig Buddies)!

We had a great catch up, discussing Paul’s upcoming talk in Cardiff and also the teams preparations for attending this years Glastonbury Music Festival.

I then got to go to Stay Up Late/Gig Buddies HQ at Hove Methodist Church with Katie.

I met Sophie (Gig Buddies Coordinator - East Sussex) and Holly (Gig Buddies Administrator), who were preparing for volunteer training that day. Holly was also making overseeing final preparations for their trip to Glastonbury festival. We had a great chat about this, and how we could possibly look to do this in Sydney in the future!

After spending a few hours seeing the sights of Brighton and talking all-things Gig Buddies with Katie, my final stop was at Worthing (about 30 minutes west of Brighton).

I met up with Malcolm (Gig Buddies Coordinator - West Sussex) and some fantastic buddies and volunteers at the Slug and Lettuce, where we had a bite to eat and a drink.

We also played ‘2 truths and a lie’ as a group, which was hilarious! Lots of laughs were had, mainly at me and my dislike of crisps. I learned a lot about the buddies though, like their attendance at local Pride events around Brighton & Hove, gigs they’ve been to, what they’re looking forward to in the future and more.

Big thank you to Paul, Katie, Holly, Sophie, Malcolm and the legendary buddies and volunteers for making me feel so welcome! I had a fantastic time and I learned a lot :)


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