Updated: May 18, 2022
We say this a lot, but - as it’s National Volunteer Week, we want to take this opportunity to praise our wonderful volunteers.
Without you the Gig Buddies project wouldn’t function. To all past and present day volunteers who have played a vital role in tackling loneliness, increasing confidence and expanding social circles for so many, thank you.
We’re indebted to your dedication, selflessness, kindness and all round generosity. Thanks to your efforts more than 400 buddies, based in both Sydney and the Central Coast, have benefited from being part of the Gig Buddies project.
For the past few weeks we’ve been busy reaching out to paired buddies. They’ve spent time recording individual messages of gratitude - and today we bring you the full video.
Thank you to everyone who contributed. Jump on the clip below to watch this year’s Gig Buddies National Volunteer Week ‘thank you’ video.
To everyone who has and continues to give their time to our program, happy National Volunteer Week!
Join us this June
We’re excited to reveal our movements for the month of June.
First up we head to The Juniors Kingsford for Harry Potter trivia. Come join us on Wednesday 15 June - you'd be riddikulus not to attend!
And a little later in the month, on Sunday 19 June, we will making our first ever trip to Supanova Comic Con & Gaming. Join us as we sample the “fan convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy film and TV, comic books, anime, gaming and collectables.”
Load up the links below to sign up:
Save the date
Due to staff annual leave we’re unable to facilitate a Central Coast gathering for the month of June. However, we ask that you pencil Saturday 16 July in your diaries.
On the day we’ll be going to Gosford’s Central Coast Stadium for the NRL clash between Sydney Roosters v St George Illawarra Dragons.
Kick off is 3pm. More details, including ticket information, to come.
As for all June and July events, they are in addition to May’s meet up at Leichhardt Oval.
To join us for the Super Rugby Pacific clash between NSW Waratahs and Auckland Blues, jump on the link below:
Happy birthday to us!
On the subject of forthcoming events, time is running out to book your ticket to our birthday bash.
We’ll be blowing the candles out on our 7th birthday on Thursday 26 May, and as mentioned last week - for the first time ever we’ll be selling Gig Buddies merch on the night.
It’s been a long time since we’ve had the opportunity to bring the entire Gig Buddies community together. Whether you’re based in Sydney or on the Central Coast, we invite you to join us as we celebrate turning 7.
On the night we’ll be selling t-shirts ($30 each, available in S, L and XL) and tea towels ($20), while we’ll also be running a lucky prize draw - giving three people the chance to win gift vouchers.
Limited tickets are still available. To buy yours, and to find out more information about the gig, load up the following link.
Coming from the Coast
For those living on the Central Coast who’d like to attend our 7th birthday party, please refer to the suggested train times below.
From Tuggerah: 4:43pm
From Gosford: 5:01pm
From Woy Woy: 5:12pm
The train times listed above arrive into Central Station at 6:29pm. The party starts at 7pm; Shark Bar is approximately a 10 minute walk from Central Station (see image below).
Our birthday party finishes at 10pm. Return trains from Central run frequently throughout the night.
The train leaving Central Station at 9:48pm runs to the following schedule:
Return to Woy Woy, arriving at: 11:03pm
Return to Gosford, arriving at 11:16pm
Return to Tuggerah, arriving at 11:40pm
The train leaving Central Station at 10:48pm runs to the following schedule:
Return to Woy Woy, arriving at: 12:07am
Return to Gosford, arriving at 12:19am
Return to Tuggerah, arriving at 12:39am
Please get in contact if you’re coming from the Central Coast. We’ll introduce you to others from the region, encouraging attendees to travel as a group.
We’re delighted to welcome to the latest addition to the Gig Buddies team, Aylin.
Aylin is the project’s newly appointed Western Suburbs Hub Coordinator and is tasked with developing the Gig Buddies project within the region.
As part of her role, Aylin will be the first point of contact for those based in Sydney’s western suburbs, and will help increase awareness of who we are and what we do.
Aylin had this to say:
“I am very excited to begin my journey with Gig Buddies!
As the Western Sydney Hub Coordinator, I will raise awareness about the support we offer to people with disabilities and ensure that our programs will be tailored to fulfil our buddies’ individual needs and personal preferences that will align with their assigned pairs.
I have been working with people from a diverse age spectrum within the healthcare sector for several years. I have always enjoyed meeting new people from all walks of life! Similar to most of our buddies, I enjoy travelling, spending time outside, listening to music, and watching movies (specifically Marvel).
I am appreciative of the opportunity Gig Buddies has offered me!”
Welcome aboard, Aylin.
More on board
It’s been a big week at Gig Buddies HQ.
Firstly we’d like to welcome our newest matches to the family: Ella and Tessa (top, L - R), Joni and Elise (left, L - R), Darcy and Joey (right, L - R) and Grace and Robin (not pictured).
It’s great to have you on board.
All trained up
This past week we also prepped another batch of volunteers.
We want to say thanks to Finn (top left) Alex (middle left), Giulio (bottom left), Christian (top right), Anthony (middle right) and Sophie (bottom right) for logging on last Tuesday.
Thanks to all of our fantastic volunteers who have sent through an updated version of their vaccination certificate. We really appreciate you doing this so quickly.
If you haven’t done this yet, it’s important that you send the latest copy of your vaccination certificate to Chelsea ASAP. The certificate must show the dates on which you have received all THREE doses of the COVID vaccine.
You can access your vaccination certificate through your Medicare or MyGov account. Please send this certificate to email@example.com or via text/Whatsapp it to 0412 145 819.
The Public Health Order (PHO), mandated by NSW Health, was recently updated to mandate that all workers/volunteers within the disability sector must receive their third COVID-19 booster shot if they are to continue working/volunteering.
The deadline for all volunteers to have their 3rd COVID Booster vaccination is 1st June 2022.
Please get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns about this. Alternatively, for more information from NSW Health load up the following link.
IMPORTANT COVID-19 Isolation Update
As you may have recently heard, NSW Health announced changes to the isolation requirements for individuals who are deemed household or close contacts of people confirmed to have COVID-19. However, please be advised that the updated self isolation advice for household and close contacts does not apply to people visiting or working/volunteering in the disability sector.
In short, if you are a household or close contact of a person with a confirmed COVID-19 positive test, as per NSW Health we strongly recommend you to exercise caution.
We advise that you do not meet up with your buddy in a face-to-face setting for at least seven days. We also recommend the use of masks and hand sanitiser following this period, and potentially looking to facilitate catch-ups in outdoor, minimally-crowded areas to avoid potential transmission.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we can be reached on 02 9419 6951 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NDIS UPDATE - Plan Reviews
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDIA has introduced a new element of the plan review process.
This is called a Participant Check-In.
A Participant Check-In involves a representative of the NDIA calling you (you being a participant of the NDIS) to discuss your well-being and see if your supports are meetings your needs. Of course, this could include talking to them about your experience with Gig Buddies.
They could call you at any time before or close-to your plan’s scheduled end date. They will then use your responses to determine if you require any major or minor changes to your plan - which could mean either an increase or decrease in funding.
We wanted to raise this as we know how stressful it can be to prepare for a plan review, and how much time it can take to gather appropriate supporting documents.
The DSC have provided some tips to navigate this new process. Some of the key ones include:
- Ask the NDIA representative to call back when a support person is present
- Ensure that any communication requirements are documented in the your NDIS file
- Let the NDIA know about any changes to a situation as it occurs rather than waiting until the end of a plan
Matthew, Carol, Tony, Bec, Chelsea, Xena and Aylin
Would you like more information about Gig BuddiesSydney? You’re only a click away. Connect with us via the links below.
Fancy revelling in legendary status? If so, please support us in our cause to get more people out to live events in Sydney.
Donations over $2 are tax deductible and all are gratefully received.
The Gig Buddies Sydney project is an initiative of ACL Disability Services.