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"…. it’s like no other volunteering opportunity…"

We’re excited to share our first ‘volunteer vault’ story for the year.


For those not in the know, we currently have over 150 matched buddies on our books - meaning we have plenty of testimonies to share.


As such, on the last Monday of each month we bring you the opinions of an existing volunteer. To kick off 2023 we hear from Rachel (below R), who talks about her pairing with buddy Kate (below L).

- How long have you been volunteering with Gig Buddies?


I was paired with my buddy in July 2020.

- Is Gig Buddies your first volunteering role?


I have done different shorter-term volunteer opportunities over the years at after-school programs, animal shelters, and an overseas volunteering trip but this is the longest ongoing role.

- Why do you volunteer with Gig Buddies?


As an occupational therapist, I see first-hand the barriers to social participation with my participants, so when I was looking for volunteering roles Gig Buddies stood out to me. However, I continue because it’s so enjoyable.

- How would you describe your volunteering experience with Gig Buddies?

It’s been awesome. It really adds value to my month and doesn’t feel like it takes any time away from what I would usually do because we do things I love.

- Tell us about some of the highlights from your time volunteering with Gig Buddies?


I really enjoy our walks, coffee shop visits and going out for food as these are things I love doing on a regular basis.


However, the highlights have probably been activities that I am interested in but never got around to planning myself prior to Gig Buddies, such as going to see the Mary Poppins musical, tribute bands, and actually making it to the cinema to see new movies.

- What would you say to someone reading this who is thinking about volunteering with Gig Buddies?


In my experience, it’s like no other volunteering opportunity as you are just planning to do fun activities that interest you and can fit within your schedule.


I can’t recommend it enough and it can give you fun activities to look forward to and can also be a chance to broaden your horizons if there are activities you are interested in but don’t usually get around to doing them.


And watching your buddy enjoy something, makes it very meaningful and worthwhile – there are just so many benefits to being a volunteer with Gig Buddies.

 

"….. there are just so many benefits to being a volunteer with Gig Buddies"


Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your story. We hope her words have resonated with our Sydney and Central Coast communities, along with those who are thinking about singing up with us.

 

I can do it!


We’re always looking for new volunteers.


Do you fit the bill, or do you know someone who would make a wonderful volunteer? You can connect with the Gig Buddies Sydney and Central Coast teams via Facebook, text or phone call (0402 708 814).


Alternatively, those interested can jump straight to our volunteer online application form by loading up the following links: Sydney here; Central Coast here.

 

Are you looking to volunteer?

We need volunteers! Click on the image above for current Sydney roles and the graphic below for opportunities on the Central Coast.

If you have any questions or would like more information, contact us via Facebook or email: info@gigbuddiessydney.org

 

Fun in February


We've had a great uptake with our February social gatherings.

Last Monday we announced our plans for the month ahead. Things get going this Wednesday when we invite buddies to join us in Liverpool for a bite to eat. This is followed by a trip to Bronte for a beach day; then, later in the month we partake in a Gig Buddies first: a Monday morning in the pub for the Super Bowl!


We're off to North Sydney’s outdoor cinema next for the Whitney Houston biopic ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’, and we conclude things with a trip to Moore Park for a night of comedy.


To find out more about our February catch ups (and to book your place), load up the links below:


If you have any questions about our forthcoming events, get in touch: we can be reached via Facebook Messenger, email: info@gigbuddiessydney.org or via text or phone call on 0411 252 228.

 

Work with us


We're looking for two new employees to join the Gig Buddies team.


The Greater Western Sydney Hub Coordinator and Southern Sydney Hub Coordinator will be the first point of contact for those based within the respective regions.


Both appointees will work with the Gig Buddies team to connect with existing and potential service users - helping us to increase awareness of who we are and what we do.

For more information about both roles click here.


And if this sounds like something you would be interested in, please send your CV to project CEO, Carol Smail at carol@assistcom.org. Additionally, if you would like more information about the position, call us on 02 9419 6951.

 

Each and every week we invite buddies to connect with us for our weekly chat.

Our chats take place via Zoom. To attend get in touch via text: 0422 061 990 or Facebook Messenger.

 

Three of the finest


We bring news of our latest matches.

It’s great to welcome Julia and Lydia (left, L - R), Bianca and Stephanie (middle, L - R) and Joey and Gavin (right, L - R) to the family.

 

Share your thoughts


Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to complete our recent survey.


Last week we asked for feedback on how buddies could expand their social circles with those who live nearby - a suggestion put forward to us at the end of last year.

We love this idea.


However, due to the ongoing work involved in facilitating the Gig Buddies project, we do not have the capacity to drive such a program: volunteer training, overseeing buddy pairings, organising social events, checking in with participants, plus the required administration means we unfortunately do not have the time or hands to play a part.


Therefore, we’re reaching out our community to find out if this could be facilitated by buddies.


Please share your thoughts by completing our survey. Load up this link to get involved.


Should you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch: we can be reached via Facebook Messenger, email: info@gigbuddiessydney.org or via text or phone call on 0411 252 228.

 

And finally….


We may be one month into the new year already, but it’s never too late to get involved in the Guardian’s ‘52 acts of kindness: how to spread joy in every week of 2023’ movement.


Give blood, make a mixtape, walk a dog - there’s plenty to ponder.


And while you’re checking out the list of good deeds for the year ahead, be sure to keep an eye out for number 34.

 

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.



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