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"Take a leap of faith"

It’s the final Monday for the month and time for another dip into our volunteer vault.


For those not in the know, here’s how our feature works: simply, we invite a current volunteer to talk about their experiences with the project. Today we hear from Pat (below left), who tells us more about his time with Matt (below right).

- How long have you been volunteering with Gig Buddies?


I’ve been volunteering for nearly two years now and I’m loving it. Matty and I connected in September 2021, towards the end of the COVID lockdown period.

- Is Gig Buddies your first volunteering role?


Gig Buddies is my first volunteering role in this capacity although I have done other volunteering roles in sport - mainly athletics - since 2010. Back in the 90s I worked for many years in disability sports.

- Why do you volunteer with Gig Buddies?


A few things led me to Gig Buddies. I had friends and family volunteering and had wanted to do something for a while, but never got round to looking for a role that appealed to me.


Mostly I wanted to connect with someone who may not otherwise have many social activities or where perhaps connecting with people was a challenge for them.


I also love a range of music, so that appealed to me that I would be connected with someone who has similar interests.

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

I have really enjoyed the experience. The process for matching and pairing was well structured and very considered. The support from Gig Buddies’ staff has been great.


It’s been very rewarding for me personally and I really enjoy all the activities we do. Matty is smart and funny. He also has an incredible recall of sporting history. That’s one of the main things we have in common. Although I have to say I can’t keep up with Matty when it comes to NRL and cricket.


We have become good friends over the last two years. We also learn from each other. Matty is much better at calling to stay in touch than me. I do prefer talking on the phone, but when things get busy I tend to text. So that’s my challenge for the future.

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


Matty and I are both quite competitive and very evenly matched so most of our catch-ups involve some type of contest. Bowls, putt putt, bowling, archery, bocce, go-kart driving to name a few!


Just last week we played pool at The Oaks. We usually get a bite to eat too, and whenever I have the car the music is usually blaring with some good Aussie rock - Matty loves AC/DC.

We’re both on the north shore, so most of our activities are around there. We saw Colin Hay in concert last year at the Sydney Recital Hall which was a highlight, and we also saw the comedy cabaret show Werk It at the Seymour Centre.

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


Take a leap of faith and just do it. You’ll have a lot of fun and meet new and interesting people. You’ll also feel good about yourself that you are making time to connect with someone else who may find it a challenge to make connections.

 

"The support from Gig Buddies staff has been great"


Thank you, Pat for sharing yours and Matt’s story.


Following on from last week’s midyear report where we detailed the challenges we face when it comes to making matches, we hope Pat’s words resonate with our existing volunteers - and those thinking about giving their time.

 

Come join the fun


In the words of Pat: "You’ll have a lot of fun and meet new and interesting people."


Do you know someone who would benefit from joining our community, or could you recommend a potential volunteer? To sign up with our Sydney project click here, and jump on this link to get involved on the Central Coast.


As a reminder, we have a list of buddies based in Sydney and on the Central Coast who are currently looking for suitable volunteers.


By clicking on the 'volunteers wanted' images below, you can find out more about our current openings.

 

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

 

Add some triumph to your tax return


With the end of the financial year almost upon us, why not make a tax deductible donation to Gig Buddies?

Have we mentioned that any donation over $2 can be reclaimed from July 1st? That’s this Saturday - and hopefully a tempting reason to temporarily part with your hard earned via our PayPal page.


Please note: all contributions above AU$2 are tax deductible. A receipt will be issued upon donation; please keep a record for your own tax purposes.

 

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.

 

NDIS changes


Last week an email was sent to all exisiting gig buddies with an update with regards to the NDIS.


Essentially, from July 1 2023 the administration charge for Gig Buddies will increase for all current participants (aka buddies) who have an active Service Agreement with the project.


For more information on specific line items and the new monthly cost, refer to our NDIS webpage by clicking here.


If you are an existing buddy and did not receive correspondence, or if you would like more information about the forthcoming changes, get in contact with Chelsea, Gig Buddies' NDIS coordinator.

Chelsea can be contacted via email: chelsea@assistcom.org, or by phone on 0412 145 819 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday).

 

On in July


Sign ups for our July social gatherings are filling up.


As a reminder, we’re bringing you SIX events throughout the month. Across Sydney and the Central Coast we’re offering mini golf, arcades, art, a Sunday roast, the women’s World Cup, and a Christmas in July gathering.

To find out more about our July events (and to sign up), jump on the links below.

- Mega Mini Golf @ Campbelltown: Saturday 1 July

- An evening of art at the Archibald Exhibition @ Art Gallery of New South: Wednesday 5 July

- Arcade fun and games @ Timezone Villawood: Saturday 15 July

- Sunday roast @ West Ryde Hotel: Sunday 16 July

- Christmas in July @ Railway Hotel, Gosford: Sunday 23 July

- Women’s World Cup - Matildas vs Canada @ York 75 Sports Bar: Monday 31 July


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

 

Out and about


On the subject of our socials, we caught up with buddies at two gatherings last week.


First up on Friday, we headed to Dee Why for a bite to eat and a spot of live music.

One day later we met up for a sing-song, gathering at Moore Park’s Strike for an afternoon of karaoke.

Thanks to everyone who came along. To see more photos from both catch ups, load up this link.

 

1 up


It’s great to welcome our latest pairing to the team.

Step forward Livia and Akanksha (above, L - R). We’re looking forward to hearing about your forthcoming adventures.

 

Prepped and ready to go


And on the topic of welcomes, we have two newly trained volunteers to introduce.

Thanks to Belinda and Nikhil (above, L - R) for joining us on Zoom last week.

 

Matthew, Carol, Tony, Bec, Chelsea and Aylin

info@gigbuddiessydney.org

 

Would you like more information about Gig BuddiesSydney? You’re only a click away. Connect with us via the links below.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn

 

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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