Across Sydney and the Central Coast we have over 150 current pairings, with more than 75 buddies and 400 volunteers still waiting on a match.
Having so many matches means we have plenty of stories to tell. As such, last month we launched a new feature entitled the ‘Gig Buddies volunteer vault’.
Here’s how our new column works: simply, we invite a current volunteer to talk about their experiences with the project.
Megan kicked off proceedings in July and today it’s the turn of Dean, pictured below (L) alongside buddy Andrew (R).
- How long have you been volunteering with Gig Buddies?
I’ve been volunteering with Gig Buddies for just over four years now.
- Is Gig Buddies your first volunteering role?
l have done one-off days of volunteering here and there, but Gig Buddies is my first committed volunteering role.
- Why do you volunteer with Gig Buddies?
At the time of signing up for Gig Buddies, I was looking around at all volunteering opportunities but Gig Buddies stood out the most. I love the flexibility of the volunteer work and, having family members who have learning disabilities, it seemed like a no brainer.
- How would you describe your volunteering experience with Gig Buddies?
Volunteering for Gig Buddies has been a fantastic experience.
I've been paired with my buddy Andrew since I first signed up with Gig Buddies and throughout the time we have done some pretty fun and exciting things that neither of us have experienced before.
Being a full time employee and working 10+ hour days can also sometimes be difficult to fit in volunteering, but Gig Buddies is incredibly flexible and can work with my schedule.
- Tell us about some of the highlights from your time volunteering with Gig Buddies?
Apart from becoming great friends with Andrew, some highlights are: taking Andrew clubbing for the first time, seeing Toto live, going to the Picton Train Festival and donating blood together (below), just to name a few.
- What would you say to someone reading this who is thinking about volunteering with Gig Buddies?
If volunteering is something that you're looking to get in to, Gig Buddies is in my opinion the best.
You are free to be yourself and can easily work around your busy schedule. It's a great organisation with a great community. The connections you build will easily last a life time.
"….Gig Buddies is incredibly flexible and can work with my schedule….”
We hope Dean’s story resonates with our existing volunteers - and with those who are also thinking about signing up.
Our Gig Buddies volunteer vault runs on the last Monday of each month. We look forward to sharing another viewpoint in September.