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.
If you have any questions or would like more information, contact us via Facebook or email: email@example.com