Collage of photos of Gig Buddy pairs at gigs, restaurants, the beach, and Pride, with the text volunteer as a Gig Buddy, make a new friend, go to gigs and social activities togetherImagine if you had to leave every night out at 9pm?

This is reality for many people with learning disabilities. Volunteer as a Gig Buddy and use your love of music, the arts, sport, culture and fun to change someone’s life.

Being a Gig Buddy is easy volunteering. Whatever your interests and hobbies, you carry on doing what you love and we give you a new friend to do those things together.

How Gig Buddies help to improve people’s lives

Gig Buddies is about enabling people with learning disabilities to have people in their lives who aren’t paid to be there.

People with a learning disability often need support to help them live the life they want to live. But what do you do when your support isn’t available – especially past 9pm – or doesn’t share the same interests as you?

Gig Buddies fixes this by that pairing up adults with a learning disability and/or autism with a volunteer buddy who shares the same interests so they can enjoy social activities together.

What does a Gig Buddy volunteer do?

You will attend 1 event every month with a person who has a learning disability.

You also help them to choose the event or activity and help with practical/transport arrangements. We will give you training and ongoing support for this.

You can also come along to Gig Buddies hosted events. These are a great way to meet other volunteers and participants

What is a gig?

Our work is all about enabling people with learning disabilities to live the life they want. So our definition of a gig is very loose. It’s whatever your ‘gig’ is.

It can be… musicals, theatre, sport, cinema, cafés, playing pool, surfing, food markets, horse riding, museums, dancing, video games, clubbing, train spotting, comic cons, mini golf, festivals, etc… 

You don’t need to have any particular experience…

You need to be:

  • Friendly and kind, with a good sense of humour.
  • Willing to get to know somebody well, and to have a good Gig Buddying relationship with them, based on mutual respect and shared interests.
  • Able to help a person with a learning disability to make decisions about what kind of events they’d like to go to.
  • Proactive and reliable – part of the role is to arrange the gigs that you go to with your buddy.
  • Able to commit to a 3 hour training course, and then to meet up with the person that you are matched with once a month.
  • Because Gig Buddying is all about getting to know somebody, we usually ask that you’ll be around for at least a year.

What do I get if I become a Gig Buddy volunteer?

We give you:

  • Free training
  • A free DBS check
  • Ongoing advice and support
  • A small amount of expenses for each event you attend

Most importantly you will get a new friend!

How do I apply to become a Gig Buddy?

Complete this quick form and one of our project coordinators will get in touch about arranging an informal interview. See below for the areas we cover.

For more information email or phone 029 2068 1160.

*South Wales: Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, RCT, Vale of Glamorgan. North Wales: Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Wrexham.

What’s the process to start volunteering for Gig Buddies?

  1. Complete this quick application form.
  2. Meet your local project coordinator for an informal interview, with a chance to ask questions both ways. This normally takes about 1 hour.
  3. If the interview is successful and we both agree to continue the process, you will need to complete a DBS check.
  4. Attend a short training session to get you ready for Gig Buddying.
  5. Meanwhile, we’ll think about the best match for you as a Gig Buddy.
  6. We’ll introduce you to your Gig Buddy, and maybe their carers, family, support workers or friends.
  7. Your project coordinator may attend your first gig with your buddy to give you both extra support.
  8. Then you start volunteering for Gig Buddies – it’s up to you to plan and enjoy fun evenings out with your Gig Buddy!
  9. Your project coordinator and the Gig Buddies Cymru team will be on hand to support you whenever you need it.