Gig Buddies Cymru is a befriending scheme that matches people with a learning disability in Wales* with a volunteer who shares the same interests, so they can go to gigs and events together. With few events taking place the need for friendship and social contact is more important than ever.
*In South Wales we cover Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf, and Vale of Glamorgan. In North Wales we cover all six counties – Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, and Wrexham.
I’m interested in volunteering as a Gig Buddy. What do I need to know?
Lockdown is bad enough. Imagine it without friends
The pandemic is more bearable when you can enjoy virtual clubnights, Zoom parties and online quizzes with friends. Many people with a learning disability and/or autism are finding this impossible. Volunteer as a Gig Buddy and you can change this.
As a Gig Buddy you can use your love of music, the arts, sport, culture and fun to help somebody else in your community to socialise and enjoy new experiences.
People with a learning disability often need support to help them to live the life they want to live. But what do you do when your support isn’t available, or – even worse! – doesn’t share the same interests as you?
We need Gig Buddies now more than ever. Before the pandemic being a Gig Buddy involved befriending an adult with a learning disability and/or autism who has the same interests as you and attending gigs and events once a month.
While few events are taking place the need for friendship and social contact is even more important. Our Gig Buddies are meeting online for virtual parties and digital events, and whenever it is safe to do so, meeting up outdoors.
As soon as we can Gig Buddies will go back to attending gigs, events, and festivals together.
What do I get if I become a Gig Buddy volunteer?
We give you free training and ongoing advice and support to help you be a great Gig Buddy. Most importantly you will get a new friend!
How do I apply to become a Gig Buddy?
If you live in, or close to, one of the areas we cover (*), then all you need to do is complete and return this application form (Word doc). One of our project coordinators will then get in touch about arranging an informal interview. (*See the top of this page for the areas that we cover)
For more information please get in touch with the Gig Buddies Cymru team. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 029 2068 1160.
I would like a Gig Buddy. What do I need to know?
The pandemic is more bearable when you can enjoy virtual clubnights, Zoom parties and online quizzes with friends. A Gig Buddy is a friend who likes the same things you do.
Many people with a learning disability and/or autism find it hard to go to gigs and events – especially at night when there is less support available.
A Gig Buddy can help you go to gigs and events that you may find difficult attending. A ‘gig’ can be a concert or a festival. But it can also be a rugby match, a trip to a museum or theme park, or a visit to the beach.
Before the pandemic Gig Buddies were going to gigs and events together once a month.
The pandemic has stopped many gigs and events taking place. So Gig Buddies are staying connected and having fun by meeting online. There are lots of fun things you can do online with friends, like clubnights, gigs, parties, keep fit, quizzes, theatre, watching films, and lots, lots more!
Whenever it is safe to do so, Gig Buddies are meeting up outdoors. And as soon as we can Gig Buddies will go back to attending gigs, events, and festivals together.
I’m interested. So what does a Gig Buddy do?
We will find you a Gig Buddy that loves the same things as you do. So your Gig Buddy could be a Football Buddy, a Film Buddy, a Bowling Buddy, a Rambling Buddy, a Quiz Buddy, a Roller Skating Buddy, a Surfing Buddy. It’s up to you to tell us what type of Gig Buddy you want!
- During the pandemic, and when it is not safe to meet up, your Gig Buddy will help you to find fun things to do online. As well as other ways to stay connected and have fun that don’t involve meeting up outdoors.
- Whenever it is safe to do so, you can meet up with your Gig Buddy outdoors. And do things like go for walks and go to cafes.
- When it is safe to go to gigs and events, your Gig Buddy will support you to go to gigs and events once a month.
All Gig Buddy volunteers get a day of free training before they are matched with their Gig Buddy.
And we make sure Gig Buddy volunteers have a police check to make sure they are safe and good people.
I like the sound of this! How do I get a Gig Buddy?
Are you 18 or over and live in one of these areas:
- South Wales: Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, RCT, Vale of Glamorgan
- North Wales: Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, and Wrexham.
If you do, then all you need to do is fill out this easy read application form (Word doc) and send it to the Gig Buddies Cymru team.
The form asks you things like what hobbies and interests you have. And what support needs you have.
After we receive your form we will contact you and arrange to meet you for a chat. This is so we can find out more about you. And then we can start to find a Gig Buddy to match you with.
I have some more questions. How do I contact the Gig Buddies Cymru team?
You can email us at email@example.com or phone us on 029 2068 1160.
Our Gig Buddies team is:
- South Wales project coordinators: Kai Jones, Kylie Smith
- North Wales project coordinators: Heather Graham, Rachel Somerville