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"….I gained a wonderful friend…"

It’s the last Monday of the month and time to share a testimony from one of our wonderful volunteers.


Today we bring you the words of Christian (below right), who tells us more about his match with Matthew (below left).

- How long have you been volunteering with Gig Buddies?


My buddy Matt and I got paired just over a year ago in August 2022.

- Is Gig Buddies your first volunteering role?


I volunteered with The Centre for Volunteering back in my uni days and have also done a few one-offs with Sculpture by the Sea before joining Gig Buddies.

- Why do you volunteer with Gig Buddies?


The opportunity to forge lasting connections and cultivate new friendships while engaging in either new or favoured activities, at times convenient to us — these were the key factors that set Gig Buddies apart and compelled me to join.

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

It has been amazing!


Matt and I love animals. Matt's particular enthusiasm lies in reptiles and dinosaurs, which has led us to Taronga Zoo, the Sharks and Hologram Dinosaurs exhibition at the Australian Museum, with exciting plans to visit the Jurassic Park Exhibition in the near future.

We tend to get quite competitive when it comes to air hockey, shooting games and virtual reality experiences, especially after participating in a couple of Gig Buddies’ social events, such as Central Coast Comic Con and gaming sessions at Timezone.


We also enjoyed a few other Gig Buddies socials like attending the premiere screening of Champions, watching the brilliant performance of Jellyfish starring Audrey O’Connor, a few dinners and most recently lunch and crazy shakes at Warnies Cafe (below).

The Gig Buddies staff have been wonderful in facilitating these various socials where we can connect with other pairs and fellow Gig Buddies’ participants.


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


Our first gig was watching Beast, a gripping movie featuring Idris Elba as a father protecting his daughters from a bloodthirsty lion.

A few months later, we went to Taronga Zoo where we couldn't resist the urge to recreate the dramatic scene of the rogue lion attacking Elba's safari jeep. As a matter of fact, there was a napping tiger on top of the jeep when we took the photo (above)!

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


Give it a go!


I attended a few Gig Buddies social events before being paired up. The warm and inclusive atmosphere, from staff, participants and volunteers alike, offered me a firsthand glimpse into the remarkable friendships that had flourished among the paired buddies.


Gig Buddies kept me in touch throughout the pairing process and conducted a highly informative training session for volunteers, which was especially beneficial for someone like me who had no prior experience in the area. Furthermore, they invested significant time and effort in matching me with my buddy Matt, and the results were evident. Not only have I gained a wonderful friend in Matt, but we have also shared some remarkable outings together.

Beyond the initial pairing, Gig Buddies remain readily accessible for any inquiries and they also conducted both a 6-month check-in and a 1-year review to ensure a smooth and fulfilling experience for both of us.


Gig Buddies is an exceptionally supportive organisation and community, and my experience with them has been incredibly rewarding.

 

"It has been amazing!"


Thank you, Christian, for sharing your story. You and Matthew have achieved plenty within the space of a year.

 

"Give it a go!"


We’re always looking for more people like Christian.


If you would like to volunteer with us, look no further: to sign up with our Sydney project click here, and jump on this link to get involved on the Central Coast.


And to find out more about our current openings, click on the 'volunteers wanted' images below.

 

Are you looking to volunteer?


We need volunteers! Click on the image above for current roles on the Central Coast and the graphic below for opportunities in Sydney.


If you have any questions or would like more information, contact us via Facebook or email: info@gigbuddiessydney.org

 

Yours and Owls


Time is ticking if you would like to join us at Yours and Owls Festival.


For those wanting to come along, you have until midnight tomorrow (Tuesday 26 September) to register your interest.

As a reminder, we’re heading to Wollongong for the international festival, which takes place on Saturday 14 October.

On the day we’ll be rocking to sets from music royalty that includes Hilltop Hoods, Golden Features, Masego and Ocean Alley.

To see the full Saturday lineup, click here. Please note, we will only be attending Yours and Owls on the Saturday. We will not be present on the Sunday.

Thanks to the generosity of event organisers, we're able to offer the following discount on tickets:

  • $100 for Gig Buddies’ participants (who are signed up to the project)

  • $50 for active volunteers who's buddy does not have a companion card

  • $0 for active volunteers or support who's buddy does have a companion card

This is a massive saving for Gig Buddies’ as a Saturday pass normally sell for $159.95.

To join us buddies are required to firstly register their interest. To do so, load up the following link (it also contains more information about Yours and Owls Festival).


Please note, this discounted offer is extended to active buddies only (an active buddy is someone who is currently matched; someone who has submitted an NDIS service agreement; someone who has been matched recently; or someone who has undergone volunteer training).


Once we receive notification of your interest to attend, we will be in touch soon after about payment and next steps.

 

Next stop, Campbelltown


We’re down to the final few tickets for this Saturday’s catch up in Campbelltown.

We invite buddies to join us at The Campbell for a night of dinner and live music. To sign up (and to find out more about our gathering) load up the link below:

 

Out in October


As for the month of October, buddies are invited to join us in Lake Haven, Newport, West Pennant Hills, Ryde and Penrith.

To find out more about our October social events (and to sign up), load up the links below:


And 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.

 

Cheap tickets


Calling all buddies who love live theatre!


Our friends from Belvoir St Theatre in Surry Hills have been in touch. They’re generously providing all gig buddies discounted tickets to their forthcoming productions.

On any Tuesday or Friday, buddies can get exclusive $25 tickets to live performances.


To find out more about their current program and how to take advantage of this deal, click here.


We thank Belvoir St Theatre for their generous support.

 

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.

 

Changes afoot


We want to inform readers about a recent change that we’ve made at Gig Buddies HQ.


As you may know, we launched the Gig Buddies Central Coast (GBCC) branch in 2021 and I (Matthew, Gig Buddies Central Coast Coordinator) have been working to grow the community ever since.


Due to the growth of both GBCC and Gig Buddies Sydney, we have made the decision to include the Northern Beaches suburbs of Sydney within the Gig Buddies Central Coast catchment area. This change took place on the September 21 2023.


For those living within the Northern Beaches area of Sydney, this means that you are now classed as being part of the Gig Buddies Central Coast project.


What does this mean for you?


- This is purely an administrative change. This will not change your experience with Gig Buddies.

- You can still attend both Gig Buddies Sydney and Gig Buddies Central Coast events.

- You will continue to be paired with your current buddy; if you are currently unpaired we will continue in our attempts to match you with someone suitable.


The main things that will change are:

- Future Service Agreements will now say Gig Buddies Central Coast on them, instead of Gig Buddies Sydney.

- For those living within the Northern Beaches area of Sydney, I will now be your main point of contact. As such, I will be responsible for all check-ins.


My contact details are: 0402 708 814, matt@assistcom.org, info@gigbuddiescentralcoast.org


My working days are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.


Please note that any queries about Service Agreements or NDIS-related matters should still be sent to Chelsea on chelsea@assistcom.org


What about social events and matches?

- While I will be the main point of contact for the area, other Gig Buddies staff will be on hand to also help facilitate social events and pair meetings within the Northern Beaches areas.

- As previously stated, participants from both the Central Coast and Sydney branches are still welcome to attend all Gig Buddies' gatherings.


Should you have any questions about the changes, get in touch: we can be reached via Facebook Messenger, email: info@gigbuddiessydney.org or via text or phone call on 02 9419 6951 (Gig Buddies HQ) or 0402 8708 814

 

Doubling up


We’re excited to introduce our newest matches.

It’s great to welcome Amanda and Natalie (above, L - R) plus Ash and Lauren (not photographed) to the team.

 

Out of office


And lastly, due to the forthcoming long weekend, there will be no newsletter next week.

We’ll be back on Monday 9 October.

 

Matthew: Central Coast coordinator (0402 708 814)


Carol: CEO (02 9419 6951)

Chelsea: NDIS coordinator (0412 145 819)

Tony: Funding and sponsorship coordinator (02 9419 6951)

Bec: Sydney coordinator (0411 252 228)

Aylin: Western Sydney coordinator (0466 389 961)

Lara: Greater Western Sydney coordinator (0478 045 121)

Sandon: Southern Sydney coordinator (0478 043 996)


 

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

 

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.

Gig Buddies Central Coast is an initiative of ACL Disability Services.

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