We’re all all for raising awareness of the benefits of the NSW Companion Card.
For those not in the know, the NSW Companion Card program “is for people with significant and permanent disability who need a high level of care in the community. The Companion Card allows a cardholder's support person free entry into participating venues and events.”
While we know a number of buddies who already own one, there are others out there who may be unaware of the benefits. We sat down with buddy Bec, who recently obtained a Companion Card.
- Why did you apply to get a Companion Card?
I was recently asked if I had one, and I don’t. A friend has one and said it was worth it (applying for one).
- How will this change things for you and your buddy?
I mentioned it to Georgia (my buddy, below right), and she asked ‘what is it?’, and then she said we can go halves on the one price.
Essentially it will be cheaper (us going out). She actually messaged recently about going to the movies… having the Companion Card, it’s opened up a list of things we can do together, for cheaper. And the card is for life so you don't ever need to reapply once accepted.
- Who helped you apply?
My coordination of support (CoS) and my psychologist. I only had to do my passport photo. My psychologist has been so supportive in the past, I wasn’t afraid of asking her for help.
"If you don’t ask, you don’t get”
- What would you say to other buddies who do not have a Companion Card?
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Don't be scared to ask for help, and give it a try - and try and get one! It’s going to be worth it.
I am keen to use it; I have no idea where we’re going to use it first, but it’s going to open up a lot of opportunities.
- Have you thought about any ideas on what you can do now?
Movies is a big one, plus bigger events. I told Georgia; we are keen to maybe use it for the Easter Show and other big things.
How can I get one?
From a Gig Buddies perspective, we believe that the more people who have access to the Companion Card, the more opportunities participants get to head out, try new things and expand their social circles.
For more information about the NSW Companion Card, click here.
In just over two week’s time we’ll be launching our Western Sydney hub.
Taking place at Dooleys Lidcombe on Thursday 25 August, this is your chance to meet the Gig Buddies team, and to find more about who we are and what we do.
We’ll be providing nibbles, while attendees will have the opportunity to also snap up some exclusive Gig Buddies merchandise. Whether you’re paired up or not, an unmatched buddy or volunteer, or an interested parent or support worker - we want to see and hear from you.
To find out more about our Western Sydney hub launch, and to book your place, load up the following link.
In addition to our Western Sydney hub launch, we invite you to join us in Zetland on Wednesday 17 August for a night of drag bingo, prizes and plenty of laughs courtesy of host, Prada Clutch.
To sign up for our bingo catch up, load up the link below:
If you have any questions about our forthcoming events, get in touch: we can be reached via Facebook Messenger, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via text or phone call on 0411 252 228.
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.
It was wonderful to see so many buddies last Saturday (6/8) for our latest social gathering.
We headed to Annandale for a Gig Buddies first - flower making. Thanks to Cyana for generously providing us with the equipment and for being a great host.
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.
Cheap, cheap, cheap
Our friends from the Sydney Opera House have been in touch. They’re generously providing discounted entry for their upcoming show, Meremere.
Meremere is an amazing show, telling stories from the life experiences of dancer and performer Rodney Bell Ngāti Maniapoto, drawing on his Maori culture. Rodney is internationally famous for physically integrated dance, which is a contemporary modern dance style that combines people with and without physical disabilities.
Details for the show are as follows:
- Studio, Sydney Opera House
- Duration: 60 minutes, no interval
- Cost: $15 each (no booking fee)
- Dates: Thursday 25 August, 6pm, Friday 26 August, 6pm, Saturday 27 August, 2pm (Relaxed show), Saturday 27 August 6pm
- Recommended for all ages
- Book using this discount link: Meremere - Sydney Opera House
Please note: When you book via the link, a transaction fee will appear at the start, but once you click the ‘Add to Cart’ button, it is removed.
Live and local
For those of you not in the know, Central Coast Council are set to host a music festival.
Between September 10 - 18 they’re hosting live performances and workshops. Load up this link to see who’s playing.
We're asking you to bookmark Saturday 17 September in your diary as we may be going to the finale at Central Coast Stadium!
We’ll share more information in next week’s newsletter.
Are you in the market for Gig Buddies’ merchandise?
Click on the image above to get your fill on Gig Buddies goodies. If we haven’t got the size you’re after, get in touch via text: 0422 061 990 or Facebook Messenger.
COVID-19 Vaccinations update
The NSW Chief Health Officer has extended the current exemption that allows workers (and volunteers) who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to continue to work if they have been assessed as being essential to the operation of the service.
All workers (and volunteers) who have not yet received their booster must also take reasonable steps to get the booster as soon as practical. The exemption has been extended to September 6 2022.
If you haven’t done this yet, it’s important that you send the latest copy of your vaccination certificate to Gig Buddies ASAP. The certificate must show the dates on which you have received all THREE doses of the COVID vaccine.
Similarly, for those who have been granted an exemption from a medical professional, we require a copy of any relevant documentation.
You can access your vaccination certificate through your Medicare or MyGov account. Please send this certificate to email@example.com or via text/WhatsApp it to 0411 252 228.
Gig Buddies Central Coast coordinator
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.