Meet new people! Try new things!

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

We need new recruits. Specifically, we’re looking for Gig Buddies - adults (18+) with mild to moderate learning disabilities and / or autism who live on the Central Coast.

Gig Buddies tackles social isolation, and we have volunteers based throughout the region who are waiting and ready to go! The benefits of joining our growing community include:


Meet new people! Try new things! Expand your circle of friends! Go out with someone who’s not a family member or support worker!


We match adults with disabilities with volunteers, both of whom share a mutual passion(s). Age, gender and location preferences are also taken into consideration - and once paired up, ‘matched buddies’ attend gigs and events of their choosing. These can range from music concerts, sporting matches, bushwalking or catching up for a coffee – the possibilities are endless, and are all determined on someone’s personal interests.


We’re due to commence work on the project’s fifth pairing. With lockdown restrictions beginning to ease, now is the perfect time to join the fun.


If you (or someone you know) would benefit from joining us at Gig Buddies Central Coast, feel free to send a text or call us on 0402 708 814. Alternatively, head to our website, www.gigbuddiescentralcoast.org or get in touch via Facebook Messenger.

 

Land ahoy!


Calling all buddy Coasties, we invite you to join us in Palm Beach on Sunday 21 November.

With 80% of New South Wales’ eligible population now fully vaccinated and restrictions being further relaxed, we’re delighted to bring you news of a face-to-face social gathering taking place on Sydney’s northern beaches.


Come meet your Sydney contemporaries as we board the ferry, crossing the Hawkesbury for a picnic on the beach.


In line with NSW government guidelines, we’re to allow a maximum of 48 people per event (plus two Gig Buddies’ staff). All picnics run from 11am - 1pm. Attendees must be double vaccinated and are required to show evidence upon arrival.


To join us on the Northern Beaches click on the event listed below to reserve your place. The link includes details about ferry times, what to bring and meeting places.


- Palm Beach SLC, Palm Beach: Sunday 21 November


Please note, standalone Gig Buddies Central Coast social events will commence in late November.


If you have any questions or would like more information about our picnic on Palm Beach, send us an email: info@gigbuddiessydney.org or info@gigbuddiescentralcoast.org or call/SMS us on 0402 708 814.

 

America’s got talent


As for the week ahead, our three online offerings and two chats take on a distinctly American flavour.

Starting on Wednesday, we invite you to join us for an online art class. Pens and paper ready, we’ll be getting creative - etching some famous American landmarks.


One day later and our art experts, Tony and Carol, take you on a virtual guided tour of New York’s Guggenheim Museum. Join us as we take a trip through “one of the most significant architectural icons of the 20th century”, sampling modern and contemporary art offerings.


And we complete the working week with a night of American rock music. Expect to hear from the likes of Bruce Springsteen to the Chilli Peppers, Nirvana to R.E.M.


In addition to our three events, we also invite buddies to connect with us online for our weekly chats. They take place today and tomorrow, starting at 4pm. To attend get in touch via text: 0422 061 990 or Facebook Messenger.


And to find out more about this week’s online offerings (and to sign up), load up the links below:


Wednesday 20 October

- Gig Buddies art class @ 4pm


Thursday 21 October

- Gig Buddies virtual art tour of Guggenheim Museum, New York @ 7.30pm

Friday 22 October

- Gig Buddies presents…. American rock music night @ 7.30pm


All online games will take place via Zoom. For information on how to use Zoom, load up the following easy read guide written by Learning Disability Wales. Alternatively, click here to check out our 'how to use Zoom' video.


If you have any questions or would like more information, send us an email: info@gigbuddiessydney.org or info@gigbuddiescentralcoast.org or call/SMS us on 0402 708 814.

 

Get arty!


Thanks to everyone who’s submitted entries to our ‘art-ober’ competition.

For those not in the know, we’re calling on buddies to get creative, send us in a copy of their artwork, and help us design our 2022 calendars.


Once your visual masterpieces are ready to be presented, take a photo and upload to our designated art page - after which your art will appear on the Gig Buddies website and your name will go in the hat to win one of three prizes.


At the end of the month we’ll then randomly select three names from our lucky draw, where winners will receive either a $100, $50 or $25 gift voucher.


Buddies can upload as many pieces of art as they like to our website, however they’ll only receive one entry to our lucky draw.


All submitted art pieces will be considered for the Gig Buddies 2022 calendar - to be released in December.


For more information on how to submit your entry, click here or, if you have any other questions about our ‘art-ober’ competition, get in touch via email: info@gigbuddiessydney.org or info@gigbuddiescentralcoast.org or call/SMS us on 0402 708 814.

 

Gaming with Gig Buddies


Thanks to the gaming gig buddies who joined Andrew and I on Zoom last Wednesday (13/10).

It was great to host so many gaming enthusiasts. Following Wednesday’s online gathering, we’ve created a ‘Gaming with Gig Buddies’ Facebook group, enabling members to talk all things games and consoles and, for the streamers out there - to swap contacts details and play against each other.


Those who attended Wednesday’s event will have received an email invite. And for those who missed out on last week's Zoom but would like to join our newly formed Facebook page, get in touch via Facebook Messenger or email (info@gigbuddiessydney.org or info@gigbuddiescentralcoast.org) and we’ll send you an invite.

 

"I found different ways to connect with my community and friends…"


Last week we started a new feature, sharing the thoughts of members from the Sydney user-led team, Soul Fly Band.


Jack began proceedings, detailing how he engaged with his buddy Brendan during lockdown, and today Nalyn (below) shares her story.

My name is Nalyn, and during lockdown I have been busy making craft kits as well as videos to share with my Storytime community online since we aren’t able to work in person.


Storytime is where I volunteer every week (except school holidays) at Livvi’s Place, an inclusive playground in Ryde, Sydney. Children and their parents come along to sing songs, dance, read stories and make craft.


During lockdown I found different ways to connect with my community and friends. On the weekends and during the school holidays I have been going to the playground to drop off craft kits for families to collect so that they can make them at home. I have also left some kits outside my home so that families can pick them up when they go for a walk around the neighbourhood.


I also mailed some craft kits to friends and families and they shared photos of their craft and told me how much they enjoyed making them and that they miss me a lot. I miss them a lot too.


We have a Facebook page where I have shared my singing and craft activities, which everyone is welcome to join https://www.facebook.com/groups/livvisplaceryde.

 

A word from the pros


While New South Wales continues to enjoy greater freedoms, we’re going to continue with our push for those who may be struggling.


Mental Health First Aid Australia have issued the following guidelines on assisting someone distressed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and they’re also providing mental health first aid in the time of ‘social distancing. Additionally, the team from ideas.org.au have shared their ‘look after your mental health in the COVID-19 crisis’ list of ideas.


reachout.com have also released their 10 ways to take care of yourself during coronavirus guide, while for those of you now working from home, Black Dog Institute have put together the following checklist to support your mental health.

 

We’re here to chat


From our perspective, while we’re not trained professionals, we are available for a chat.


For anyone experiencing increased social isolation, send a text or call us at 0402 708 814 (Gig Buddies Central Coast) or 0422 061 990 (Gig Buddies Sydney).


Alternatively, feel free to get in touch via Facebook Messenger or connect courtesy of email: info@gigbuddiescentralcoast.org or info@gigbuddiessydney.org

 

Matthew Collins

Gig Buddies Central Coast coordinator

info@gigbuddiescentralcoast.org

 

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

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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.