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"The experience has been so rewarding"

As it’s the last Monday of the month, it’s time to revisit our ongoing ‘volunteer vault’ series.


Here’s how our feature works: simply, we invite a current volunteer to talk about their experiences with the project. This time we hear from Sarah (below left), who tells us more about her match with Nalyn (below right).

- How long have you been volunteering with Gig Buddies?


Four glorious years!

- Is Gig Buddies your first volunteering role?


I have volunteered previously, in an admin setting. Gig Buddies is my first face to face volunteering role and by far the most wonderful and rewarding experience.

- Why do you volunteer with Gig Buddies?


I volunteer with Gig Buddies as I love using time that I have available to create positive environments and experiences for others.


In volunteering I have also found this has a reversed affect and all the time spent with Nalyn has been so much fun for me and has added great amounts of value to my life.

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

The experience has been so rewarding. Initially coming into the volunteering role I was mostly focussed on giving back to others, not realising at the time that the person I was going to be paired with may end up teaching me more than I may teach them and introducing me to more people than I have introduced to them (anyone who knows Nalyn knows she is the Queen of social butterflies!).

The team at Gig Buddies are legends, which also makes the experience as enjoyable as it is. They put so much of their energy and time into providing weekly/monthly events that are exciting for all. They’re a really nice team of people who interact with everyone in such a kind and friendly manner.


This has been a life changing experience that I will treasure forever.


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


There are so many but my first highlight was Nalyn and my first outing, which was a group Gig Buddies' event - a silent disco at Sydney Aquarium. We organised a meet beforehand where we had a yummy hot chocolate nearby; I was excited to see all the sea-life together!


We arrived at the event and I turned my head momentarily to say hello to someone, during which time Nalyn - thanks to her social butterfly skills - had disappeared!


I strolled through the Sealife enclosures with other buddies laughing and giggling, and there was no sign of Nalyn. We get to where the silent disco was being held, and lo and behold Nalyn is there, headphones on dancing with her group of friends having the best time ever! She then asked me where I had been, and to hurry up and join in!

This is definitely one of my favourite highlights as it fully showcases Nalyn as the life of the party, socialite, and dancer that she is!


We had the best time as she and everyone at the event made me feel so welcome!

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


Absolutely do it! it will be an experience you will never forget.

 

"This has been a life changing experience that I will treasure forever"


Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your words. You’re a wonderful example of what volunteering with us is all about.

 

Come join the fun


Like Sarah and Nalyn, do you know someone who would benefit from joining our community? To sign up with our Sydney project click here, and jump on this link to get involved on the Central Coast.


As a reminder, we have a list of buddies based in Sydney and on the Central Coast who are currently looking for suitable volunteers.


By clicking on the 'volunteers wanted' images below, you can find out more about our current openings.

 

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

 

Spring into action


We’re down to the final few tickets to our remaining September socials.

Bites out to eat, live music, outdoor catch ups, crazy shakes: we’ve plenty of variety on offer for our September gatherings. To join us in Oatley, Warnervale, Auburn or Campbelltown, load up the links below.


Please note, our dinner and band night in Crows Nest and the axe throwing in Marrickville have both sold out.


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.

 

On the road


During the month of August we held six social gatherings, including our three most recent outings to Forestville, Eastwood and Bankstown.


We also caught up with buddies in Penrith, Bondi and Hornsby.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for roller derby, dinner and dancing, pub trivia, our second 40plus gathering, and breakfast and board games.


To see more snaps from our August catch ups, click here.

 

Rightfully recognised


We want to say a huge congratulations to everyone who’s rightly been recognised at the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Last Monday we headed to Kirribilli Club for the North Shore ceremony, where we witnessed a number of our wonderful volunteers receive awards.

Similar ceremonies are taking place throughout Sydney and the Central Coast. For those attending such events, please send us any photos from your commemoration as we want to deservedly highlight your efforts.


To send in your photos, reach us via email, info@gigbuddiessydney.org, Facebook Messenger, or text: 0402 708 814

 

Congratulations!


One of our amazing volunteers took home two gongs during last Monday’s ceremony: ‘young volunteer of the year’ and ‘regional volunteer of the year’.


Congratulations Emma! We’re all delighted for you! On the day, buddy Rae (left) collected the award on her behalf.

We’re taking this moment to congratulate all Gig Buddies’ volunteers who have rightfully received recognition at this year’s awards.

 

Two we prepped earlier

And we’re excited to reveal our latest batch of trained volunteers.


Both Karim and Rory (above, L - R) are about to start their volunteering journey with us. Thank you for joining us on Zoom last Thursday.

 

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.

 

Misters wanted


Last Monday - in anticipation of this Sunday’s Father’s Day, we made an appeal for more male volunteers.


Across Sydney and the Central Coast we’re calling on brothers, dads, uncles, nephews, sons, granddads who have a zest for life and would be keen on helping us tackle social isolation for adults with mild to moderate learning disabilities.

Based on the image above, we currently have numerous roles that specifically require male involvement. To see all existing opportunities, please load up the following ‘are you looking to volunteer?’ links for Sydney and Central Coast.

 

Review and win


This is your last chance to go into the draw to win a $50 gift voucher.

As a reminder, we’re offering all actively signed up buddies and volunteers the chance to land one of three prizes.

All you have to do is submit a Google review about Gig Buddies Sydney. You have until the end of the month (Thursday 31 August) to enter.


To submit a review, load up this link and click on the ‘love Gig Buddies’ image.


Everyone who submits a review will go into the hat. A draw will take place on Friday 1 September, where three names will be drawn. One submission per person, and the winners will be notified on the day. To be eligible for a prize, the reviewer must be a current service user (either buddy or volunteer).


Happy reviewing!

 

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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