Become a volunteer

Want to enable a person with a learning disability to enjoy doing the things that you love?

We regularly recruit new volunteers to buddy up with a person who has a learning disability and/or autistic people. We are looking for volunteers all over Sussex, including Brighton and Hove, Worthing, Crawley, Horsham, Chichester, Lewes, Uckfield, Eastbourne and Hastings.

We have two projects:

Gig Buddies – which is not just about music but any cultural interests that you want to share with someone; gigs, theatre, museums and loads more.

Sports Buddies – which aims to support people with learning disabilities to be active and live healthy lives. Our definition of sports is anything that gets the heart pumping a little; nature walks, dancing, football – whatever gets you moving.

Role description:

Being a gig buddy involves attending an event with a person who has a learning disability once a month.

Being a sports buddy involves meeting up with a person who has a learning disability twice a month and getting active.

You also help them to choose the event or activity and help with practical/transport arrangements. You will receive training and support for both.

You don’t need to have any particular experience...


You need to be:

  • Able to help a person with a learning disability to make decisions about what kind of events they’d like to go to.
  • Able to commit to a day of training, and then to meet up with the person that you are matched to once a month.
  • Friendly and kind, with a good sense of humour.
  • Willing to get to know somebody well, and to have a good gig buddying relationship with them, based on mutual respect and shared interests.
  • Committed to Stay Up Late’s campaign to ensure that people with learning disabilities are enabled to live active social lives and make their own choices about how they live.
  • Proactive and reliable – part of the role is to arrange the gigs that you go to with your buddy.
  • Because gig buddying is all about getting to know somebody, we usually ask that you’ll be around for at least a year.

What’s the process to start volunteering for Gig Buddies?

  1. You fill in an application form (see above) and email it back to one of the project workers. If we aren’t currently looking for gig buddy volunteers in your area, we’ll keep your application and let you know when a position becomes available.
  2. You’ll be invited to have an informal interview with a project worker, with a chance to ask questions both ways. This normally takes about 45 minutes.
  3. If the interview is successful and we both agree to continue the process you will need to complete a DBS check.
  4. You attend training to get you ready for gig buddying.
  5. Meanwhile, we’ll think about the best match for you as a gig buddy.
  6. We’ll introduce you to your gig buddy, and maybe their carers, family, support workers or friends.
  7. A project worker may come along on your first gig with your buddy to give you both extra support.
  8. The you start volunteering for Gig Buddies – it’s up to you to plan and enjoy fun evenings out with your gig buddy!
  9. The Stay Up Late team will be on hand to support you when you need it.

It should take you 1 – 3 months to become a buddy.

To find out about current opportunities, please email or phone us on 07783810036.

You can also download our paper version of the volunteer application form here:

Gig Buddies Volunteer Application

Sports Buddies Volunteer Application

If you find that more helpful. Print it, fill it in and send it to our address, which can be found here on our contact details page.

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