Gig Buddies Blog

Being a good buddy – whilst we can’t be ‘gig’ buddies

Where are we?

The current reality has turned a lot of life on its head. At Gig Buddies, it felt like we needed to go back to the drawing board and ask: who are we if there are no events or gigs?

Our real purpose

We remembered that Gig Buddies is not about ‘gigs’ at all.

It’s about creating connections for people with learning disabilities and enabling people to live the lives that they want – whether that’s staying up late or going to bed early, they decide.

A gig’ can be whatever you want it to be: a rave, a poetry recital, a football match, or a cup of tea and a walk on the downs. It’s not for us to say what someone’s gig should be. Our job is to facilitate connections and support people to widen their social networks and experiences. From that all sorts of wonderful things can stem.

Practical things we’re doing

This second lockdown is already feeling difficult for a lot of us and we’re only a week or two in! Imagine how difficult it is for many people with learning disabilities who are living on their own with little support; or are shielding for health reasons; or because they live in a group setting.

Our options are limited but we’ll be doing what we can:

  • Weekly socials and coffee mornings on Zoom
  • Regular phone check-ins
  • Our advent calendar will also be revealing new things each day

We’ve started a Community Engagement project to work out how to reach those people who are most isolated, and we’re providing Smartphones to people who do want to get more connected with our work (more info here).

How you can help – being a Good Buddy

If you’re already one of our volunteers there are some simple things you can do to help your buddy feel more connected:

  1. Get in touch regularly by phone
  2. Have a short Zoom call together
  3. Join in one of our Zoom socials
  4. Send a text or a card to show you’re thinking of them
  5. Send them a playlist or link to some music you think they’ll enjoy

If you’re struggling yourself right now, don’t feel guilty – but let us know, so we can make sure we’re checking in with them regularly too.

If you’re not already a volunteer we’d love to hear from people who’d love to be a ‘Good Buddy’ for someone with a learning disability. They can write to us here.

It feels extra important to make positive change within the current reality. Our work of creating human connection has never been more important and so we’d love to hear from you.

Stay safe, stay up late and have fun!