I have been part of the project for just over a year. Many of you will have seen me prancing around the dance floor at socials, talking at information events or at fundraisers. But what do I do during the rest of my time? I promise it isn’t just thinking up ways to have fun – although that is certainly part of it!
Let me walk you through a day in the life of me!
7.30am – Wake up, shower and get dressed (and feed by very annoying cat!)
8.00am – Eat breakfast
8.30am – Boring life admin For example, paying an electric bill online.
9.00am – Walk to the Gig Buddies office.
9.30am – Arrive at Gig Buddies Office (Nobby, the office dog, is in today so I gave him a bit of a fuss).
9.30am-10am – I clear some emails. I get lots of different emails from lots of different people. Sometimes they are directly about the project for example supervisions, matches, interviews and training. Sometimes they are about other things for example invites to local events, people asking for advice or information that might be useful to the project . I don’t like emails very much so I like to get a few done first thing in the day when I have the most energy.
10.00am – 12pm – It’s time for a Team Meeting! We normally try to have a team meeting once a week but because we are all very busy this isn’t always possible. Team Meetings are an opportunity for us to talk about important issues, organise events and let each other know what we have been doing. Kate and I often work remotely and Paul focuses mostly on Stay Up Late work so its important to all come together and share our work with each other. We have just started using a organising app called Trello. Through out the week we can put agenda items on the Trello and then look at them during the meeting. It also helps us keep track of who needs to do what after the team meeting.
12pm – 12.30pm – Paul is going through some information, which will help the team make easier to read documents. As a project and charity we have made efforts to make all our documentation easier to read. This includes everything from our newsletters to our complaints procedure. Chris, our Storm and Thunder chair also came to the meeting and helped us understand what are some of the most important bits of making easier to read documents.
12.30pm- 12.45pm – Once again, I forgot to make my lunch in the morning so I go to the shop and buy my lunch.
12.45pm – 1pm – I speak to Victoria, our quality checker, on the phone. This is because we are both going to Hastings the next day to do a match between a volunteer and a participant. She double checks the plan and makes sure we are ready to do the match. I already have all the documents ready for the match so I don’t need to do any printing. The documents include: a risk assessment, a match agreement, information on free tickets and information on our website.
1pm – 1.30pm – Kate and I have a quick check-in about matches that need to happen in the next couple of weeks. The very nature of the project means that there isn’t an end point to lots of the work we do. This can be an exciting part of the project but it also means that we need to be structured in how we keep track of everyone. Since the New Year we have started to schedule more regular check-ins with each other about all these things. As the project gets bigger and our work load increases this is very important.
1.30pm – 2pm – I ring a volunteer for a phone check-in. They were matched recently and have been out with their gig buddy a few times. Phone check-ins are a good opportunity for me to help with any issues a volunteer may have and to also celebrate the successes.
2pm – 4pm – Storm and Thunder team. Storm and Thunder team are our advisory group. They are all adults with learning disabilities who use the project. The agenda items included: team check-in, social ideas for the year and getting feedback about some important documents that Paul has written.
4pm- 6pm – I go to the gym and then home for a shower and some dinner. I get ready to go out to a social. This includes making sure I have my co-ordinators sheet which has the details of who is coming to the social.
6pm – 7.30pm – I drive to Eastbourne for a social at Printers Playhouse. Firstly, I pick up Chris, the Storm and Thunder Team chair. Chris also helps Gig Buddy staff at socials by welcoming new buddies and providing support to those that need it. I also pick up some participants along the way. Being able to provide travel support to some participants is really important. This is because some gig buddies aren’t able to travel on their own but also don’t have the support to come with someone else.
7.30pm-11pm – The social is at a venue called Printers Playhouse. It is an open mic night. This means that the public can choose to perform if they would like. Often Gig Buddies perform at the open mic night too.
11pm-12.30am – The social finishes and I support those that need it to get home. I then drive back to Brighton with Chris and drop him home too.
12.30am – BEDTIME!
This is an unusually long day for me. I always try to spread the work out across the week but sometimes that isn’t possible. It’s important to be flexible when you work at Gig Buddies. Stay Up Late as an employer is good at recognising when staff has to do this. If I work more than my contracted hours I can take time off to compensate for this. For example, this means that I can take TOIL the next day and come in late.
I hope this helps you to understand what I do!