Gig Buddies Blog

Time to pause for thought with gig buddies in Eastbourne.

Our student intern Martina joined us for another social in Eastbourne to meet gig buddies and see some of them perform! Here’s what she said about her experience.

Nowadays, people with or even without learning disabilities are surrounded with hundreds of obstacles, as well as hundreds of choices they need to make. There are times when it can be quite challenging to keep up with everything, and all we need to do is to pause.

Being a Gig Buddy provides a unique chance to take a moment to pause. Suddenly the time stops, and all that matters is to listen to some music, chat, or to have a drink with a person who genuinely cares.

Kate agrees, and says sometimes after a long day with many other life commitments the last thing people fancy doing on a cold wet January evening is going out, which is why we so appreciate our volunteers supporting people who may not have had much or any social contact that day. As soon as I arrive at a gig buddies social I feel a sense of warmth from all the people and it feels good for everyones wellbeing to just enjoy it and be present in the moment. 

What an evening it was for 12 of us who cheerfully came along to listen to some good tunes at The Printers Playhouse in Eastbourne . What’s more, it was quite an evening, especially for two of our Gig Buddies, who really stood up at the hall of fame by performing some live songs themselves. Ryan and Dean were shinning stars as the crowd went wild for their performances and the rest of us were purely enjoying ourselves by showing some of our best boogie moves! Kate, the project manager explained how last year Dean had never performed on stage before, but now he was performing 4 songs with a live band and everyone at the pub were dancing and cheering him on! Ryan also performed some covers and an original song which was brilliant to hear.


The venue was filled with a wonderful atmosphere making us all enjoy the night out even more. The community there are really inclusive and friendly. It was such a lovely time and place to catch up on life and indeed “stay up late”. More importantly, it was also the right time to interview and hear some stories from our Gig Buddies.

Jason described the concept of the Gig Buddies project as “A unique opportunity to go out, have fun with knowing that he does not have to be stuck in a safe home bubble.”

Angela traced back in her thoughts to share her Glastonbury experience with Gig Buddies 4 years ago. She said that “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it was just about time to finally rock out.”

Robert also shared with us how much he enjoys going to the theatre and hanging out with his Gig Buddy Tim. They both have a laugh together and lots of fun.

If you live in East or West Sussex and want to volunteer now please follow this link. We are particularly looking for volunteers in Hastings, Eastbourne, Chichester and Horsham as well as other Sussex towns.