Gig Buddies needs more Worthing volunteers

Gig Buddies is looking for volunteers in the Worthing area to help its befriending scheme reach more people.

The aim is to match adults with learning disabilities and autism with a volunteer so they can share outings, special events and activities together.

The Gig Buddies project is run by the charity Stay Up Late and the aim is to support people to develop new social circles and informal support networks, recognising that many people with learning disabilities do not have many people in their lives who are not paid to be there.

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Malcolm Hill, project co-ordinator for West Sussex, said: “We are keen to recruit new volunteers in the Worthing area.

Gig Buddies is seeking volunteers in the Worthing area

“Gig Buddies is a volunteer befriending scheme for adults with learning disabilities and autism, matching them with a volunteer who shares the same interests.

“Volunteers are fully trained and DBS checked before being matched with one of our participants.

“It doesn’t have to be about music. We encourage people to define what the ‘gig’ is for them. It could be playing or watching sport, going to the theatre, walking or going to museums.”

In Sussex, Gig Buddies works with anyone aged over 18 but the project is particularly aimed at people who get little, or no, funded support, as there are most at risk of social isolation.

Malcolm said: “We believe that if someone has funded support, then it should be possible for them to enjoy an active social life with some creativity and flexibility from their support staff.

“Gig Buddies is all about developing friendships and expanding an individuals’ social circles and informal support networks.”

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