Volunteers needed for Gig Buddies


A charity which links people with and without learning disabilities together to take part in social activities urgently need more volunteers.

Gig Buddies is a charity project based in Sussex which matches adults who have a learning disability to a volunteer in a bid to combat social isolation.

The project coordinators are currently looking for people who would like to join Gig Buddies in the East Sussex area as they have a long waiting list of people with disabilities seeking a ‘buddy’.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Many of the individuals with learning disabilities are socially isolated, we desperately need to find more volunteers to enable individuals to have a social life.”

The project has already linked over 90 people in Sussex to a volunteer.

Gig Buddies attracts people of all ages and all types of musical taste, from heavy metal to musicals, indie to club nights or the theatre.

One Gig Buddy volunteer said: “Through volunteering with Gig Buddies I have met amazing people, made some great friends and shared some brilliant experiences.”

Paul Richards, director and co-founder of the charity said: ‘The charity was set up as a response to seeing people with learning disabilities being denied the sort of social opportunities that many of us take for granted.

“To see how the project has now grown with so many people benefitting from it is a dream come true and we’re keen for many more people to benefit.”

The project grew out of local Sussex charity Stay Up Late.

Stay Up Late started as a national campaign to ensure that people with a learning disability received support that doesn’t stop at 9pm .

Some care homes have inflexible staff rotas, which mean that many adults with a learning disability can not access practical support to go out in the evenings.

Gig Buddies has commented on its website that unprecedented cuts to adult social care funding imposed on local authorities by central government have meant that only support deemed essential is funded.

Gig Buddies has had to close its waiting list to those with learning disabilities until more volunteers come forward.

For more information on how to become a Gig Buddy volunteer visit www.gigbuddies.org.uk