Kymberly Martin
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Gig Buddies – for people with disability

Gig Buddies Sydney is all about bringing people together. This project, with support from the City of Sydney, connects people who have learning disabilities with a social companion to head off to events together.

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“We emphasise the volunteer is not a support worker,” community engagement coordinator Matthew Collins told F2L. “It is based on pairing people with mutual interests, for example someone who shares a passion for NRL which fits in nicely with our recent partnership with the Cronulla Sharks.” He said prospective participants can decide if they want a male or female volunteer, the preferred age and whether they need assistance getting from A to B.

Events are held regularly throughout the year. The next gig is the Christmas party to be held at the Soda Factory on December 8 followed by the Sydney Festival in January. Collins said the concept, which is unique to Australia, has been operating in Sydney for almost four years and is based on a British idea.

“We have over 300 volunteers and are keen to have those with a learning disability join us,” he said.

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Gig Buddies Sydney is an initiative of ACL Disability Services, a registered Not-for-Profit organisation that promotes the rights of people with learning disabilities to lead an active social life and have fun.

For more information to volunteer or become a Gig Buddy visit: www.gigbuddiessydney.org