Gig Buddies is a new initiative within Calderdale which aims to promote social inclusion among people who have a learning disability. We are based at the already established Square Chapel for the Arts in Halifax which is presently undergoing a refurbishment to increase capacity and provide more opportunities for local people to access the arts and culture.
The scheme aims to reduce the barriers faced by people with a learning disability in relation to accessing social activities. These have been identified as attending the theatre, cinema, live music and anything else that a person may wish to engage with in their leisure time.
Our Gig Buddy volunteers will be ‘matched’ with people who have a learning disability based upon shared interests. Our aim is to create opportunities for people to meet and forge friendships based upon shared interests.
We will arrange introductions before supporting you to your first gig; whatever this may be. We would then leave you to meet once per month to meet up independently and make arrangements to attend other events.
We are basing our model on that of the Brighton based charity Stay Up Late which has been successfully running the scheme since 2013.
All Gig Buddies with be subjected to enhanced DBS checks as part of our commitment to safeguarding potential buddies and goers.
We will offer induction and training as well as regular supervision with our Gig Buddies Coordinator.
We recognise that giving up your time is a fantastic way to give back to your community and will cover expenses for travel and contribute to gig tickets if they are not already subsidised by the venue.
Our project is currently brand new with our Project Coordinator having recently started at Square Chapel. We are presently raising awareness of the scheme among local organisations and those who have expressed an interest in becoming involved. We are planning to run information and induction events and will soon be in the process of adding to the Square Chapel website so that we can keep our future gig goers and buddies up to date with events.
If you would like to find out more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01422 353073.