Grassroots charity promoting the right for people with learning disabilities to have a choice about how they live their lives

Gig Buddies in a box update

26
Apr
2015

We’re continuing to get more and more people asking about how they can set up Gig Buddies in their area and this is just a short update to say where we are with these plans.

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We totally committed to making this happen and are balancing this piece of work with making sure we’re delivering Gig Buddies well in Sussex, and trying to keep up with the demand for participants and volunteers. (We’re very pleased to see that there is such a great demand for the scheme too).

So here’s where we are with things:

  • We now have getting on for 80 organisations interested in running Gig Buddies
  • We’ve applied to have Gig Buddies registered as a Trademark. This will enable us to maintain the quality of the project and make sure any partners run it in line with our ethos. As part of this work we’re also getting some advice on the best way to create a licence, which may sound a bit heavy but it’s our baby, and we’ve got some core principles that we believe are needed to maintain the integrity of Gig Buddies.
  • We’re working with two partner sites to work out how best to share the model. The first of these, Gig Buddies Sydney is going from strength to strength. Check out their blog to read more about the great work they’re doing down under.
  • The second site is being hosted by Thera Scotland in Midlothian and will be starting in the coming months (they’re currently recruiting for the Project Manager).

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  • We’ve just published an evaluation of our pilot project, looking at the work from Jan ’13 up until Dec ’14. Even if we do say so ourselves we think it makes for great reading and we’re working on plans to develop our evaluation systems to show the real impact the project can have on individuals. This is something we’ll build in to the model as and when we share it.
  • We’ve also been busy writing funding applications to enable us to have more time and resources to support the setting up of more Gig Buddies sites.
  • In the middle of everything we had an unexpected, and unwelcome enforced office move. Big thanks to Care Co-ops though we now have a lovely new home in the centre of Brighton.

With all this activity going on we’ve also just re-launched the Stay Up Late campaign, with thanks to funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, and also planning a couple of trips in June, one to Malta with 6 participants and then the now annual trip to Glastonbury Festival with 5 participants.

I’m a little concerned that with all the interest in replicating Gig Buddies that progress may seem slow. This is just to say we’re working on it, funding applications are being submitted, and we hope to be able to provide some more news soon. As ever we’ll keep you updated and please email us if you want more info.

Also for those of you running club nights and other events please see this blog (‘Keeping the revolution positive’) about how you can get involved in campaigning and help challenge inflexible and institutional shift rota patterns.

As ever will keep you updated when we have some more news to share.

Paul

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  • Zinnia Comm. Ent.

    Great update.
    Taking things slowly is the best way to ensure it is done well and sustainably, though as someone who wants to see this set up in a number of areas I live or work in, I absolutely cannot wait.
    Great work, very well done.

    I will see you at Glastonbury 🙂
    Liz

  • Ben Miller

    Having briefly participated in Brighton (Hi Robin!) and then had to move on. I would be particularly interested if there were any groups in the North West (Cumbria) being started? I would very much like to be part of it.
    Cheers
    Ben

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