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

Andrew talks about going to Australia

26
Nov
2014

Interview with Andrew Walker about the trip to launch Gig Buddies in Australia.

Andrew Walker

Going to Australia means so much to me, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’ll get to see what Australia is like.

I know it will be work, I’ll be doing training and talking at a conference but I’m also hoping it’ll be a bit of a holiday as there’s loads of things I want to see and take photos of. Things like the Opera House and kangaroos and I also want to have a look around Sydney and check out the beach. Not sure I want to go for a swim though, aren’t there sharks?!

Things I’m thinking about right now are the travel plans, things like my kit list, how much money to take and how we’re going to do some fundraising for my flight.

What we’re going to do out there

The first thing we’re doing is helping them to set up Gig Buddies in Sydney but they’re also interested in the work I do on the Q-Team so I’ll also tell them about that.

“all the small things add up to a big thing...

and that’s proper quality of life!”

 

What I really want to talk about though is how my life has happened and all the work I do. All of the things that I do, all my work and all those kinds of opportunities have led to this. People have come up to me, including my mum and dad, people at work and friends who’ve all said they can’t believe I’ve got an opportunity like this.

When I get there I want to talk about the work I do in the Q-Team at Southdown Housing, doing the quality checks, I’m really proud of this. The main point of the trip is talk about Gig Buddies and helping them to set it up in Sydney. When I talk about Gig Buddies I want to talk about what it means and the fun I’ve had.

Other things I want to talk to them about is being in The Guardian and how we’ve had national and international interest about Stay Up Late and Gig Buddies.

Why is this important for people with learning disabilities?

It’s an opportunity to do what you want to do, being a Gig Buddy means you can go out, enjoy yourself and not be isolated. That’s what I used to be like before I moved to where I am now and got support from Southdown.

Now look at me, doing what I want to do, having fun living the life I want to, before all this I was isolated.

I always say to people to take opportunities when they come, and also people with learning disabilities deserve to have opportunities, and also people who support them need to make that happen.

That’s what I want to talk about – lots of small things have led me to this.

That’s what I want to talk about – all the small things add up to a big thing and that’s proper quality of life!

 

For more about the Australia trip check out Paul's blog here