Gig Buddies UK and social franchising

Since starting the Gig Buddies project in Brighton and Hove we’ve attracted quite a bit of work in what we’re up to and have now expanded the scheme in to East and West Sussex.


We’ve also been approached by quite a number of people who want Gig Buddies in their own town and there’s no way we could run Gig Buddies in other counties so we think it makes sense to be able to share our work and enable other people and organisations to learn from what we’ve done and run Gig Buddies in a way that suits where they live, whilst still keeping it true to the core values of what Gig Buddies is about (people with learning disabilities being in control of deciding how they want to live, friendship and having a real and meaningful community presence).

The fact is though that we’ve also been incredibly busy over the past year developing our own Gig Buddies project so creating ‘Gig Buddies in a box’ has always been a little on the back burner. Until now!

We’re now working hard over the autumn to develop the model and we’re also going to be working with two organisations to pilot how it might work. (Oh and these two organisations are in Scotland and Australia so we reckon we’re going to be able to learn a lot from supporting their development at distance).

This will lead up to us being in a position to do a proper launch of Gig Buddies in  Box in the Spring of 2015. That’s the plan anyway.

Social franchising

We’re also getting support on ‘social franchising’, something which we are new to, and there’s a few things we need to work out so we can be clear about what we’re sharing and how we can support you such as:

  • How to make sure Gig Buddies maintains its core values whilst also being different in every location to meet local needs
  • How we can charge fairly for the tools and support that we have to offer other organisations, and share everything we’ve learned but also generate some income that will be used to support the Gig Buddies network

So the next steps for us right now are:

  • To develop a pro-type model to share
  • Trial it with our two partners
  • Fundraise to create the tool

Get in touch

We’re committed to making ‘Gig Buddies in a box’ happen and to enable us to develop our plans we’d like to know if you’re interested in developing your own Gig Buddies project and would like to join our movement to transform isolated people’s lives?

Rhubarb and Custard

When we set up Gig Buddies there was a period of almost a year where we couldn’t say what we were doing as progress was slow as we wrote funding applications and recruited our amazing Project Manager, Madeline. The process reminded me of that moment in the cartoon Rhubarb and Custard (showing my age I know) where Rhubarb disappears into his shed and all you can hear is hammering and sawing until he finally throws open the doors for the big reveal of his latest crazy invention.

Well that’s where we are with Gig Buddies in a Box, we’re back in the shed but we’ll be planning to open those doors soon – maybe Sydney, Australia in Feb ’15!!




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