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Volunteering and long lasting friendships

4 February 2016

Today, as part of #BigVolunteer, we hear from a group which pairs up people with and without learning difficulties to go to gigs and other events together.

When Pete started volunteering at Gig Buddies he had no idea that he was about to make a lifelong friend.

Pete, a photographer, first read about Gig Buddies in his local paper.


Pete had not spent much time with people with learning disabilities before and was a bit nervous about whether there would be skills needed for the role that he did not have. But, he went to a lot of gigs anyway to take photos, and really liked the sound of the scheme.

“To begin with, I volunteered hoping to make a positive difference to the life of someone with a learning difficulty; giving them the opportunity to enjoy a social life that most of us take for granted.”

Pete was matched with Tom, who has a mild learning disability which means he needs support to travel to different towns. Although he receives 24-hour support in his assisted living home, Tom does not qualify for much funded one to one support. One of his huge interests is music, so he was really keen to get involved in Gig Buddies.

Since being matched, Pete and Tom have been to all sorts of gigs in Brighton and closer to home.

“Now, nine months or so after starting as a volunteer, I simply class my Gig Buddy Tom as just another friend – we go out to gigs at least once a month, but are in touch on an almost daily basis through social media. Hopefully it’ll be a long-lasting friendship.”

Gig Buddies is looking for more volunteers. To find out more about this volunteering opportunity and many others across the UK visit our #BigVolunteer map or join in the discussion with us on Twitter.

One Comment leave one →
  1. paulstayuplate permalink
    1 May 2016 3:01 am

    have just posted update on our site with fantastic scrapbook of images celebrating Tom and Pete’s first year of friendship

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