Gig and Sports Buddies

Gig and Sports Buddies promote social inclusion by pairing people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people (participants) with volunteers, based on shared interests.

Volunteers support participants to attend cultural events such as gigs, films or theatre; or to get active and participate in new sports together. It is about whatever makes the pair happy and comes naturally in the friendship.

Buddies are encouraged to attend “mainstream” events and activities in order to build up connections within the community and be part of a more integrated society. These initiatives aim to enhance social lives and provide opportunities for individuals who may otherwise face social isolation.

The projects are also designed to fill a common gap in people’s lives when it comes to friendship, creating space for someone who is neither family, nor paid to be in the participant’s life. They also aim to enrich participants and volunteers’ quality of life with different experiences and interactions.

The Buddies projects recognize the importance of social connections in people’s mental and emotional well-being. They not only offer enjoyable experiences but also create lasting friendships, combat loneliness and promote a sense of belonging.

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