Brighton Fringe is teaming up with Gig Buddies for Good Mental Health, an organisation set up to match adults experiencing Mental Health challenges with a volunteer who has similar interests, to go to events together that they both love.
Gig Buddies is designed for individuals with mild to moderate mental health needs, who are able to live fairly independent lives but need an extra bit of support to empower them to attend live events.
Brighton Fringe and Gig Buddies are looking to find volunteers of all ages, no matter their background, who can support adults to attend Brighton Fringe 2022. Training and support is provided, and all volunteers are police checked to ensure we are all thinking about the safety of the people we support.
“I applied to be a volunteer because I love how music inexplicably and powerfully brings people together, regardless of their differences. It’s such a powerful force for connection and happiness. The beauty of Gig Buddies for Good Mental Health is they put this simplicity at the centre of their organisation and the friendships between volunteers and their buddies flow so naturally from that common interest. I love meeting new people and want to give something back to someone who wants some support to improve their confidence through having fun.” (Volunteer)
Gig Buddies matches up participants and volunteers based on a common interest and taste. Gig buddy pairs then meet, plan what they’ll do together, and get together at least once a month to go to an event, whether that’s a gig, concert, club night, art gallery, or other cultural events.
“We have been out at least once a month. We went to see a band, we had Gig Buddies social and we had a karaoke evening and we went to the cinema. And bowling. They were all things I wanted to do and I would have found it hard to do on my own. I have felt a lot less anxious, it's been very positive. Just really glad I got to get involved.” (Participant)
Brighton Fringe will be offering Gig Buddies participants 2 for 1 tickets so that a volunteer can attend a show alongside them for free. All volunteers must be able to attend a training session, complete a DBS check, and commit to a minimum of 12 hours volunteering.