Gig Buddies Calderdale Launches

Gig Buddies is a new initiative in Calderdale addressing the barriers that prevent people with a learning disability accessing local arts and entertainment.

Pioneered by Brighton-based Charity Stay Up Late, Gig Buddies aims to link people with a learning disability with volunteers who share their passion for entertainment, culture and live events; and support them to access all the great events and gigs going on locally.

The scheme launched during National Volunteers Week 1-7 June with an opportunity for buddies to meet and enjoy the theatre show ‘Contained’ starring Coronation Street’s Liam Barstow.

England’s largest learning disability theatre company take critically acclaimed show CONTAINED to Square Chapel Arts Centre on Thursday 8 (8pm) and Friday 9 June (1pm).

CONTAINED features nine learning-disabled performers, including Liam Bairstow (Alex Warner in ITV’s Coronation Street) and Jez Colborne (lead artist of Mind the Gap’s Irresistible, Gift and Trickster) who has written original music and lyrics for the show. Together they present nine interwoven true stories about family and friendships, love and loss, the everyday and the extraordinary.

Combining live performance, film, photography, music and dance, CONTAINED explores those small moments in life that suddenly become meaningful: moments that teach us about ourselves and the world that we live in.

Gig Buddies and other audience members are also invited along on Thursday 8 June at 6pm for An Audience with Liam Bairstow, followed by the show at 8pm and a post-show discussion with the cast at 9.15pm.

Gig Buddies Coordinator, Gemma Haliwood-McCallion said:
“Gig Buddies is a volunteer befriending scheme which aims to match people who have a learning disability or autism to a volunteer who shares the same interests. These interests can be music, gigs, cinema, theatre, film, picnics; whatever your gig, we aim to find a person for you to share it with! I’m really excited to be a part of what is such an important project; everyone deserves the opportunity to have a vibrant and fun social life, with Gig Buddies Calderdale, they can!”

The Gig Buddies initiative is funded by Adult Health and Social Care and is being delivered in partnership with Square Chapel Arts Centre, Calderdale Council and the Brighton based charity Stay Up Late.

To find out more about the Gig Buddies Calderdale or to become a ‘Gig Buddy’ then please contact Gemma Hailwood-McCallion,

or call 01422 353 073.

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