Beaming Brighton

15 November 2019

Hello fellow Gig Buddies,

Tilz here I am writing to
share with you my experience of my recent trip to the Gig Buddies Partners Day
in Brighton where different Gig Buddies projects from across the country and
even Sydney come together.

It all started on Monday 11th
November 2019 at 1:45pm. When an excited Tilz and Anna met up at Halifax train
station. At 2:15 we boarded the train to Leeds where we discussed the upcoming
events in Brighton. When we arrived in Leeds we hopped onto our next train to
Stevenage which took about 2 and a half hours. We passed the time by doing word
searches and playing cards even though I am pretty sure Anna was cheatingJ. Once we reached Stevenage there was a half an hour wait
till our next train which was to Brighton. So we had a quick toilet stop and I helped
myself to a nice warm hot chocolate and croissant. Once the train was there we quickly
boarded and found us some comfy seats. A long yet pleasant 2hrs later we had
arrived in Brighton! After we got off the train we catched a taxi to our hotel
where we checked in then went to the Brew Dog restaurant for some yummy burgers.
Both I and Anna were absolutely shattered so after our burgers we went back to
the hotel and fell straight to sleep.

At 8 am the next morning I reluctantly
was awaken by noisy seagulls (never again will I complain about pigeons!) So
thanks to the seagulls I got up and dressed then met Anna outside our rooms.
Shortly after we strolled to the area where the Partners Day meeting was being
held and found a nice café where we had some breakfast. Afterwards we walked
across the road to where the meeting was being held. Once we arrived we was
welcomed by Kate and Holly who were running the meeting and also run the
Brighton Gig Buddies project which also covers Sussex. Shortly after we settled
down we met some more people from other gig buddy communities. This included
Hull, Bradford, Cardiff, Craydon, Oxford, Scotland, Portsmouth, Mencap London and
Sydney. After everyone had arrived we went round the room and each project gave
a quick five minute catch up were they discussed what they had been doing in
the past year and what they are struggling with and what is going well. We then
had a 15 minute coffee break. During this I formally met Rachel from Bradford
and Emily from Hull they were both very friendly and talkative. Once the break
was over we got into groups and did some group activities. In my group was Mike
from Portsmouth, Yazz from Oxford, Katlin from Mencap and Anna. We discussed different
topics surrounding how to gather more volunteers and what to do in different
situations. Kate then told us it was time for lunch and asked us to get into
groups according to who was based closest to us. In our lunch time group there
was Me, Anna, Emily, Rachel and Kaitlin and Ruth from Mencap. We were told to
arrange future meet ups and get together over lunch. We all then went back
upstairs to continue the meeting. We were joined by Stay up late ambassadors Daron
and Daniel and Quality Checker Victoria who had come to talk to us about the No
Bedtimes campaign and their advisory groups. During this Daniel read us a
speech about the campaign and what it was about. The No Bedtimes campaign was
set up in order to help people with learning disabilities stay up late and not
be restricted by social worker hours. Daniel and Victoria then spoke to us
about their ambassador’s team and explained to us what they do and where they
have been. I personally found this very interesting and it gave me inspiration and
ideas for our ambassadors team which will be set up in the New Year. Kate then
explained to us the events of the evening. We were told we were to meet at 6pm
at Caffe Aldo which is a pasta and pizza restaurant. She went on to tell us
that we could go into are pyjamas and after the meal we would be going straight
to the fundraiser gig. Me Anna Emily and Rachel then walked back to the hotel
and got freshened up change into our onesies then went to the restaurant. Upon
our arrival we met everyone and was seated we all chatted to each other and had
a beautiful meal. Then altogether walked to the fundraising gig. At the gig
there was a lot more people from gig buddies Brighton and lots of people in
onesies. During the event there was a lot of talented bands and I had the
chance to meet lots of inspiring, kind people. Sadly me and Anna were absolutely
knackered so didn’t stay for the whole event however we still had a wicked
night.

The following morning we both
got up and dressed and checked out we then spent the morning and afternoon
exploring the many wonders of Brighton. Which included the amazing outdoor
shopping centre the lanes. After a calm relaxing start to the day we headed to
the train station where we boarded our first train to London St Pancras. When
we arrived we crossed the road to London Kings Cross and boarded the train to
Leeds. During this time both me and Anna were completely dead on our feet and
mostly chilled and watched South Park. Upon our arrival in Leeds got on our
LAST train to Halifax the finally went home and fell asleep.

The whole Brighton experience
for me has truly been exceptional I loved every bit of it and I am so grateful for
having this opportunity and can’t wait for next year!

Stay awesome and unique over and out

Tilz!

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