Along with everyone else, our Buzz Buddies are getting used to being at home and talking to each other via video links.
The Buzz Buddies project is for 18-25 year olds with learning disabilities and / or autism who live in West Sussex. It’s all about supported nights out for young people to socialise and spend some quality time with others their age. So far the group has been to the pub, had a games night and been to a club night in Bognor called ‘LOL’ (Living out loud). This superhero themed inclusive party was the last of our pre-lockdown socials, and the Buzz Buddies loved it.
We’ve been impressed with how everyone is coping with the lockdown, and having the technology has been a key part to this. After some initial concerns amongst young people and parent carers about how trustworthy it is, the Buzz Buddies are now using Zoom with confidence.
Led by the fabulous Kate from Gig Buddies, the two April Zoom meetings have been really positive. We have no theme and no agenda. Instead, everyone just turns up on the video call and we see where it leads us.
One member who said ‘I’m not sure what we will talk about’, chatted at length about the positives of lockdown – reduced carbon emissions and more time at home to read books and listen to music. He also showed us the dungeon and dragons game he’s made. Next someone else decided we should dress up and produced a wig from his wardrobe – and then others joined in too!
Buzz Buddies have chosen online pop quizzes, games and sharing music for their next Zoom socials. They also want to watch a live set on Coronavirusfest. If you haven’t yet heard of Stay Up Late’s Coronavirusfest (made famous by Lauren Lavern on BBC Radio 6 Music), then you should check it out here!
The next step for Extratime and Gig Buddies is recruiting new members to the Buzz Buddies club as people adjust to this new way of connecting with each other. The lockdown put the brakes on our Buzz Buddies promotion in March so we are restarting it here today.