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Unique way of making new friends

Luv2MeetU members at a recent event.
Luv2MeetU members at a recent event.

A friendship and dating agency for adults with learning disabilities across the region is being launched

The new Luv2meetU service, which is run by the national learning disabilities charity Hft, will celebrate its launch with music, food, party games and pool at Newcastle’s Yates bar on Monday, January 29, from 4pm to 8pm. There will also be information about the service available for potential members and their supporters, and anyone interested in volunteering.

Karen England, project manager, said the team plans on running eight events a month in the community, including bowling, karaoke, pub quiz nights, and any other activities members want. It will also begin running specialist events for people on the autistic spectrum. For more, visit www.luv2meetu.com
As Luv2meetU’s eighth branch, the new service will extend existing operations in the North. It is hoped that a further 40 individuals with learning disabilities will benefit from the service, which is open to people from Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

Karen said: “There is a real need for this kind of service – research shows that people with learning disabilities frequently experience chronic loneliness, and many of the individuals we work with find it hard to meet people.”

“We all have a right to make friends, go dating and maybe find love, and people with learning disabilities are no exception. We’re looking forward to welcoming lots of new members from the Newcastle area, and offering them a new way to socialise, have fun and be themselves.”

The new service will be focussed on supporting people with learning disabilities and their families to develop and sustain relationships, improve health and wellbeing, and extend their social networks. It has been funded by The Forbes Charitable Foundation.

Last year Luv2meetU celebrated its 10th anniversary. It was originally set up as a pilot in the Leeds and Wakefield area, supporting 40 people to get out and about, socialise and build friendships. The team now supports around 200 people, and has enabled dozens more to make friends and forge relationships.

The launch event takes place from 4pm – 8pm on Monday 29 January at Yates bar, Grainger Street in Newcastle. It is open to any adults with a learning disability and their supporters, as well as anyone interested in volunteering.

To find out more about Luv2meetU, visit www.luv2meetu.com or contact luv2meetU@hft.org.uk