Welcome to the first in our SociABLE Sunday’s Series!
This first one will be about the charity project that I work for: dates-n-mates
“Scotland’s National friendship and dating project run by and for adults with learning disabilities”
Who are they?
dates-n-mates are a project of Scottish charity, C-Change. There are branches in Glasgow, Aberdeen & Renfrewshire all run by small dedicated teams of staff. Each branch has at least one director who themselves are an adult with learning disabilities. Therefore providing valuable employment opportunities for those with learning disabilities.
The Aberdeen team currently consists of 4 part time staff including myself as the Marketing & Events Coordinator. I must say I do love my job!
What do they do?
Each dates-n-mates branch offers their members (adults with learning disabilities) the following services:
dates-n-mates organise a wide range of social activities and events for members which may include karaoke, salsa dancing, bowling, getting involved in local events, Valentine’s party and so much more. Events are held in various venues.
They organise dating events such as speed dating or those themed on Blind date and Take Me Out. The project helps members to find their matches, set up their first dates and can support people on their dates to ensure they are comfortable as for many members with learning disabilities this may be their first ever date.
Members are offered training opportunities which can be on topics such as communication, dating preparation and more.
dates-n-mates are very focused on ensuring the project is truly for their members therefore they listen to members opinions and ideas for the project. There is opportunities for members to volunteer within the project too, gaining valuable experience.
Why do they have the SociABLE seal of approval?
dates-n-mates do amazing work for adults with learning disabilities… Of course I may be a little biased because I work for the project… However we get such positive feedback and the difference the project makes to members is so visible on a regular basis. The project provide members with an opportunity to form meaningful friendships and relationships and have dating opportunities which very few other organisations even consider.
They also ensure that members feel included in the local community and promote inclusion, accessibility and equality.
For me personally, it is a highly rewarding and fun project to be part of. Adults with learning disabilities are no different from anybody else in that they want to make friends, date, find love, have a social life and be part of their local community… dates-n-mates offer those opportunities!
Eligibility & further details:
To be eligible to be a dates-n-mates member you must be over 18 and have a learning disability. All sexualities, gender and ages (over 18) are welcomed. There is an accessible application to complete followed by a short informal interview/chat.
If you do not have a Learning Disability you can be added to a mailing list to be invited to open events for anyone which occur every 2nd month. OR why not consider volunteering with us?
Please note: Although I work for dates-n-mates and have featured them on this website, my work with SociABLE Events is separate. All views shown on the blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of dates-n-mates. 💕