People within the LGBT community who have learning disabilities were given the rare chance to socialise and meet other like minded people through a specially organised gathering.
Meet ‘N’ Match, the friendship and dating agency for people with a learning disability, held an event for members who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender at Brothers of Charity, Lisieux Hall, in Whittle-le-Woods.
Lucy Hamlin, director of Spring into Action CIC which provides services for people with disabilities and/or specialist needs, says: “The event went really well.
“We had around 14 people attend, from as far as Rochdale and Stockport as there is nothing suitable for them in their own area.
“They enjoyed an ice breaker called speed mating - where we played music and people had to move around the room and talk to someone they had never spoken to and then after three minutes they moved on again.
“It was a great chance for people to find out more things about each other,
“We also had Lancashire LGBT visit to talk about what it does to support its members and one of our members who had been to Manchester Pride talked about his experiences. Guests were able to ask him questions.
“We discussed what the group would like from us. They want to meet more regularly and have chances to go out as a group socially.
“They want to go bowling or to the pub and to have a meal,
“We plan to hold another event next month which will be like a Christmas party.
“Next year we will be planning a mixture of social activities and meetings to discuss issues.”
Sue Sharples, chairman of The U Night Group, the community interest company behind Meet N Match, said: “Generally, people with a learning disability have limited opportunities to meet their peers and to form lasting connections.
“Our current members have told us that this leads to them feeling lonely, isolated and depressed, so we hope this will be one way of improving peoples physical and mental wellbeing, while opening up possibilities for the kind of relationships that others take for granted.”
Meet ‘N’ Match will hold another LGBT social event on Wednesday, December 6.
To book a place call 07762 964728 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.