Skills for life

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

All You Need Is Love! Well, this may not be strictly true, although, we do all cherish our friendships, relationships and those we love. For some of us, finding that special someone is a little more difficult. This may be because that person needs support to access their community. They may not have developed the social skills required to form new relationships. They may communicate in alternative ways, for example, they may not use words to speak, instead communicating through signs, symbols, gestures or technology. None of this alters the fact that we all have a basic human need to connect with others in a meaningful way. Our organisation is a user-led charity whose sole purpose is enabling disabled people to feel valued, included and to have real choice. Over the past 12 months, our beneficiaries have made it clear that a dating agency, which provides additional support and guidance, would help them feel included. This is why we are applying to the Aviva community fund for our new project ‘All We Need Is Love’.

With the support of the Aviva community fund, votes from all of you and help from our staff and volunteers, we will provide a dating service for anyone who needs a little extra support. Our service will provide:

Classes: The people we worked with to develop this project all told us classes, which developed skills around safe sex, staying safe online and conversation and relationship building skills, would have a huge impact on their ability to date. Many young people, especially those with learning disabilities, have little sex education or skills to build meaningful relationships; we believe these classes will assist with this.

Mentoring: Classes can be intimidating for some people, and others require additional support to learn new information. We will provide 1:1 mentoring for individuals working on all aspects of dating and forming relationships.

Matching: The people we have worked with to develop this project, all expressed that meeting new people is difficult; however, mainstream dating agencies and platforms can be intimidating or leave some people vulnerable. We will, therefore, meet every person who signs up to our project to ensure the person they match with is suitable.

Extra support: The purpose of this project is to ensure that everyone who wants to, can date. Some people may need a little extra assistance to do this; therefore, we will provide chaperones on first dates, and when needed assign dating ‘buddies’.

Events: Throughout the year, we will host ‘singles’ events where all of our ‘daters’ can meet new people and have a good time.

Peer support: Finally, we will provide monthly sessions where ‘daters’ can discuss their concerns and worries with their peers.

We really hope people vote for us because everyone deserves a chance to meet that special someone. For some people this is much more difficult, however, with a little extra support, we feel that this can be achieved. By voting for us, you are voting for equality, diversity and most of all, you are voting for love. We thank you in advance and remember, ‘All We Need is Love’.

Project Video

Embrace Wigan and Leigh

Our organisations began because disabled people and their families no longer wanted professionals making decisions about the support they needed, they wanted to make that decision for themselves. We are proud of our organisation because after 19 years we remain true to our ethos of being user-led.

Location: Wigan