Love2 180A friendship and dating agency is holding a free 'awareness day' to give people the chance to learn more about its services supporting people with learning disabilities to develop and sustain friendships and relationships through social events.

Luv2meetU first began in 2007 and was originally known as Stars in the Sky Yorkshire. There are currently five Luv2MeetU services with branches in Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees.

The Bradford service is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by Hft. It runs 12 events a month which are chosen by the members.

On Tuesday, July 14 the service will aim to share the experiences and good practice of Luv2meetU and other similar projects who support adults with learning disabilities to find friends and love and develop and maintain strong friendships and relationships.

Luv n Friends Matter 2 Us All takes place at Kala Sangam in Bradford from 9am to 3.50pm and will feature workshops on:

  • Dating - Using real examples and experiences of supporting people, Lydia and Lolita from Stars in the Sky will deliver a fun and informative session for anybody interested in supporting people with dating. This workshop will look at how to plan dates and the problems and pitfalls involved in supporting people during dates
  • Autism - Sharing the findings of a pilot project by Luv2meetU that considered the barriers faced by people with autism in developing social networks and friendships, and tackling the issues
  • Hum Tum - Hum Tum (Urdu for ‘Me and You’) is a spin off from Luv2meetU, providing social opportunities for adults with learning disabilities from the Asian communities. The workshop will cover areas such as why Hum Tum was set up, its events, involvement from carers and members issues that have arisen
  • Inclusion and Sustainability - How to make sure that people with learning disabilities can play a meaningful part in the running of a friendship and dating agency. This workshop is an introduction to legal structure, representation, sustainability, and making sure that the overall running of the organisation meets the needs of its members
  • Sexual Health - This workshop covers an overview of a course run by two occupational therapists, and is supported by Luv2meetU members who attended the course last year. It includes trust and confidentiality, puberty, masturbation, friendships and relationships, dating and safe sex, and gay and lesbian relationships.

Project Development worker, Carol Hazeldine, said: “We are delighted to be holding this celebration event. Services like Luv2meetU are really important in combating isolation and loneliness because it can be difficult for people with learning disabilities to meet new people.

“We are incredibly proud to run events our members choose as way of extending their social networks, enabling them to develop friendships and relationships which ultimately help to improve their overall health and wellbeing.”

To find out more and book tickets for Luv n Friends Matter 2 Us All visit: www.pavpub.com/luv2meetu-event/