People in Wrexham and Denbighshire are being invited to join a virtual Valentine’s Day event to mark the launch of a brand new friendship and dating service for people with learning disabilities or autism.
Luv2meetU, which is run by the national charity Hft, supports people with learning disabilities to develop and sustain relationships, improve their health and wellbeing, and extend their social networks.
The Wrexham and Denbighshire service will join another ten branches across the country, which are already offering a programme of virtual events to combat the risk of loneliness and isolation while in person events are on hold during the pandemic.
To mark the occasion, a virtual launch party is being streamed on 13 February to coincide with the Valentine’s Day weekend. During the one hour event, attendees will receive a flavour of what is on offer, as they enjoy a special welcome in English and Welsh, followed by entertainment from current Luv2meetU members, including an accordion performance and a comedy sketch. The event, which will be streamed on Facebook Live, features video snippets from previous virtual activities, an interview with the parent of a member, and even a live ribbon cutting to mark the branch opening its virtual doors. Potential members will also have the chance to put any questions they might have to the Luv2meetU team during a question and answer session.
The event marks the opening of Luv2meetU’s second branch in Wales, following a successful launch of Luv2meetU’s Flintshire service in October, which has now has over 20 members. Luv2meetU was originally set up as a pilot in the Leeds and Wakefield area in 2007, supporting 40 people to get out and about, socialise and build friendships. The team now supports around 350 to 400 people with services in areas including Bradford, Bristol, Sheffield, Newcastle and Leeds, and has enabled many more to make friends and forge relationships.
Karen England, Luv2meetU manager, said: “We’re so pleased to be introducing Wrexham and Denbighshire locals to Luv2meetU on a weekend when love and friendship are on many people’s minds. Connecting with people, making friends and looking for love are all particularly difficult at the moment, but especially so for people with learning disabilities or autism, who are more likely to be struggling with loneliness and isolation.
“We’re hoping to build those all important social connections by bringing people together at our virtual events, and look forward to brighter days ahead when we can meet in person. If any potential members and their families would like to find out more, we look forward to seeing you at our Valentine’s Day event.”
To register to join Luv2meetU’s launch event on 13 February (8pm – 9pm), visit www.facebook.com/L2MUNorthWales