‘Don’t be lonely this winter’ says safe community

Safe Soulmates, a face-to face friendship and dating organisation, is reaching out to individuals.

Safe Soulmates, a face-to face friendship and dating organisation in Cambridge, is reaching out to let individuals know not to be lonely this winter. - Credit: Safe Soulmates

A face-to-face friendship and dating organisation for adults with additional needs, including autism and learning disabilities, is reaching out to let individuals know “we are here if they are lonely.” 

Safe Soulmates, a not-for-profit organisation set up by Christine and Vicky from Ely in 2018, was given £114.000 of funding from the National Lottery. 

Since then, they have received a number of other grants from local funders including Cambridgeshire Community Foundation and East Cambs District Council. 

Christine, co-founder of Safe Soulmates, said: “To us, people are people, and most of us want to feel like we belong and have friends we can turn to.” 

With the help of Soulmate volunteers, the community now has 144 soulmates wanting to find friendship or romance. 

So far, they have matched over 20 couples; some have lasted as friendships, some have turned to deeper connections and all have been a positive experience and a learning curve. 

A spokesperson said: “One 48-year-old man went on his first ever date two weeks ago and to say he was overjoyed is an understatement.” 

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As well as matching people in friendship and romance, Safe Soulmates hosts social events on zoom and the group also takes part in quizzes, small meetups, trips and parties.

Lizzie, one of the inspirations behind Safe Soulmates, said: “I have learnt that it’s ok to be myself on zoom. 

“I feel confident and comfortable around others. 

“It’s ok to be myself and not worry about being judged for who I am.” 

Safe Soulmates works closely with Dhiverse, a local charity that provides one-to-one counselling and support for adults with additional needs, including advice about consent, boundaries and online safety. 

Soulmate Leon said: “I know what it's like to be alone. 

“Everyone deserves to be accepted in any social situation and not discriminated against.” 

Safe Soulmates has just recruited a board of experienced strategists to help them reach even more people and to become financially stable in the long term. 

Their aim is be the number one place in Cambridgeshire to come to if you have an additional need and want to find likeminded friends and potentially, love. 

To find out more about Safe Soulmates, visit their website

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