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Dates-n-Mates – A Year Like No Other

Dates-n-Mates Scotland is a project of C-Change that support love and friendship for adults with a learning disability.

This year we helped people connect, socialise, and feel included, with a full year of online activities. A new way for many of our members to interact and develop their friendships and relationships. And a new way for us to facilitate these opportunities.

We would like to say thank you and well done to everyone who embraced this change and to those who supported us and our Dates-n-Mates members along the way.

As a project focused on bringing people together, this year has been challenging. However, with the passion and commitment from our staff, volunteers, members, funders, and other supporters we continued providing opportunities to tackle social isolation throughout a pandemic. Friendships continued to grow.

The quick shift from in-person events to online activities involved a lot of effort from everyone to build digital skills and confidence.

Thank you to Connecting Scotland for providing digital resource packages to help us with this. Thank you to members for showing up online with a smile and to the volunteers and other individuals who helped us create new engaging activities.

Online interaction brought with it many benefits alongside the struggles… Dates-n-Mate’s members have been able to connect with a wider community across Scotland and meet members from different branches.

One member said “Dates-n-Mates has helped me throughout the lockdown… given me company and let me meet new people”.

This virtual way of working allowed Dates-n-Mates branches to more closely work together, overcoming the challenges as a united team creating the best possible opportunities for members. It also offered a moment of reflection to look to the future, strengthen our offering and work on a rebrand.

We welcomed new staff, new volunteers, and new members.

We facilitated fun at many online events, workshops, and friendship matches.

Our directors launched a podcast championing the voices of people with learning disabilities.

Many new connections and friendships were made while existing ones blossomed from afar.

And each and every one of our staff and members showed their resilience and their desire to stay connected, meet new people, try new things and show the world that friendships and relationships really do matter.

Thank you to you all for a year like no other.


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