The evolution of Friendly Faces
There is a famous phrase, ‘if you build it, they will come’, which sounds good, but dates-n-mates Directors quickly realised this was not good enough.
Running inclusive events, in accessible community venues, and expecting people to come, to meet and mingle and connect was a big ask. People came, but Directors heard feedback like, “no one spoke to me” and “I didn’t know anyone”. It takes tremendous courage to attend events and can be painful to find yourself alone in a crowd.
dates-n-mates had to be more radical with its hospitality and, following a discussion between members and Directors, the Friendly Faces scheme was born. Longer standing dates-n-mates members brushed up on their hosting skills and agreed to actively welcome new people at events. They greet people and link them with other members who engage with them and in turn introduce them to others. Members volunteering as Friendly Faces keep an eye out at events for anyone who may be alone and in need of assistance or reassurance. Being a Friendly Face has proven to be a popular role, it not only helps members develop their own social skills it ensures that everyone who attends events feels welcomed and included.
That is a win, win!
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