Dates-n-Mates is Scotland’s first friendship and dating agency for adults with a learning disability. Dates-n-Mates has over a decade’s experience of connecting people in Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Aberdeen and Falkirk.
Our work is underpinned by a human rights-based approach. We believe it is people’s right to live life free of discrimination and to develop friendships and relationships of their choosing, to love and be loved.
Influenced by our members preferences, we organise events where there are opportunities for new friendships and social connections to be created. We facilitate friendship matching, date chaperoning and training workshops to enhance our member’s confidence, independence and wellbeing.
Each of our four Dates-n-Mates branches are led by a small dedicated team of staff which includes at least one director with lived experience of learning disabilities themselves. Members and Directors have regular valued opportunities to contribute and lead with their ideas.
Why dates-n-mates is needed...
In 2008 a number of organisations, listening to the people they supported, recognised a common issue. Adults with learning disabilities were saying that they wanted the same opportunity for love and friendship they saw available to everyone else. Making and sustaining relationships can be difficult for anyone but more so for people with learning disabilities for many reasons including; lack of opportunity, low confidence and discrimination.
In 2019, Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) carried out a “How’s Life?” Survey for adults with learning disabilities in Scotland. The survey received 1232 responses. Results showed that 46% of men and 58% of women reported that they ‘occasionally, sometimes or often’ felt lonely.
Dates-n-Mates is a charity project, set up by C-Change Scotland, to challenge negative assumptions and prejudices and to provide adults who have a learning disability with social connections and relationship opportunities. Dates-n-Mates can, and does, transform people’s lives by tackling social isolation and loneliness and facilitating meaningful friendships and relationships.