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Safe Soulmate

Safe Soulmate is a National Lottery-funded friendship and dating organisation in Cambridgeshire for adults with additional needs.

The group would normally be hosting face-to-face social events, dates and gatherings. The group aims to help its members find happiness in a safe environment; build-up their confidence and self-esteem; and reduce loneliness, isolation, and potential abuse when searching for new friendships or partners.

However, with COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in place, staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to ensure online support and social opportunities are still an option for its members – or “Soulmates”, as they’re known within the organisation.

Zoom socials

Since lockdown began, there have been dozens of Zoom-based socials for the 83 soulmates, including quiz nights, movie nights, art sessions and a Tuesday girls’ night. The organisation is even about to start running a volunteer-led online “fitness bootcamp”, focusing on keeping people fit and active while at home.

Safe soulmate

For those who do not have access to online chat apps, Safe Soulmate is also running a phone buddy system service and conference calls; there is already a pen-pal scheme set up for those who prefer not to communicate face-to-face.

Lizzie is a Soulmate. She said about her experiences with the group:

“I really enjoy being part of Safe Soulmate and being part of something that allows you to be yourself and develops you as a person. Safe Soulmate has helped me with my self-confidence, to try new things and make new friendships. It’s been even more beneficial during lockdown to make and talk to friends via Zoom socials in the comfort of your own home.”