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Dating agency launched to combat loneliness among adults with learning disabilities

A charity is hoping to combat loneliness by starting a friendship and dating agency for adults with learning disabilities.

The new Luv2meetU service, which is run by the national learning disabilities charity Hft, will celebrate its launch with music, food, party games and pool. There will also be information about the service available for potential members and their supporters, and anyone interested in volunteering.

Karen England, project development manager, said that the team plans on running eight events a month in the communities across Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside, including bowling, karaoke, pub quiz nights, and any other activities that members express an interest in. They also plan to run specialist events for people on the autistic spectrum.

luv2meetu dating agency emma and andreaDating agency also aims to form friendships and extend social networks

As Luv2meetU’s eighth branch, the new service will extend existing operations in the North. It is hoped that a further 40 individuals with learning disabilities will benefit from the service.

Karen says programmes like Luv2meetU are essential for the wellbeing of people with learning disabilities. “We’re delighted to be able to extend Luv2meetU into these new areas,” she says. “There is a real need for this kind of service – research shows that people with learning disabilities frequently experience chronic loneliness, and many of the individuals we work with find it hard to meet people.”

“We all have a right to make friends, go dating and maybe find love, and people with learning disabilities are no exception. We’re looking forward to welcoming lots of new members from the Newcastle area, and offering them a new way to socialise, have fun and be themselves.”

The new service will be focussed on supporting people with learning disabilities and their families to develop and sustain relationships, improve health and wellbeing, and extend their social networks. It has been funded by The Forbes Charitable Foundation.

Last year Luv2meetU celebrated its 10th anniversary. It was originally set up as a pilot in the Leeds and Wakefield area, supporting 40 people to get out and about, socialise and build friendships. The team now supports around 200 people, and has enabled dozens more to make friends and forge relationships.

The event will be held at Newcastle’s Yates bar on Monday 29 January. To find out more about Luv2meetU, visit or contact

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