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Bromford in partnership to get people together

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Social business, Bromford is in the early stages of research for a new service to help customers with learning disabilities make new friends and potentially meet life partners. Together with Warwickshire County Council, the Coventry and Warwickshire NHS learning disability nurse teams and local agencies, Bromford has recognised the lack of a safe dating and friendship service for individuals with learning disabilities in the Coventry and Warwickshire area.

Laura Hill, locum hub advisor for Bromford’s Warwickshire Hubs said: “People with learning disabilities want the same as everybody else and it’s become quite evident from our Hub* customers that they are keen to meet new people they wouldn’t get the opportunity to in their current work placements, social circles or activities.

“Individuals in the area also have concerns about safety when dating and many have unfortunately had bad experiences and have felt vulnerable when accessing other dating services. Most feel that meaningful friendships and relationships are some of the most prevalent things missing from their lives.”

The committee plans to set up a safe service that can offer dating and friendship opportunities for individuals with learning disabilities by setting up a ‘Members Only’ service. It has taken advice from other areas that have run successful friendship and dating agencies which are well attended by their learning disability communities and gathered feedback from customers, families and support colleagues of individuals with learning disabilities in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Early responses are positive and Laura summed up: “We want to challenge negative views of dating and relationships for people with learning disabilities in Warwickshire and to signpost and provide educational and sexual health support.”

If anyone would like information or is interested in raising awareness please contact Laura Hill on 07436 810555.

*Bromford Hubs

Bromford Hubs encourage independence and provide support, information and tailored services in a safe environment for individuals with learning difficulties. Bromford is keen to support and promote equal opportunities throughout the county and its Hubs in Warwickshire have been running since October 2012.