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A new service that aims to help adults with learning disabilities combat loneliness and social isolation and enhance their social skills has launched across the Falkirk area.

Funded by Falkirk Council, Dates-n-Mates will help those with a learning disability participate in organised social events that take place in accessible venues. These events aim to help members make new friends and form personal relationships.

Over the next two years it is expected that around 85 local members will attend around eight social and dating events per month as well as participate in volunteering and training opportunities and skills workshops highlighted or organised by the site. In addition, a further 300 members from Scotland’s other local Dates-n-Mates branches are expected to attend larger events including Valentines and Christmas parties.

Taking part in the sessions is voluntary and established branches have successfully helped members build confidence and skills as well as cement meaningful friendships.

Councillor Fiona Collie, spokesperson for Health and Social Care said: “Everyone needs love and friendship but sometimes but it is often difficult to find and this is especially true for adults with a learning disability.

“The programme of events gives participants a wide range of opportunities to build a strong a social life and create relationships that we all need for a happy and fulfilling life.”

Dates-n-Mates is a project set up by C-Change Scotland, an organisation/charity set up to support people who have learning disabilities, mental health issues and other additional support needs to live as full a life as possible regardless of their age or circumstances. Dates-n-Mates sites are run by adults with learning difficulties.

For further information about dates-n-mates Falkirk visit the Dates n Mates website email or call 07720 591236.