Dating, Friendships, Relationships & Advice

2. Social groups 

We’ve put together some organisations in Scotland that run social groups where disabled people can meet and form friendships and relationships.

Dates-n-mates

Scotland’s national dating and friendship agency, which is run by and for adults with learning disabilities.
Groups are currently running in Glasgow, Renfrewshire and Aberdeen. They organise several social events every month which include ten pin bowling, meals out, theatre trips and quiz nights. They also organise dating events including speed dating and mix and mingle nights.  Non-members can come along to their larger events which include a Valentines Party, Halloween Party, Christmas Party and a “We’ve Got Talent” Night.
Dates-n-mates run a club night called LATE which is Scotland’s first inclusive club night. The LATE events are open to all but especially welcoming to people with learning disabilities and runs 3 to 4 times per year.

get2gether

get2gether believe that everyone has the right to love and friendship. They also believe that people meeting each other shouldn’t be difficult or complicated. They arrange social activities for people with disabilities in safe and friendly places in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Their members tell them what they’re interested in – and that’s what they do. From Wiff Waff ping pong tournaments, to the panto, speed dating, dancing and meals out, and much more.
Membership of get2gether is completely free.

To register you can either fill in the online membership form, e-mail Sylvia at info@get2gether.org.uk or call 07867 179023. They also have a get2gether blog where you can find out what they’ve been up to.

Gig Buddies Scotland

Support people with a learning disability to get out to more gigs and enjoy the social live they choose. They link people with a learning disability who have a love for live events, with a volunteer that shares the same interests as them. These ‘Gig Buddies’ then attend whatever events they want, when they want and share their passion together. For more information on Gig Buddies you can visit their Gig Buddies Scotland Facebook page, by email at samuel.maggs@thera.co.uk or telephone 07738 486001.

ENABLE Scotland

Run a number of social groups and activities for people who have learning disabilities. They have a network of contacts including local groups which can help to put people in touch with others who have similar interests. To find out about discos and nights out in your area contact your local branch.
ENABLE Scotland also run a network of ACE groups in Scotland to challenge barriers to an equal society for every person who has a learning disability. These groups connect people who have learning disabilities to have a local and national voice. You can contact ENABLE Direct on 0300 0200 101 or 01698 737 000 or email enabledirect@enable.org.uk for more information or to find your local group.

The Outsiders Club

Offer physically and socially disabled people the chance to gain confidence, make new friends and form relationships. Being in Outsiders is not just seen as an alternative to socialising elsewhere, but helps disabled people to become more confident in many other situations. They run local lunches where you can get to know others in the groups. Outsiders lunches are starting in Edinburgh shortly. For more information please email info@outsiders.org.uk or call 07410 544 318.

The Outsiders Trust also offers support on sex, disability and relationships. They run a free helpline on 07770 884 985 or by email on sexdis@outsiders.org.uk.

Local disability information services

Local disability information service offer a range of services including information, advice and knowledge of local services. Some services also provide a range of social activities themselves, or will be able to tell you about other local groups that are running. For example, Disability Shetland run Adults’ Clubs which provide a range of sports activities including ball sports, racquet sports, boccia and bowls as well as a selection of table-top games and swimming. Activities can be competitive or just relaxing. The club is suitable for individuals of any ability level.

Another local group is the Friends Unlimited Network (FUN) which is for people who have learning disabilities who want to meet new people and develop lasting relationships. The group is run by Perth & Kinross Council. Activities include discos, meals out, beauty nights, pub quiz, bowling, bingo, cinema, sports activities, local night clubs and many others. Membership is free and  members can meet up in a group or one to one, with support, if needed. You can email  Fun@pkc.gov.uk or telephone  01738 472340 for more information.

To find out contact details for your local disability information services, please contact our helpline on 0300 323 9961.