Bringing soulmates together for love and friendship

Bringing soulmates together for love and friendship

Female in wheelchair and male giving thumbs up. Happy faces socialising.

When the Cambridgeshire not-for-profit enterprise Safe Soulmates launched in 2019, they could not know that a worldwide pandemic was just around the corner. Recognising a gap in services offering safe spaces for people with additional needs to socialise, meet new friends or potential partners, Vicky Baddeley and Christine O’Neil founded Safe Soulmates to immediate success. Almost as soon as they had launched the service offering face-to-face events and introductions, the pandemic escalated and they were forced to focus on delivery online.

“The Evelyn Trust were there for us at a critical moment when most of our fundraising ideas had to be put on hold and we were fighting to survive. We’re so grateful to the Trust for the funding we’ve received. It has helped to fund our move from online back into face-to-face activities and has now enabled us to start expanding our offer into the Peterborough area,” says Christine.

Safe Soulmates is still running online groups and introductions as, for the moment, some people do still feel safer that way. However they will now be getting back to more face-to-face events, including walks, shopping, boat trips, meetings in pubs – whatever activities the soulmates suggest. Safe Soulmates has a very flexible approach, driven by the needs of its members.

“Some people join us because they feel isolated at home and they want to socialise in a safe way with their peers – people who can empathise. Others want to date and hope to find love, so we can meet them and plan one-to-one introductions. Carers are welcome to get involved, or stay on the sidelines, it’s all down to individual circumstances. Our experience of our first year of operation has shown us there’s great demand out there for what we can offer. There’s nothing like it even in neighbouring counties, so we’re very hopeful we can make a difference to many more lives in the longer term,” adds Vicky.

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