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So Dates-n-Mates runs workshops to give its members the opportunity to hone their chat-up technique. Using role play, staff encourage those taking part to come up with a list of opening gambits such as "What's your favourite music?
They also get members to think about what is and isn't an appropriate question on a first date. The hope is the workshops will help them make the most of the agency's social events: It was at one of the club nights that Stuart Devlin and Nicola Hamilton met. Sitting next to her now-fiance in the Dates-n-Mates office, Nicola, 31, is chatty and gregarious, but back then she was still living at home and, with no job and few hobbies, spent most of her time holed up in her bedroom.
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When, egged on by one of her support workers, she turned up at the venue with her niece, she hung around the bar feeling awkward until Stuart, who was having his face painted, was asked to show her around.
He took her hand, introduced her to his friends, bought her a drink and stayed at her side for the rest of the night. I've still got it on my phone. The move was stressful for Nicola's family as she has haemophilia, but it seems to have worked out, with Stuart always on the look-out for potential danger. Indeed, they complement each other in a way that makes independent living feasible. For example, Stuart struggles to make himself understood, but Nicola instinctively knows what he is trying to say and interprets for him.
It is touching to hear her finish sentences he has barely started, as he looks adoringly on. Having gone out with each other for 10 months - their first date was a night at bowling followed by dinner - they got engaged in a restaurant shortly before Valentine's Day last year.
Stuart's brother helped him choose the ring and, having been let in on the secret, members of Nicola's family rallied round to make sure she looked her best for the occasion.
Though Stuart, 32, says he was so nervous he couldn't stop twisting his ring finger, she didn't suspect a thing. He got the ring out, but I was in shock, so he was down on the floor waiting for an answer, but eventually I got myself together and said, 'Of course. Nicola's mother had phoned ahead asking for champagne to be laid on, but none was produced, while someone else who was celebrating their birthday got a cake and candles.
But the reception they received at the Dates-n-Mates Valentine's Ball a few days later more than made up for it. The agency's first big success story, Stuart and Nicola were hauled up on stage as the DJ announced the news and their friends cheered and crowded round to see the ring. Now the couple are looking for work and saving for their wedding which they hope will take place next year.
Dating, friendships, relationships & advice | disability information scotland
But for other people with learning disabilities - those whose social circle may be limited to those they meet at a particular day centre or be constrained by the number of hours they have access to support workers - finding the right partner can require a concerted effort.
And, even once a spark has been ignited, more care will be needed to ensure the relationship progresses at a pace both parties are comfortable with. After one of Dates-n-Mates' speed dating or mix and mingle nights, all those who have expressed a tentative interest in one another are invited on a group outing where they can continue chatting without the pressure of being on their own.
Then, if both halves of the couple are still keen, someone from Dates-n-Mates will chaperone them on their first proper date, to make sure it all runs smoothly.
From that point on, they are left to get on with it. But the agency is on hand to provide moral support if problems arise.
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Maybe they don't know what is happening with the relationship or it's all moving too fast," Joyce says. The proportion who lose custody of their children is much higher than that of the general population. And yet, the right relationship can revolutionise their lives, bringing them companionship and the confidence to take on challenges that might otherwise have overwhelmed them.
At their top-floor flat in Helensburgh, Paul and Pam McCann, who are in their sixties, are sorting out tea and biscuits.RAEBURN SUPPER CLUB
The ritual is played out as a graceful pas de deux, with much to-ing and fro-ing, clasping of each other's hands and playful poking as they fill the mugs and set out the Tunnock's teacakes. Their living room is a testament to their year relationship.
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The walls are crammed with photographs, college certificates, pictures of sailing boats and blossom-heavy trees painted by Pam, as well as souvenirs from Celtic - Paul's other great love. The shelves are heaving, too, with trinkets and shell-covered boxes and a figurine, which Paul points out as his latest gift to his wife.
Paul can remember the first time he set eyes on Pam. 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. The LATE events are open to all but especially welcoming to people with learning disabilities and runs 3 to 4 times per year. This event is also open to non-members.
Valentines Parties also running in Renfrewshire and Aberdeen. They arrange social activities for people with disabilities in safe and friendly places in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
From Wiff Waff ping pong tournaments, to the panto, speed dating, dancing and meals out, and much more. Membership of get2gether is completely free.
Gig Buddies Scotland supports 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. Marsaili has been supported by Gig Buddies since August and tells us what Gig Buddies means to her. Friendships and relationships lift people up, it makes them happy and bubbly. Sitting at home can be boring.
I wanted to get out to the theatre and Gig Buddies allows me go out in the evenings. If someone was thinking about signing up to Gig Buddies I would encourage them to sign on and sign up! They have a network of contacts including local groups which can help to put people in touch with others who have similar interests.
The Outsiders Club offers physically and socially disabled people the chance to gain confidence, make new friends and form relationships.