How do people join?
The application form here shows all the initial information requested in order for someone you care for to apply to be a member. We welcome parents and carers at our initial meeting which is in person or on Zoom. (More about our process of membership here).
We will arrange to talk to you on the phone,email, text or via Zoom when you and the potential member are ready.
How much does it cost?
Membership costs from £0 to £120 per year, and we charge an initial assessment fee of £0 to £10. Sometimes people pay all at once for the year, sometimes £10 a month by standing order. If the person you support has very little money, and we meet people who really don’t have much but are desperately lonely, we offer free membership.
Who can join Safe Soulmates?
Adults with additional needs, including: autism, learning disabilities, women with anxiety, physical disabilities and any health condition that makes finding friendships and relationships difficult. We are a Cambridgeshire-based organisation, but if you are outside the area, but can travel, then we consider these appliactions too.
What happens if a member meets someone they like at a social?
Attending the socials is the best way to perhaps meet someone you like. If a member meets someone they think they might like to get to know, they can let the Safe Soulmates’ team know and, with their agreement, the team can ask the person if they would like to meet them for a Zoom friendship date or (subject to COVID rules) in person. These dates are chaperoned by Safe Soulmates.
Where the team knows the person is seeing someone else, the team will let the other member know, but it is always worth asking. If the person has a mutual desire to meet the member, the team will arrange for a chat. We always say that dates are a friendship date to start with, so members get to know more about each other.
Why should someone join Safe Soulmates?
If someone you know or care for is feeling lonely, isolated and in need of finding like-minded friends in a fun, social environment, then Safe Soulmates is the right place. We are also the only organisation in Cambridgeshire which supports a relationship to develop if there is a mutual romantic connection. Most couples who have met through us have done so because they have attended our social groups (in real life and currently mostly on Zoom).
If a member doesn’t want to join our socials and just wants to find a relationship, that’s fine too. It can take time and they may not meet the person of their dreams, but they might and many people have. We always suggest matches where we think people might get on really well.
What socials do you run?
Currently, we run socials on Zoom (approximately 5 a week – chat group, bingo, film club, Chatty Tuesday with Gr8mates, Wednesday night huggle – activity and chat) as well as in person events: pub nights, bowling, gig nights, whatever Soulmates want, as best we can!
Our list of socials changes, but look at the Events page to get an idea of what we run.
How do members meet people if they are shy?
If a Soulmate feels that they are too shy to come to the Zoom socials, then we can:
- simply put their details on our database of people we know who wish to find a friend or romantic partner;
- or they can come to our socials on Zoom with their camera off and they can speak or not speak;
- or they can simply chat using the chat function – there is the option on Zoom to chat to everyone or to privately chat.
If a member is too shy to come to an in person social, then we can arrange a smaller group and arrange for people to chat on whatsapp, if that’s helpful. Christine and Vicky are always at in person socials, so there is always a friendly face.
Our strict rule is that if there is someone a member likes, then they let the Safe Soulmates staff know so we can see if this is mutual connection. If the feeling is mutual, then we can organise for them to meet one-to-one. It really does work better that way.
What if I have any concerns?
If you as a parent or carer have any concerns at all, please contact us, our team will be able to put your mind at rest. Nothing is ever that bad, but we have had to signpost Soulmates for extra mental health support at times. Vicky and Chris are in awe of parents and carers, we truly are.
Will members find a best friend or the love of their life?
People have found best friends or the love of their lives, but it has taken time and lots of getting to know each other. Some people have had one-to-one introductions and others have not as the right person may not have joined yet. Most matches have happened when people attend the meet ups, it helps us get to know members but also for them to relax and be themselves. We cannot guarantee success but we do our best to help all Soulmates make much needed connections to others.
Vicky and Christine are responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation, and they are supported by an excellent team and steering group.
What if we want to leave Safe Soulmates?
There is no obligation to stay with us, we want everyone to be happy when they are with us and we do our very best to ensure everyone is. However, if a Soulmate meets another, they may feel like they don’t want to be involved with us anymore. This is absolutely OK, but we strongly advice people to stay, so we can support the relationship to grow, as well as help them build other friendships outside of the relationship.
How do we know everyone in Safe Soulmates is safe?
We have a rigourous application process: an initial meeting on Zoom or in person if that suits the person better, we then send forms to complete, and we ask for two character refrences and to see ID. All the Soulmates are truly lovely and one Soulmate described us as ‘one big family’. The safety and wellbeing of the Soulmates is top on our list of priorities.
Do parents/carers have the opportunity to meet other parent/carers?
Yes absolutely. We know that being a parent/carer can be an isolating experience at times, especially for single parents, so we are starting to run parent/carer meet ups, so you can exchange good news stories, ideas about next steps for the person you care for, as well as recommendations for supported living providers. You could even just have a chat and a laugh. In addition, there is a once a month catch up with Mandy and Viv, parent and online presenter. Both are great listeners and talkers.
Have we ever had to ask a Soulmate to leave?
No absolutely not. We have welcomed Soulmates who have needed an extra bit of guidance and we are able to offer this with the help of the wonderful Dhiverse, who offer free one-to-one sessions to help people who need that extra bit of help with boundaries and online safety, for example. Vicky, Christine and Viv are also there to offer advice, we always do our best to help and if we can’t we will probably know someone who can. We are all different and we welcome difference wholeheartedly.