12th Chwefror 2021
To kick off this Valentine's weekend, we speak to members of National Lottery funded project Safe Soulmates to learn how love has got them through lockdown...
Cambridgeshire based charity Safe Soulmates has been creating connections for adults with additional needs since receiving a National Lottery grant in 2019. We spoke to two couples brought together through the project to learn how these vital connections have had a huge impact on their lives, especially during lockdown.
Soulmates Jenn and Bren went on their first date in November 2019, after being introduced through the Safe Soulmates, and are still going strong. They call each other regularly and are each other’s biggest fans!
During lockdown, a particularly lonely and isolating time for people, the couple have been able to offer each other company and support. Bren explained how “Jenn has really helped me through this time, and I have helped her too! I can’t wait to give her a big cuddle! She’s enjoyed my COVID updates.”
Jenn added “What I like about Brendan is that he's very on the ball with the COVID updates that happen on Monday evenings. He keeps me updated on what's happening with them as I don't watch them on Monday evenings as I already have something else on.”
After receiving an initial £10,000 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, Safe Soulmates has helped nurture friendships and romantic love in a safe way, free from online and real-life abuse. The project aims, with the guidance and help of its members, to run a variety of social events (which are currently held online) to help Soulmates to build connections, resilience and, above all, enable people to have fun with other people. In turn, this helps the members build confidence which positively effects other areas of their lives.
Initially, Imogen and Mark met on Safe Soulmates’ socials and gradually got to know each other as friends. Though this was able to develop over time into a truly happy romantic relationship.
Soulmate Mark described how Imogen has impacted his life “I think Imogen is the most beautifulest, cleverest and kindest girl I have ever met, ever since we both start chatting. I have seen her around before the COVID business started and I never talked to her that much…
However, thanks to Safe Soulmates introducing me to her, I found myself smiling and laughing more than I could possibly imagine. We have so much in common, we love sharing each other’s sense of humour and we enjoy each other’s company, we have been talking pretty much every day about our hobbies, how our day has been, what we like and dislike. We would literally talk for hours (six or seven at best) on Zoom since we love talking and have so much to show and talk about…
I love Imogen for all my heart and I will continue to do so since she has made me even happier than ever. I couldn’t thank Safe Soulmates enough for this, if it wasn’t for them, I would be the person I am today!”
Meanwhile, Imogen chose to sum her feelings towards Mark with a poem:
“Mark what can I say?
You make my heart sparkle every single day.
I wake up every single morning thinking about how you are this morning and I text you every day to see if you’re OK.
And what can I tell you about the future?
Only time will tell while we carry on building our future and living happily ever after.”
Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised for Good Causes each week, allowing projects like Safe Soulmates to tackle loneliness and isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can learn more about the project by heading to their website.
Plus, keep up to date with the latest National Lottery Good Causes news over on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.