Love conquers all
12th February 2021
To kick off this Valentine, we spoke to members of National Lottery funded project Safe Soulmates to learn how love has got them through lockdown...
Safe Soulmates aims to help nurture friendships and romantic love in a safe way, free from online and real-life abuse. In 2019, they received an initial £10,000 grant from the National Lottery. Since then, the project has created countless connections for adults with additional needs across the Cambridgeshire area. During lockdown, face-to-face meet ups have been swapped for Zoom calls, but this hasn't stopped stopped love from blossoming...
We spoke to two couples brought together through Safe Soulmates to learn how these vital connections have had a huge impact on their lives, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jenn and Bren went on their first date in November 2019, after being introduced through 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 many people, the couple have been able to offer each other company and support. Bren explained: “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.”
With the guidance and help of its members, Safe Soulmates runs a variety of social events (which are currently held online) to help Soulmates make connections, resilience and, above all, enable members to have fun with other people. This helps the members build confidence which, in turn, has a positive impact on other areas of their lives.
Initially, Imogen and Mark met through Safe Soulmates’ socials and gradually got to know each other as friends. However, over time, this was able to develop into a romantic relationship.
Soulmate Mark described how Imogen has impacted his life, "I think Imogen is the most beautiful, 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 wouldn't 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.”
More than £30 million goes to good causes from The National Lottery across the country every week, making projects like these possible.