Tea Time Get Together for Adults with Learning Disabilities
Happily, a not-for-profit friendship and dating agency for adults with learning disabilities, has hosted a free community tea party to tackle loneliness and isolation in the borough.
Adults with learning disabilities often lack opportunities to socialise, and as a result can feel very isolated. Recent research from Scope has shown that 50% of people with learning disabilities experience chronic loneliness.
United In Hammersmith & Fulham funded the Happily tea party as part of an initiative inspired by Jo Cox which aims to bring communities closer together.
The party saw over 30 adults with learning disabilities enjoy tea and cake at Petit Miracle Hub in Shepherd’s Bush, before taking part in games and activities encouraging conversation and social interaction.
The get together proved to be successful with many guests taking the opportunity to get to know one another. In fact 92% of attendees spoke to someone they had not met before and 60% felt more confident approaching new people as a result of coming to the tea.
Happily recognises the positive impact the tea has made: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to host a tea party for the local learning disability community in Hammersmith & Fulham. Some guests were feeling quite nervous and shy at the prospect of meeting new people and it has been wonderful to see them enjoy themselves and watch their confidence grow.”
Feedback from attendees has also been positive with one Happily member commenting: “I enjoyed today and I want to know if there is going to be another tea party soon.” Richie, 29.
Happily, provides a safe environment for adults with learning disabilities and autism to make new friends and start relationships. It was founded by Helena Reed, who was inspired by her first-hand experience of helping her younger sister who has learning disabilities to find love and friendship.