A DATING agency for adults with disabilities has seen its service saved after facing potential closure.
The boost to Fareham-based Stars in the Sky has been welcomed by Christina Corp who used the agency to meet her fiance Joe.
Without the support I had from the volunteers, I never would have gone on a date.Christina Corp
Christina was in a life-changing car crash more than ten years ago and said before the agency, it was impossible for her to meet friends and potential partners.
Stars in the Sky was given a helping hand to raise the £74,000 it needed by Petersfield-based Fitzroy.
Christina, from Stubbington, said: ‘I always found it impossible to meet other young disabled people, especially with all the cuts going on. Stars in the Sky was so helpful and I still attend events they hold because it is a way to meet friends.
‘I was lucky that I met Joe and we got together.’
Christina added that without Stars in the Sky she wouldn’t have had the confidence to go on a date.
She said: ‘Without the support I had from the volunteers, I never would have gone on a date.
‘The money raised is important as it funds the people who provide support for the disabled, some of whom wouldn’t leave their house without the motivation of Stars in the Sky.
‘I would recommend the agency to anyone who’s disabled.’
Launching the fundraising campaign Love4Life chief executive Anna Galliford said: ‘The sad reality is that for many people with learning disabilities the chance of finding love is impossible because they face abuse and harm when going out, or using online dating services.
‘We decided to set up Love4Life to save Stars in the Sky as it does a vital job preventing loneliness and helping people with disabilities find love and enjoy life.’
Stars in the Sky, which appeared on Channel 4 show The Undateables is for adults with learning disabilities.
It helps adults build friendships as well as help those looking for love.
Supporting individual one-to-one dates, the charity also hosts up to ten social events each month where members can socialise and get involved in activities.
Volunteer at Stars in the Sky, Mark Foster, said: ‘This project gives a lonely man or woman the very thing that we all crave - friends, understanding, warmth, love and a feeling of belonging.
‘The few hours at each event is a time to share problems with people who are going through the same thing.’