We’re so happy but others may not be as lucky

ENGAGED Paula Smith and Bobby Stott met through the Stars in the Sky.    Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (110838-4)
ENGAGED Paula Smith and Bobby Stott met through the Stars in the Sky. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (110838-4)
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David Curwen, centre, hugs his mother with whom he wa sreunited. Completing the group is his brother Keith

THIS WEEK IN 1975: Reunited after 30 years – but only thanks to a kind stranger

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HAPPY couple Paula Smith and Bobby Stott may never have met if it wasn’t for specialist dating service Stars in The Sky.

But the couple, who plan to marry in September, could be among the last to find happiness through the charity, which looks set to close this year after a huge cut in funding.

Stars in the Sky, based in Fareham, is a dating service and friendship group for people with learning difficulties.

It gives people an opportunity to socialise with others in organised, supervised events such as bowling, discos and meals out.

But now, a £16,000 grant from Portsmouth City Council has been scrapped, and unless more funding comes in, the charity will close.

Stars in the Sky project manager Nicole Hamerton said: ‘The project will close.

‘We are going to continue on a voluntary basis until November to ensure our members from the last year see out their membership.

‘We are still receiving several application forms a week. We don’t want to turn anybody away. Hopefully something will come along and save us.’

Paula, 36, and Bobby, 35, started dating in June 2009 after they met through the charity.

At the end of last year, Bobby popped the question.

Paula said: ‘It’s great. We get to meet new people and make new friends.

‘People would find it difficult if Stars wasn’t there.’

Bobby, added: ‘It was the best time of my life.

‘She’s caring and lovely and we get on really well.’

Nicole is hoping for sponsors to come forward and support the good work that the charity does.

‘It reduces isolation and provides respite for parents and carers,’ she said.

‘It supports children to make that transition from childhood into the adult world.’

To support the charity, call 01329 826423 or visit starsinthesky hants.co.uk.