Love4Life still makes an impact through online events

12th March 2021

During the pandemic, our friendship and dating project Love4Life has continued their vital work offering a lifeline of communication to their members in what would otherwise be a very lonely time. And, thanks to the hard work of our Love4Life team, members like Thomas have continued to benefit and develop new skills – even from their online events.

Thomas has been a member of Love4Life for more than four years, and loves quiz nights and going out for meals with his friends.  Since lockdown, Love4Life coordinator Cader has seen Thomas’s communication skills really improve from the Zoom events.

She said: “Thomas has really struggled with communication and understanding social cues.  At the beginning of lockdown we didn’t see Thomas on our Zoom activities that much, and when he did join he was in the background listening but never joining in with the conversations.

In the past few weeks we have noticed that Thomas is taking part in the conversations more, and increasingly he’ll hear something that interests him and he’ll respond about the same topic.

“We have been so impressed with Thomas. I think this change has been down to a mixture of Thomas adapting to the new routines over time, as well as us learning quickly how to make Zoom accessible for all our members. For instance, we make sure everyone has their turn to speak, and we have reworked our timetable to make sure we have events available for all members, no matter their home schedules. We also incorporate seated exercise routines so everyone can join in regardless of their mobility.

“Thomas has grown so much in confidence and it is wonderful to see. That is what is so powerful about Love4Life, knowing that we are still connecting people during the pandemic, and we are still making an impact on people like Thomas. For many of our members, the events they have joined might be the first time they have spoken to someone all day.”

Thomas said: “There’s lots of things I like about Love4Life, I like the games night and I like eating out at Harvester – it’s my favourite.

Thomas probably speaks for us all when he says:

“Love4Life on Zoom is fun but it isn’t the same. I will be really happy when I can see everyone in person again.”