This Volunteers’ Week, a friendship and dating service for adults with learning disabilities is reflecting on the contribution of its volunteers, after being awarded the People Can kite mark in recognition of its volunteering programme.

Luv2meetU, which is run by Hft, was awarded the certificate, which benchmarks the quality of volunteer management and involvement, by Bradford Volunteer Centre.

The service, which also operates in other locations in England, holds events and outings that focus on increasing confidence, making friends and sometimes even finding love for its 35 Bradford-based members, who are supported to attend events and dates by dedicated volunteers.

Among the service’s volunteers is Will Harris, who has cerebral palsy and works full time as a support worker for another provider. He has been with Luv2meetU since its inception in 2007 and in his free time has racked up nearly 1,000 volunteering hours, including monthly days out where he supports up to six people to take part in local activities, as well as regular mentoring sessions with new volunteers.

Other Luv2meetU volunteers include 63 year old Kate Cross who is a parent of a member of the unique dating service. Kate was inspired to start volunteering after witnessing first-hand the impact the service had on her daughter. Contributing over 100 hours over the last four years, Kate has been heavily involved in fundraising events ranging from service launches to rotary dinners, and even two fashion shows, which raised over £4,000. She’s also used her expertise as a parent to help the Luv2meetU team develop stronger relationships with family members.

Sharon Kennedy, Assistant Manager at Luv2meetU, said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded the People Can kite mark in recognition of our volunteering scheme. Volunteers like Will and Kate are essential to the running of Luv2meetU. We truly value the dedication and passion they bring to their roles and we are committed to providing a quality experience for both our members and volunteers.

“This week marks Volunteers’ Week and is the perfect opportunity to thank and reflect on the valuable contribution of people who selflessly give up their time on a regular basis to support adults with learning disabilities to live the best life possible.”

Luv2meetU is one of 17 charities in Bradford to have received the kite mark which recognises organisations providing volunteers with a high quality and positive experience.

Steve Blackman, CEO of Volunteering Bradford, said:

“Having worked with Luv2meetU for a number of years I was delighted that they achieved the ‘People Can’ – Bradford Volunteering Kitemark which formally recognises their high quality volunteer programme and demonstrates their ongoing commitment to providing an exemplary service for both volunteers and clients.”

Volunteers’ Week takes place from 1 – 7 June this year and aims to celebrate and thank the millions of volunteers across the UK for the contributions they make.

Notes to editors

For further information please call our media enquiries line on 0117 906 1697.

About Hft

Hft is a UK charity supporting more than 2,900 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Established in 1962, the charity uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, person-centred support across all its services.

Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.

For more information about Hft, please visit www.hft.org.uk

Information about learning disabilities

A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to:

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learn new skills
  • Live independently

For more information about learning disabilities, please visit www.hft.org.uk/resources-and-guidance