Loneliness can be a big problem for disabled people. It can be hard to socialise for a number of reasons.
So to try and address the issue of loneliness, I am going to list 5 ways that you can meet new people when you’re disabled. I hope they help you to expand your social circle and make new friends.
1. Join the Outsiders Club
The outsiders club is a social and dating group for disabled people. Members meet up for lunch every month in different regions of the UK. They have lunches in the south-west of England, London, the Midlands, and in the north-west. So no matter where you are there is a decent chance that you will be able to get to a meet up and meet other members. I’ve been to lunches in London, Nottingham, and Birmingham so far and met some nice people. The outsiders also have a Facebook Group where you can talk to other people online. They have lots of discussions ranging from sex to politics. If you’re interested in joining Outsiders click HERE which will take you to the signup page. You have to fill out a form so that you can be vetted first – it helps to weed out the undesirables.
NOTE: You don’t have to do be from the UK to join the Outsiders club and chat to other members. There are a number of people in the Facebook Group from the US and other countries.
2. Go on Holiday at Revitalise
Revitalise is a charity that offers respite holidays for disabled people and carers. They have 3 centres around the UK in Chigwell, Netley, and Southport, but have only been to the first two so far. There are always lots of other disabled people there to talk to as well as the staff and volunteers. I’ve found that everyone is always friendly and happy to help. Plus you can go on interesting trips to nearby attractions. Have a look at their website for all the different theme weeks that they do.
3. Join meetup.com
On meetup.com you can search for local social groups that other members have created. There are a number of different types like theatre, gaming, or just drinking groups. It is a good way to meet people in your area who have the same idea as you, and similar interests. Everyone just wants to make friends. There are a couple of social groups near where I live that go to the pub regularly which I’m going to try to join. The trouble is the number of groups might be limited unless you live near a big city – although you can always create your own group.
4. Local Charity Groups
The charity Headway, a head injury charity, runs a couple of different regular social groups. One is a bowling group and the other is a more general social meet. I’d been to the bowling group before and met some nice people, and I plan to go to the other group at their next meeting. There may be other charities in your local area that run social groups for disabled people so I think it’s worth having a look.
5. Join a club
I go to Lincoln chess club every week which is a great way to meet new people. There could be any sort of club near you. It may be wheelchair basketball, Boccia or boardgames. Meeting up with the same people who have common interests on a regular basis allows you to build up friendships.