Bedford charity secures funding from People's Postcode Trust

Gr8 Mates will be able to help adults with learning disabilities and autism in Bedford for another year thanks to the funding

The scheme helps them make new friends and relationships, and thanks to money from the People's Postcode Trust - a grant-giving charity funded by players of People's Postcode Lottery - the project will be able to run for a further 12 months and they will be able to recruit a project coordinator.

Gr8 Mates Bedford offer participants the opportunity to get together in a small informal and supported environment.

If participants express an interest in getting to know another participant better they will be supported by volunteers to go on a mate date or date. The informal events take place a minimum of 4 times a year.

Gr8 Mates will be able to run the project for a further 12 months thanks to funding

Fizz Heseltine, Gr8 Mates project manager, said: "Most people take making new friends for granted, but it can be a challenge for someone with learning disabilities or autism as this is often missed out from support plans.

"Absolutely no-one should be denied the chance of making new friends or maybe meeting that special someone - and Gr8 Mates provides that opportunity.

"We are so grateful to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their amazing support.

"Their funding will make a huge difference in tackling social isolation faced by many people with learning disabilities."

Gr8 Mates is part of Living It Up Events, Fizz Heseltine and Claire Crawford-Smith have been putting on night club and gig style events for adults with learning disabilities and autism in Bedford since September 2009.

In September 2016 they opened a Performing Arts Centre in Bedford for adults with learning disabilities and autism.

For more information visit: www.livingitupevents.co.uk.