Project information

Friends Meet Up Live!

Friends Meet Up Live! is a monthly club for young people with a learning disability to meet, have fun, make friends & be creative. We encourage young people to develop confidence, friendships, social networks and to meet safely in between the club events. We have a buddy scheme to support the group.

October 2010 - September 2011

Charity information


  • Need


    Young people with learning disabilities in rural Somerset are at risk of isolation. loneliness and getting themselves into dangerous situations. Young adults want to have some independence, but there aren't safe places to meet in this area. This group of young people doesn't feel comfortable in regular social clubs as they may be treated differently and as such lack confidence. These young people of don't interact with people outside their families or work colleagues.


    Through our project young people are developing communication skills and the ability to identify what makes a real friend, from those who might pretend to be a friend in order to take advantage of them. We are providing a safe place to meet and make friends. We are encouraging interaction, new friendships and sharing skills which form common interests as a basis for friendships. Our club helps people develop personal confidence and skills required to safely engage with non-disabled activities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide a safe space to for young adults with learning disabilities to meet


    » Provide a monthly social club, with supervision, in a central location

    Success will be evidence of young people socialising in between the monthly club dates. The number of friendships created & the number of new attenders through word of mouth.

  • Impact


    Greater independence for the young people.
    A social network of friends for support, advice and sharing experiences. Parents and carers will be more confident that the young people are safer and more capable of looking after themselves.
    Improved relationships with friends, parents and carers, though increased confidence and communication skills.
    A core group of 10 young people will be encouraged to become peer mentors for the wider group and new arrivals.


    The main risk is not having enough people attend the club -
    We have addressed this through extensive target marketing through social workers, schools, colleges, parents, carers and disability activity websites.
    No venue or lead workers - We have secured the venue and the lead workers and identified replacement workers in the event of illness.
    People not willing to pay the subsidised fee - asking parents & social workers to explain the benefits and the importance of a contribution.


    An updated project review with photos and quotes from the group after each club event, available through email and on our website.
    An invitation to attend the club to see the project in action.
    A full evaluation report at the end of the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £9,002

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £6,000 Event staff 4 facilitators; 1 helper; 3 support workers
      £1,410 Venue & travel exp five monthly events for event staff and volunteers
      £1,592 Admin to project manage the 5 events

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Aiming High for Disabled Children grant £4,523 Guaranteed
    Participant's Entrance Fee £1,300 Conditional
    The Sobell Foundation £2,929 Conditional
  • Background


    The five monthly events will take place at The Academy Theatre in Shepton Mallet. This venue is accessible for public transport and is central geographically for the attenders. The venue has wheelchair access.


    The beneficiaries for the project will be the young people who are attending who will develop confidence and a support network of friends. Parents and carers will benefit through meeting other parents and carers and sharing experiences. The young people will be better able to integrate in community activities with support from friends. The community will benefit from integration from a wider section of the community.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Openstorytellers together with Heads Up High have extensive skills to deliver this type of project successfully. Openstorytellers runs courses and projects to develop communication skills to benefit people with learning disabilities and are regularly called upon for their expertise from other groups across the UK and Worldwide. Heads Up High already deliver a similar project in two locations in Wiltshire and are being sought out to run another in Dorset.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Vicki Ross

    Vicki is a trained speech and language therapist who has run a number of successful projects for Openstorytellers, including Friendship Courses.

    Cindy Moxham

    Cindy is the Project Manager. Her role will be to secure the funds, venue and staff, market the events and ensure we attract 30 people for each event.

    Alex Lupo

    Alex is a music facilitator & will run the event's creative side with Tom. They will be planning the group activities & ensuring the group has fun.

    Tom Mauger

    Tom is a music facilitator & will run the event's creative side with Alex. They will bring in a music technician and dance facilitator to the event.