Chat and Mingle in the news!
Chat and Mingle
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Provocative new dating site prioritises people over profit
People say to never discuss politics on a first date. But when both daters are disabled and from black or ethnic minority groups, it's kind of hard not to!
Headlines have been hogged lately with an assortment of sagas regarding the government cuts made in disability and mental healthcare allowance. Add to this the media's focus on Islamophobia and racist hate crimes, and the result is a heavy-substance conversation at any dinner table - much less one with a stranger. Unless they happen to be from both underrepresented groups simultaneously.
A fresh, new Leeds based website has launched; infusing the unlikely combination of dating and politics. chatandmingle.co.uk was designed as a low cost solution to connecting disabled users from various minority backgrounds with others from a similar social standing. The key focus of chatandmingle.co.uk is to improve users' lives by giving them opportunities to meet people, build relationships and love their life.
Founder of chatandmingle.co.uk and long time manager in the care sector, Mrs Debbani Ghosh said, "I have worked in the charity sector for some 7 years now and have become increasingly aware of how isolated some clients feel. I wanted to create a space where users feel safe."
As stars of C4's (at times questionably patronising) Undateables have proved; many disabled people looking for love are spirited and selective. This empowerment is reflected on @ChatandMingle's twitter page. Ingratiating themselves wholly in matters of prevalent political pertinence, the page reported the War on Welfare debate, as it happened, to inform users of its progress. Tweeting an original copy of the picture of empty seats in parliament that day, @ChatandMingle revered Labour MP Dennis Skinner as having a spirit that 'made up for 100s'. He gave an impassioned speech about the necessity for welfare support enabling some disabled people's independence.
With the user blogs section, those who sign up are encouraged to talk about their experiences of disabled dating and friendship. The overarching voice of members displays the desire to be treated equally. Additionally, featuring advice blogs each week, with topics ranging from what to wear in a wheelchair to financial advice, the site provides a holistic support network to users.
Despite being founded and run from Leeds, chatandmingle.co.uk offers a nationwide platform for disabled people from BME backgrounds to interact socially. With members from Penzance to Peterborough, users of the site are spread across the UK. Mrs Ghosh said, "I know that sharing cultural backgrounds is important to many communities. This gives our users some common ground to discuss via the site, or in person. It's heart-warming to see users taking the plunge and signing up to meet new people."
Carers or parents of disabled members can join for free, in order to help set up dates and meetings, and find friends for them. Debbani's team are patient and friendly, offering simple steps and support, through profile matching.
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