Hi readers, it’s William and Matthew here again this week, writing about ‘The Friendship Club Steering Group’.   

Some of you may know that we both attend the Friendship Club, where people with learning disabilities can meet friends safely in the community. This is something most of us find impossible to do without support. Just like most people, we want to see friends in everyday places such as the pub, cafes or bowling; and the Friendship Club, which is led and run by members, enables us to do this and have a social life.

The Friendship Club is led by a Steering Group. This group of seven members all have a learning disability and meet monthly to make sure the club runs smoothly.

I (William) have been on the Steering Group for seven years and I (Matthew) joined last year. We all have different roles but work together as a team. My main role (William) is Treasurer, which means I collect subs at most events and record the names of people attending. For me (Matthew) my role is Events. I help ensure areas are safe and people are OK. If there is a problem, I will help if I can or raise the alarm with staff.

From time to time, we both also give presentations about the Friendship Club - we’ve talked to schools, rotary clubs, commissioners, charities, young people and more. We love doing these because it’s good fun and we get to meet new people and make friends. It’s definitely helped build our confidence, and it’s great to know that our contributions help support the Friendship Club to keep going.

We really like the responsibility of being on the Steering Group, and learning lots of new skills. Now we’ve just got to make sure we keep the Friendship Club going!

The writers of the Our View column are supported in their editing by The Friendship Club– a project for adults with learning disabilities, run by People First Dorset