Hi Readers, it’s Emily and William here writing about seeing our friends inside pubs at Friendship Club events again.

I, Emily, went to my first Friendship Club event this week for 18 months. We met in the Junction Hotel in Dorchester for a meal, just a few of us to keep it safe.

It felt really weird actually seeing friends in real life who I haven’t seen for so long, except on Zoom. There were some people I didn’t know so it was nice to meet them.

We had to wear masks which I thought would be hard but it was ok as most people were eating so were able to take them off then.

It was also the first time for me, William, that I’ve met people inside at Friendship Club. It was good to see some of my friends again, especially Mike, Tessa, Geoffrey, Ian, Chris and Alex. It was also really nice to see one of our volunteers again, Elizabeth.

It was good that if you were able to, that people would take a Covid test before coming to the pub, and we think everyone there had had two vaccinations. We both feel confident about going to more events, especially if this is in place as much as possible.

We think some of our members will still be worried about going out to pubs and other places, because they may feel anxious sitting inside near others. It will be good if People First Dorset keep doing their Zoom events, so people can choose if they want to meet up in person or online. Also in winter would you want to sit in the pub with the windows open as it could be really cold so it will be especially important to have online events then too.

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. Find out more at: https://www.peoplefirstdorset.org.uk/friendshipclub