WEE COUNTY residents will have the opportunity to get involved with Scotland’s leading dating and friendship agency for adults with learning disabilities this winter.

Dates ‘N Mates have announced that they will be launching a branch in Falkirk, starting in December.

The agency’s first event, which takes place on Thursday, December 20, at the Falkirk Stadium, is open to all Forth Valley residents.

It comes in the form of a free-entry Christmas party, in which guests and members can enjoy a DJ, a festive buffet and a raffle.

Holly Millar, director of the agency’s Glasgow branch, said: “It’s important to provide a service like this for adults with learning disabilities.

“It helps them to build meaningful relationships and improve their opportunities.

"People have a good time and they have a chance to mingle with other people, go new places and try new things.”

The event will be the first of many in the area in the foreseeable future, as Falkirk Council have agreed to fund Dates N’ Mates in the area for the next two years.

Its main aim is to combat loneliness and isolation among adults with learning disabilities, and give members the opportunity to meet new people and create fulfilling relationships.

To that end, Dates-n-mates offers members a monthly programme of social and dating events in accessible venues.

They also provide support for people to build their social skills with regular workshops such as "What to Say After Hello" and "Successful Dating" along with opportunities to volunteer.

Clackmannanshire residents looking to attend or get involved can do so via the Dates ‘N Mates website, by emailing dnm@c-change.org.uk, or by calling 0141 427 2957.