People from all over Yorkshire gathered at the West Indian Centre in Leeds last week to find out more about a pioneering relationship programme.
‘Chat and Mingle’ was officially launched on Monday the 2nd December and is the first relationship website in the country which is targeted at members of the Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) community, who suffer from disabilities, and their carers.
More than 50 people attended the launch event, held by director Mrs Debbani Ghosh, whereby the whole project was explained to prospective members, who also got a chance to meet people in similar positions as themselves.
Mental health is often considered a somewhat taboo subject, yet recent statistics show that it is likely to affect one in four people throughout their lifetime.
Debbani has managed the Association of Blind Asians for a number of years now and said that after listening to the requests of the group’s members, ‘Chat and Mingle’ was finally born.
“I have been approached many times by members who feel isolated some times and find it really hard to find friends or companionship because of their disability,” she said.
“People have often told me ‘If people meet with similar disabilities it can help create stronger relationships as they have more in common’ and it got me thinking a couple of years ago about creating something like this.
“From February onwards this year I have been working on this project and I have built it all around what people have said they would like to see and do.
“I don’t want people to feel isolated, and this website is something which allows people to find others, from similar backgrounds to themselves, and meet and mingle. Everybody deserves love and friendship at the end of the day.”
Guy Foster, of Leeds chambers of commerce and industry, helped establish the company and believes the enthusiasm Debbani has will ultimately lead to the site succeeding.
He said: “Basically, we’ve been giving Debbani help with putting a business plan together and help making it a reality.
“We’ve helped online businesses before but never relationship site. Despite that, working with Debbani has been fantastic; she didn’t need too much help because she is very enthusiastic and knows what she wants, so all we were there to do was help ‘dot the I’s and cross the T’s’.”
www.chatandmingle.co.uk was officially launched earlier this week and is open to anybody affected by disabilities in ethnic minorities.