Seeking space for love and connection

Taking part in an Enabling Love and Friendship coffee club meeting at the Otago Museum recently...
Taking part in an Enabling Love and Friendship coffee club meeting at the Otago Museum recently are (from left) Vanessa Murphy, Jolene Sibbe, Chris Morgan and Tarj Wilkinson. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON
Combating social isolation is an enduring theme for Enabling Love and Friendship chief executive Joshua Perry, of Dunedin.

Since he started the charity about three years ago it has expanded across the country and now has 215 members.

Mr Perry, who has cerebral palsy, said Enabling Love organised events to bring people with disabilities together across the country, from Invercargill to Auckland.

His aim with Enabling Love was to connect people through events including speed dating, coffee clubs, movie nights, quiz nights and barbecues, all focusing on serving the needs of people with disabilities.

He has many more plans, but running the organisation at present out of The Hub at Otago Polytechnic is not ideal.

"We definitely need our own space. It is getting to that stage," Mr Perry said.

He has set up a givealittle page and hopes to raise about $25,000 to open a community and office space for the charity.

Having a space in Dunedin would not only enable the more than 50 local members to have a location to gather, it would also be a place from which the national network of events could be co-ordinated and online courses could be run.

The ideal space would have an office area, a kitchen and a room for gatherings.

Funds raised would be put towards rental as well as office supplies and equipment for the charity.

Members had told Mr Perry they liked the events and the social connection they provided.

"A lot of them don’t often get out so it is important for them to connect with one another."

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