SCOTLAND'S first friendship and dating agency for adults with learning difficulties has secured funding for an additional five years.

Dates-n-Mates, which is about to celebrate its fifth anniversary, has been backed with £287,000 from the Big Lottery.

The project has already helped hundreds of adults with learning difficulties to overcome social isolation and loneliness by making connections within the local community.

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Sam Smith, executive director of the charity C-Change, which runs Dates-n-Mates, said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to build on what we think is an outstanding project - helping people with learning difficulties, their families and volunteers achieve real positive life changes."

It has always been difficult for some people with learning disabilities to avoid isolation and meet others.

C-Change Scotland's project sets out to help people to meet, make friends and build relationships that can change their lives.