Girls in Cornwall is an organisation that aims to connect girls from all over the county. Sophie Gratton is the organiser for the group and decided to set up a friendship speed dating event as a way for women to socialise in a safe space with likeminded people.
Sophie allows only women at her events. She says, “It’s about creating a safe space for women, where they are free to express themselves freely.” The day of the speed dating was International Women’s Day and seeing so many women together having so much fun in a bar with no men was definitely empowering.
For this particular event, Girls In Cornwall collaborated with local metal health charity Georgia’s Voice which works to support young women with mental health concerns in Cornwall. The Truro facilitator for the group, Sam, found it a great way to encourage some women they support to meet new people and try something new.
A few women there had come to the event to combat loneliness. This was Imogen’s first Girls In Cornwall event. Imogen has had to work from home since Covid hit and found herself isolated without the daily socialising in person at work. She says, “We are all kind of spread out down here and it can definitely be hard to make friends.”
Standing in the crowded bar, it was clear that a few girls were apprehensive. Some had never been to a Girls in Cornwall event before, however some had arrived with friends who they had met at previous events. Once the drinks started flowing, so did the conversations and soon the friendship speed dating was in full swing.
After the first session of ‘dates’ the girls had a chance to reflect on how it went and so many said they were glad they came, had enjoyed their conversations and could see some friendships blossoming.