‘Age no barrier to love’

Research from Relate shows that 23% of 55 to 65-year-olds have met at least one partner through a dating website or app.

The statistics also reveal that nearly twice the number of men compared with women are getting married in their sixties.

Relate Bedfordshire and Luton CEO Angela Foll says that relationships are important no matter what age you are. “There’s an abundance of evidence indicating that good quality relationships benefit people and are good for your health,” she says. “Many people in their 50s and 60s are finding themselves single again after bereavement and increasingly after divorce. This may seem daunting but age should be no barrier to love and companionship.”




Government statistics show that the number of people getting divorced each year has been falling steadily since the mid-1990s. But the divorce rate among the over 60s has increased significantly in recent years compared to all other age groups.

Online dating is just one of many routes to finding love, says Relate. Retirement presents opportunities to take up new hobbies and meet new people. Relate can provide impartial and non-judgmental support for people of all ages, including individual counselling for people looking for love. Call 01234 356350.

Auction raises nearly £2,000 to help local young people

Definitely no one was asleep – some just look that way in the picture.



Instead, they were intently studying the brochure for 12 auction lots at our latest charity auction – including bottles of bubbly from the House of Commons donated by local MPs – which raised nearly £2,000 to help pay for free counselling services for young people in the area.

A framed photograph of the England international one-day cricket team, signed by local lad and England captain Alistair Cook as well as a host of players, attracted one of the biggest bids – £160. While a day out for five people at Center Parcs Woburn Forest attracted the top bid of £200.

Auctioneer for the event at the Auction Rooms, The Old Town Hall, Woburn, was Angela Foll, CEO, Relate Bedfordshire and Luton. “We’re grateful to so many friends and supporters who turned out to take part in our auction which raised a significant sum for what is a very worthwhile cause,” she says.

Relate Bedfordshire and Luton delivered 26% more hours of services during 2014-2015 compared with the previous year – and more than half of that time (57%) was spent supporting children and young people.

Getting It Right In Online Dating – by Relate’s Sue Reed

Online dating is hugely popular. According to YouGov one in five relationships in the UK now start on line, and meetings via the internet is the third most popular way of finding a date , the first two being finding a date through friends or meeting someone in a pub or club.

Many people find a partner successfully through online dating sites but many others have had difficult and unhappy experiences. Online dating has pitfalls as well as positives. Online dating has different rules to the more traditional ways of meeting. Surveys show that many people are economical with the truth when it comes to filling out their online profile to ensure they are seen in the best possible light. Reading a profile is very different to seeing a person.  The first communications will be by email or texting but most human communication is non-verbal so we miss out on body language, tone of voice and nuances of behaviour. It is hard to see if there is a real spark or to gauge the chemistry between people in online communication. (more…)

Great prizes for auction fundraiser

Just take a look… at the great prizes supporters have generously donated for our auction this month. The catalogue is here:

Woburn auction lots brochure

The 12 auction lots include bottles of bubbly from the House of Commons, family days out on the river and in country parks, and a framed photograph of the England international one-day cricket team, signed by local lad and England captain Alistair Cook as well as a host of players.

If you can’t be there, you can still bid – with a reserve price in advance. If your bid is not exceeded on the night, you’ll be the bid winner. To place a reserve bid please email peter.law@relatebedsandluton.org.uk with the number of the lot you are bidding for, then make your bid, together with your name, address, email and a phone number. Win or lose, we’ll let you know after the event.

The auction – on Thursday 15th October, 6.30pm, at the Auction Rooms, The Old Town Hall, Woburn, MK17 9PZ  – will raise funds for counselling of children and young people in Bedfordshire and Luton.

Your auctioneer for the evening is Angela Foll, CEO, Relate Bedfordshire and Luton.

Insight into mental issues at school

The group of young people we’ve been working with who won top prize in a local social action competition have published their project report – and given us an insight into the plight of children at school who suffer mental health issues.

The Minds Alrite team, taking part in an UpRising leadership programme, aimed to:

  • Reduce stigma
  • Increase awareness
  • Improve signposting.

The UpRising report, superbly illustrated by one of the team, focuses on their experience at one local school.

“The report makes fascinating reading and will be an eye-opener for local schools looking to find innovative ways of tackling mental health issues among students and helping them to find coping strategies,” says Relate Bedfordshire and Luton CEO Angela Foll.

“We’ve been impressed by how effective the team has been – going into schools as an older brother or sister might, talking about their own experiences of mental health issues, and readily engaging with other young people who are just a few years younger.”

The report is here:

Minds Alrite Final Report



Demand for help with relationships soars by 26%

Local demand for help with relationships has grown by 26% in just one year, says Relate Bedfordshire and Luton in their 2014-15 annual report.

The local Relate team have delivered 26% more hours of services compared with the previous year – and more than half of that time (57%) has been spent supporting children and young people.

CEO Angela Foll says: “Good quality relationships remain key to our wellbeing and happiness, even as the world around us changes rapidly. In fact, strong relationships are our best asset when coping with the challenges that modern life throws at us.

“At Relate Bedfordshire and Luton we help those who are single or in a relationship, straight or gay, young or old. Whatever the circumstances, our whole team are dedicated to helping clients get the most out of their relationships, no matter how big or small the issue.” (more…)

Empty Nest – by Relate’s Sue Reed

The new academic year begins and fresh faced young people are preparing to start out at university.  For many this will be an exciting new venture, a chance to be independent and build a new network of friends.  It may be daunting, managing money, shopping and cooking can be a challenge and that’s before they take on the academic challenges.

Parents can also find this new stage tricky too. Packing the car with the clothes, music, books and precious objects can be a wrench even when parents have looked forward to this time.  Watching fledglings leaving the nest can bring a tear to the eye of the most stoic parent.  This life stage has been called “the empty nest” period and parents need to adjust to the changes. (more…)

She’s gone up the wall


Heavens! Normally she’s such a balanced, quite reserved, clinical supervisor skilled at listening.

But of late, Diane Whitmore has been going up the wall.

Diane, counselling supervisor at Relate Bedfordshire and Luton, has been learning the tricks of scaling a wall courtesy of young people at the TOKKO youth space, Luton – where the Relate team provide counselling services. (more…)

Tips on how to ‘talk with your teen’

We’re supporting World Suicide Prevention Day this week (September 10) by offering tips on how to talk with your teenagers.

The annual awareness-raising day is organised by International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organisation.

This year’s theme is about understanding the impact that reaching out to people at risk can have in preventing suicide, and ultimately saving lives.

More than 800,000 people take their lives each year across the world. In the UK and Republic of Ireland, more than 6,000 people die by suicide a year – an average of 18 a day. (more…)