Chris Jones the pioneer of Mates ‘n’ Dates very sadly passed away on Wednesday 10th August.
This was sudden and unexpected. We are all shocked and saddened by this news and are trying to come to terms with the loss of such a special person.
Before his retirement, Chris was a Clinical Psychologist who worked in Community Learning Disability Services in Oxfordshire. He was passionate about challenging social injustice and believed strongly in breaking down the barriers that people with Learning Disability face in forming relationships and finding love.
Chris started developing Mates n Dates in 2005. His vision of a dating agency for people with Learning Disability was both groundbreaking and innovative. Mates ‘n’ Dates was one of the first of its kind in the UK. Chris was brave and determined and his work through Mates ‘n’ Dates has undoubtedly had a far-reaching and positive impact upon the lives of many adults with Learning Disability in Oxfordshire and beyond.
Chris continued to be extremely involved in Mates ‘n’ Dates in a voluntary position after his retirement. As well as providing expertise and guidance, he was heavily involved in planning and attending social events, developing the service, fundraising and enabling people to access the dating agency events. Chris also was passionate about sexual diversity and lead the Mingle group for LGBT members.
Chris was extremely well respected and trusted by all those who worked with and knew him. His warmth, kindness and ability to connect with people were truly unique qualities. Chris really cared about how to make a difference and ensured the members of Mates ‘n’ Dates were at the centre of everything.
Chris will be greatly missed by many members, volunteers and staff at Mates ‘n’ Dates. He is irreplaceable in our hearts.
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