A Salford woman has created a new dating website with the aim to help to help people in similar scenario to hers.

Nicola Robinson, 46, from Kearsley, started creating her own business, Dates at Eight, during her son’s gymnastics classes in Salford and now wants to bring Salfordians into the business.

After losing her business during the pandemic and seeing others have similar struggles, she wanted to find a way of helping create jobs, support local businesses, and find love.

Nicola said: “It was devastating. I kept seeing so many other people also losing their businesses or being made redundant, and not everyone was receiving government help.

“So, I thought, how can I make a business model for people to help themselves?”

Credit: Nicola Robinson

The events are for over 30’s only and aim to eradicate the pressure of a first date, focusing on self-development and transparency whilst financially benefiting the hosts and venues involved.

However, the main factor to be considered when creating the site was being able to give back to local areas like Salford and the people there who have financially suffered due to the pandemic

The Salford hosts must commit 15 to 20 hours a month of work and will receive £7 for every new member, additionally, the venue will receive £21 for each new member that joins after the dating event.

Nicola said: “You go to the clubs, that suits the type of person you’re looking for. For instance, a club in Sale and a club in Salford would have totally different kinds of people which is why we want both!

“If we get a host who’s based in Monton or Eccles they can choose their venue near to that area. They can then support their local pub or venue that maybe, like me, has had a really hard time during COVID.”

The site has combined the idea of Slimming World and ‘First Dates’ into an honest group experience where people can’t use filters or overly ambitious bios.

Nicola continued: “I was on these dating apps and stuff because I’m single myself, and I just felt that it was intrusive, desensitised and you are were swiping based on looks.

“Then if you did meet somebody that you thought was okay, they generally speaking tended to not be who they said they were.”

The site is hoping more Salfordians will sign up to host and join the dating pool however, there are still available events to attend in the North West including escape rooms, cocktail making, catchups and sports day style events.

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