Welcome to the Outsiders Club!
This application process will help you to decide whether you are right for Outsiders and help us decide if you are suitable. Outsiders has been running for over three decades and are pledged to continue to protect our members from those who may cause them harm or distress, predators and other “undesirables”. For this reason, the process is rather long — but worth the effort if you are serious about joining. Those who may not be allowed to join can look online for more suitable clubs.
There are basically three steps to joining:
1) Read the declaration that you can handle your own affairs
2) Read our list of 21 rules, which ensure every member treats the club and other members with respect and sign your agreement to those specifications
3) Fill in the short questionnaire so that the dedicated membership volunteers learn more about you. This information won’t be passed on to other members but may be used if, for example, we were having a special event which you might be specially interested in. You should hear back from us by email within 7 days after we have time to examine what you say and make up our minds.
Membership is free but obviously, Outsiders cannot survive without funds, and we welcome donations to keep us afloat. Once you get inside the Clubhouse and start enjoying yourself, do think of sending us a donation you can afford.
If you are accepted, we will be sharing some of your details with members of the organisation who need them for inviting you to locaf events and gatherings, and offering support.
Step 1: Declaration
Read the following and if your answer is Yes to all 4 declarations please proceed to Step 2, (or contact us for help)
• I have an email address
• I declare that I can handle my own personal affairs and don’t need support in running my life, i.e. I don’t have a learning difficulty, brain injury or severe mental health problems which prevent me from coping with my life by myself
• I am not racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic, discriminatory against disabled or disfigured people, nor disrespectful to men or women
Step 2: Agree to Our Rules
All members shall:
(1) When contacting other members, be as honest as you can, while describing yourself in a positive light. Do not tell them that you only want a ‘normal’ or non-disabled partner as this is discriminatory and we are a club for acceptance of disability. Learn to love yourself so that you can accept others.
(2) Your first message should be brief, friendly and positive. It should not include mention of intimate issues (never mention sex) (unless you need to tell them, for example, that you are only into BDSM) and do not put nude photos of yourself in the Clubhouse or send them to other members without them agreeing first. Do not bombard anyone with messages. At this stage, you are creating a bridge for them to cross to become your friend, if they so choose.
(3) Never phone/text a member late at night, or visit them without being invited
(4) Never play tricks or carry out practical jokes on your first contact
(5) Try to answer all messages if only to say “thanks, but no thanks”. But try not to dismiss people straight away — they may have communication difficulties, just be bad at writing, or be painfully shy. This is a self-help group
(6) Study our Resources on the main website to improve your chances of forming relationships
(7) Confidence comes from experience, and success does not always come overnight. Take a look at “Confidence” on the tool bar of the Home Page, for inspiration. Be patient
(8) If your your profile in the Clubhouse is not bringing you what you seek, change it and feel free to discuss with us how to improve the wording to make it more effective
(9) If you feel down, or have any intimate problems that you find difficult to discuss, don’t let this hold you back. Call one of our helplines for completely confidential advice
(10) We know that many disabled people put up with unequal and abusive relationships with parents, staff, friends and lovers, and we ask that members do not suffer in silence, but use our confidential self-help network to take control and improve your life
(11) Try to get involved. Join our online discussions, if possible, attend Outsiders events and activities, and contact other members. Becoming more pro-active will increase your chances of finding love
(12) Meet people for the first time in a public place (perhaps at an Outsiders lunch), not at home. Don’t let anyone move in with you until you are sure about them. Do not borrow from or lend money or valuables to another member before becoming a known and trusted friend
(13) The volunteers who run this site have signed a Confidentiality Form, so your secrets are safe with us. Please keep us informed of your successes and anything you think we need to know, to make Outsiders more successful. In addition, kindly report back to us any illegalities and unpleasantness. Members who treat others disrespectfully are removed and their membership cancelled
(14) Keep other members’ information on this site confidential, as it contains other people’s as well as your own personal information
(15) Support and positively promote Outsiders. The more members we have, the better the club will work for everyone
(16) Outsiders is a self-help and peer support group where more experienced members offer help to newcomers. Make the most of it!
(17) If there are no social events in your area, and you would like to host them yourself, please ask the office volunteers for support, rather than going ahead on your own, or ask someone suitable to co-host with you, and ask us.
(18) Do not set up any groups, either online or otherwise, in the name of Outsiders without prior permission
(19) Do not use the club to promote goods, raise funds for other charities, or preach your own beliefs.
(20) If you no longer wish to be a member, please terminate your online membership (and we’d love to know why!)
If you have any problems with the above, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 3 — Personal questions for Outsiders Volunteers’ Eyes only (information held in confidence)
We, the membership volunteers, would like to get to know you, and we take an interest in your progress. The following questions are to help us understand your needs and find out more about you. They will also help us send emails to groups of people. For example, we may need to contact all the gay men, or members living in the Midlands, or visually impaired members, to invite them to an event or give them some special news.
If you really don’t want to be recognised (and we appreciate you may have valid reasons), you can use an initial or nick-name but this is not an online dating site where members hide behind pseudonyms. Our members prefer honesty and openness. Whatever you allow others to see, be sure to give some indication of your geographical location.
Please answer all the questions, as we want to learn about you and the difficulties you are having. Applicants who don’t take this form seriously can’t be considered as members.
This information will not be published online.
Please tell us as much about yourself as possible, being assured none of what you say here will be passed on.