Our social events are run throughout the year, all over the UK and you can usually find an event happening most weekends.
Over the past year, during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, our in-person socials were forced to adapt and move online.
However, with restrictions easing in most parts of the UK, our in-person socials are back… with some minor adjustments.
Online socials will continue alongside in-person socials but may not happen every weekend moving forwards. We hope they will still be a regular event but, as with all our socials, we rely on SurrogacyUK members to host them for us. This means we can only hold socials when people volunteer to organise them.
Below are the details on how to book, along with some guidance on cancellations and Covid-19 safety.
Our in person socials are advertised as “relaxed, informal events” because that’s what they are. That statement doesn’t really help when it comes to actually walking up to a group of people you’ve never met before though, does it?
We’ve put together this list of FAQs, advice and top tips from people who’ve attended a social before to hopefully help ease those nerves! Click on a question to reveal the answer.
A mix of surrogates and intended parents at all stages of surrogacy. From those just looking in to surrogacy through to completed families with their surrobabies and ‘retired’ surrogates. Our in person socials are open to Full Members of SurrogacyUK, Applicants (aka Listees – those on the waiting list to become Full Members) and there are some tickets reserved for non members looking to attend their first social.
Usually anywhere between 30-100 depending on the location and venue capacity.
Usually in pubs/function rooms or outdoors in the summer.
All of our socials are organised and hosted by SurrogacyUK Members.
They really are relaxed and informal! There are no official presentations or talks, everyone just mingles and chats. The conversations won’t always be about surrogacy. If you’re at a social in a pub there’ll usually be people ordering food, grab yourself a drink and join in. If you’re outdoors there’s usually a picnic going on, bringing cake is always a good conversation starter. There’ll be a variety of people in attendance, you can talk to everyone about their experiences with surrogacy. We’re a very open, friendly bunch and love to answer questions so ask away! Our socials are all about making friends and building your support network.
Not at all. Feel free to arrive slightly later or leave before the social finishes if you need to.
Yes! If you’re nervous we can ask an experienced member to be your buddy. They’ll contact you before the social to introduce themselves and then arrange to meet you there so you don’t have to walk in alone.
Currently our online socials are only open to Full Members and Applicants. They are hosted via Zoom and when you first join the meeting you’ll be in the ‘main room’ with everyone. It can be daunting to see that many faces on the screen but don’t worry! At the beginning there is usually some music playing while everyone gets settled in and you can use the text chat to say hi to everyone. Then we use the breakout room feature to chat to others in smaller groups of 4/5. The huge benefit of online socials is that you don’t have to travel and can attend from the comfort of your sofa! If you’re feeling nervous, we can still arrange a buddy. We ask the host to contact you beforehand and then stay in the ‘main room’ with you to chat at the start. Once you’re feeling comfortable you can then go on to join a breakout room and chat to others.
Tips from our Members:
- Don’t be afraid to walk up to a group and start chatting. Chances are, they didn’t all know each other before the social even if it looks that way!
- Don’t think of attending a social as a chance to meet a potential surrogate. That’s just setting yourself up for disappointment if it doesn’t happen. Think of it as a chance to make friends and build the support network who’ll help see you through the rollercoaster of surrogacy.
- Be yourself and don’t overthink it. Don’t feel you have to be anything but who you are.
- If you’re nervous, try and get there early so you don’t have the fear of walking in to a big group.
- Don’t feel you need to dress up, wear whatever you would normally wear to hang out with friends.
- Don’t burn out! Attend as many socials as you can but don’t let them take over your life.
- Talk to everyone… but don’t feel bad if you don’t actually get to talk to everyone!
- Remember that everyone at the social was a newbie once!
- Think of it as an afternoon in the pub/park with friends you’ve not met yet.
- It’s ok if you get emotional, there are lots of people who’ll understand. It’s ok to share what brought you to surrogacy but don’t feel you have to until you’re ready. We’ll be here.
- Have fun! Make the most of becoming part of the SUK family.
Socials are a member benefit of SurrogacyUK, so we will give priority booking to full members approx. 8 weeks before the in-person social. These will be advertised first on the SurrogacyUK Member Hub. We will then open booking for applicants, approx. 6 weeks before each social; bookings are taken through Eventbrite and links are sent via email to all those on our mailing list.
We may reserve some tickets for those non-members who would like to attend their first social. These tickets, if available, will be advertised 2 weeks before each social.
Venue specifics are given in the confirmation email when you book to attend a social. Please note: we do not share the locations of our socials publicly for the safety and security of those attending. We would ask you not to share the social details with anyone who does not have a ticket.
If you need to cancel your ticket to any social, please do so via Eventbrite. This will give others the chance to book and attend. If a social you’d like to attend is full, keep checking Eventbrite as tickets may become available.
At all events you must follow the national and/or local Covid restrictions that may be in place. Should individual locations or venues operate a social distancing policy, this must be adhered to.
We recommend that you:
- Take an LFT test within 24 hours of attending and after the event.
- Scan any track and trace QR codes that are in place at any venue/location.
- Use hand sanitiser where available and for your own personal use.
- Cancel your ticket should you display any Covid-19 symptoms and adhere to the NHS Covid-19 guidelines.
We would also ask that you are respectful and considerate of others. Individuals may choose to wear masks where appropriate. It is your own personal choice to wear masks/face shields and this choice is respected by us and our members.