2022 Commonwealth Games invites you to (virtual) dinner

Dinner With Strangers aims to bring people together to share lockdown experiences.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is inviting people from across the West Midlands to apply for a chance to take part in a virtual ‘dinner date’ later this month, to help forge friendships and bring people together during this time of separation.

The unique event called Dinner With Strangers will be held across two consecutive nights, Wednesday 20th May and Thursday 21st May at 6pm, and will see 22 virtual ‘dates’ take place.

Working with Birmingham-based social enterprise Beatfreeks, Birmingham 2022 is looking for 44 residents of the West Midlands to take part, all from the comfort of their own homes.

It comes at a time when, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the nationwide lockdown is unsurprisingly contributing to social isolation and loneliness. Dinner With Strangers aims to combat this separation and build virtual bridges and friendships between people from various walks of life, different generations, cultural backgrounds, or different parts of the region, helping them to form new friendships.

Successful applicants will be paired with another individual so that they can chat and explore their similarities and differences, sharing their experience of lockdown and discussing their hopes for the future. The event will be curated by the Digbeth-based Beatfreeks, who successfully ran this as a physical event last summer and have worked with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to deliver this new virtual edition.

Birmingham 2022 will capture the exchanges and collate the conversations into a series of videos that will be shared across social media following the event.

Taking part in Dinner With Strangers will be Birmingham-based Mimi-Isabella Cesar (pictured), a rhythmic gymnast for Team England. Commenting on the upcoming event, she said: “This is a challenging time for everyone, and it’s important to still be connected to people. Birmingham 2022 is something to look forward to – and is all about bringing people together, something I believe has never been more important.

“I’m really excited to be taking part in the event and I’m looking forward to seeing who I meet, what I learn, and meeting someone new. I think it’s great that we still have the opportunity to meet new people from different generations and communities in the West Midlands so that we can share our stories, even if it is over a video call. I’d encourage anyone interested to apply because who knows, it could be the start of a lifelong friendship.”

Dinner with Strangers is open to anybody who is over the age of 18 and from the West Midlands. To apply, complete an application form here. Applications close on 13th May 2020.

For further information on the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, visit birmingham2022.com.