What we're about


1. By becoming a member, you agree to our Group Rules and Banning Procedure (http://www.meetup.com/leadinglightsocial/pages/Group_Rules_and_Banning_Procedure/) and Legal Disclaimer and Release of Liability (http://www.meetup.com/leadinglightsocial/pages/Legal_Disclaimer_and_Release_of_Liability/). If you don't agree to these terms, please do not join this Meetup Group. Thank you.

2. This is not a singles' group or a place to "pick-up." Members who get along can of course decide to date, but please do not use this group to seduce others. Members found to be attending events or sending unsolicited messages to others with the goal of "chatting them up" will be immediately banned without warning. This is intended to be a safe, relaxed and respectful environment for everyone.

3. I will endeavour to approve join requests within 24 hours, but please be aware that this is dependent upon my availability to be online and to access Meetup. I am sorry for any inconvenience, but messages requesting that I approve your request will not speed up this process.

4. If you have any questions, email me on leadinglightsocial(at)outlook(dot)com. Please be aware that due to a very high volume of messages on Meetup and via email, I am unable to respond to everyone (though I do try my best). If you have a question or concern about the group, or your enquiry is urgent, please send an email to the above address with "IMPORTANT" or "URGENT" in the title. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Please understand that this is never a personal reflection of the member contacting me: I simply lack the time and resources to single-handedly respond to dozens of messages daily and attempting to do so results in becoming burned out or overwhelmed. Having said this, it is never my intention to contribute to anyone's distress by making them feel ignored or rejected. If you don't hear back from me or your message is urgent, please feel free to give me a nudge. Thank you.

If you have a query about a specific event on our calendar, please be sure to contact the designated Event Host, as they are in the best position to provide information about their own events.

5. Finally, please remember that this is a peer-led group. It is not intended to serve as a professional mental health organisation or service, nor is it intended to be a substitute for professional support. If you require professional help, I have compiled a list of useful resources for Free and Low-cost Counselling/Therapy in London (http://www.meetup.com/leadinglightsocial/messages/boards/thread/49617941/). If you are in a crisis, please check out these resources (https://www.meetup.com/leadinglightsocial/messages/boards/thread/51050695/).

Keep in mind that most of the organisers and hosts of this group are peers. We contribute our time because we care. Many of us have lived experience of shyness, social anxiety, low self-esteem, mental health conditions, disabilities or a combination of these things, currently or historically. We all do our best, but we are only human and none of us are perfect. Please treat us with the same understanding you would want to receive.

Thank you. :)



We are the #1 Shyness, Anxiety and Mental Health Meetup group in the world (http://www.meetup.com/topics/mental-illness/)!

As featured by BBC Two and BBC Wales on their incredible documentary, "Stand Up to Shyness", starring award-winning Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert (http://www.rhodgilbertcomedian.com/). This documentary explored shyness and social anxiety in an informative, sensitive and meaningful way, with an emphasis on embracing who you are. To watch it, please check it out on BBC iPlayer (https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer).

Special thanks to:

Director - Mei Williams

Producer - Sally Lisk-Lewis

Producer - Gwenllian Hughes

Listen to Rhod talking further about his participation in The London Shyness Social Group on BBC Radio 5 live (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09nvp8x), where he shares his own experiences of living with shyness and anxiety.

You can hear more about us - directly from our members - at Resonance FM (https://resonancefm.com/) on The Club (https://resonancefm.com/programmes/5866929850000b4d9d000001). In this series, Ben Davis (https://twitter.com/bendavis999) spends time with many different communities to explore contemporary subcultures in the UK.


This is a peer-led social and support group for people to meet in London. Events include afternoon coffee, self-development workshops, karaoke, daytrips, regular dinners, weekly support groups and a wide variety of other Meetups, including women-only events and LGBTQ+ events.

Steve Light originally set up this group in 2010 to help people who are lonely, shy, socially anxious, have low self-esteem etc (hence members being called 'SociaLights'). Since 2013, I have been running this group in his place, which has been a great honour. What began as a bi-weekly pub social has expanded in the last few years beyond imagination.

We are an incredibly diverse group: We embrace members of all ages (18 and above), backgrounds, beliefs, circumstances and experiences. We aim to be an inclusive community for everyone, which is reflected in our range of events and core values as a group.

This is a welcoming, safe place where you can meet like-minded people, receive support and make new friends, all in a social setting. We are not only the largest mental health Meetup community in the world, we are also ranked as the biggest shyness and social anxiety Meetup group (http://www.meetup.com/topics/shy/) too.

Please don't be intimidated by this: In some Meetups, larger groups are split. Additionally, events specifically for small groups take place. Hosts are always happy to deal with any queries you may have and ensure that you are in a comfortable space. We strive to be a warm and close community, and always will, regardless of group size!

Being shy is not a necessity to join us. The only things you need are an open mind, an open heart and a desire for human company. :)

Some Meetups will be structured so that people can take it in turns to talk, other Meetups will be general and social. Rest assured, you will be around a warm group of people who care and understand.

This is a Private Group: This means that non-members cannot see who is in this group, the discussions or any Meetup details (aside from the title, date, time and how many people are attending). This measure is in place to protect the privacy and security of everyone in the group.


To report complaint(s) or concern(s), have a look at our Complaints Procedure (http://www.meetup.com/leadinglightsocial/pages/Complaints_Procedure/).

I understand and respect that this group might not be what you're looking for, and that's okay. Here are other Recommended Meetup Groups (http://www.meetup.com/leadinglightsocial/messages/boards/thread/49367703), which are similar to ours. This list is updated regularly.

If you are interested in hosting your own events with us, read this post about how to become an Event Organiser (https://www.meetup.com/leadinglightsocial/messages/boards/thread/49196449/) and our Rules For Hosting Events (https://www.meetup.com/leadinglightsocial/pages/27444935/Rules_For_Hosting_Events/). Note that applications for paid Event Organisers (those who charge a direct fee for their events) are currently closed. Free events are always welcome and encouraged!

To share your ideas, thoughts and suggestions, please use our anonymous Suggestion Box (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FRVGLH6).

Please consider giving a donation (https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/leadinglightsocial) towards our cause. This helps us to keep the group running smoothly. Sharing is also valuable. Thank you!

I also run two other Meetup groups:

Safe Spaces Support & Social (https://www.meetup.com/Safe-Spaces/). This is a peer-led social and support Meetup group created in response to a noticeable gap in the provision of mental health services for those struggling with severe and enduring mental illness which manifests in self-harm, suicidal ideation, intrusive thoughts and associated problems. If you have any questions about this new community, please contact me on safe-spaces(at)outlook(dot)com.

heARTs & Minds (https://www.meetup.com/heartsminds). We are a community which utilizes artistic, creative approaches to our mental health and personal well-being, based in London and Hertfordshire.

Lots of love,


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