the founder of Country Partners
A Personal Message from Heather Heber Percy, our Founder
I have devoted half of my life to dating and bringing people together around the UK through personal matchmaking.
Our services have never been needed more than they are today as the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the dating landscape of the whole country with regards to how people can meet and the opportunities they have to do so.
This does mean that finding the right person in a safe careful and meticulous manner is more important than ever.
It was a very different world when I first set up Country Partners back in 1983. Two young mothers who were meeting daily outside the school gates in a country town, dominated by the farming community and country folk. In many ways, it was an idyllic setting, but you didn’t have to delve too deeply to find a vast amount of loneliness and isolation, in those difficult times as Great Britain was rebuilding itself. It gave me the inspiration to start Country Partners all of those years ago. Another reason I decided to start Country Partners was that many young women at the time who had grown up on family-owned farms no longer wanted to settle down and marry farmers or remain within the rural community. They wanted to spread their wings and take up independent careers away from the countryside.
This phenomenon left a large empty space in the agricultural community as far as the young men were concerned. I spent many years promoting my agency at Agricultural Shows and giving lectures at many Young Farmers Clubs all over the country. The WVS also welcomed me on several occasions to talk about how joining such an agency as Country Partners could alleviate the loneliness in so many positive and different ways. You have to remember that at that time, there was still considerable stigma attached to joining such an agency. Thus we fought hard to overcome the stigma and scepticism of the general public in this respect. We also went so far as to create a discreet private entrance at the side of our farmhouse, so that potential joiners would not be noticed entering the premises.
We are in the middle of enormous change yet again in 2020, some of it good, and some of it bad, and I do believe it is going to change our industry forever. Online dating sites and apps are so demoralising, very public, and most people just do not want their photographs and highly personal details accessed by millions. It is just too dangerous, particularly when non-members can easily gain access to them as well. Profiles can still go viral and are often being shared openly by different online companies. Confidentiality and privacy seem to be the driving factors for a large percentage of singles, and at Country Partners, that is what our service was and still is built around.
Our commitment to you is that we will never place your details on a public website. Your details will be just between you and your matchmaker and a few carefully selected people with whom you may be a close match. We take great care in vetting everyone that we will be matching you to, to be sure of maintaining our high standards at all times.
We have always believed in interviewing people personally, and although we usually visit you at your own home, or a suitable venue, during the Covid -19 crisis, it can be done by video call. Within the restrictions places on us at the moment, we can, if you wish, introduce your matches initially in a video call too, so that you can see if you like that person and if there could be some chemistry between you. It’s a very efficient way of working, and there is no embarrassment at all, if you don’t get on and you don’t feel that there is a connection, then nothing is lost, and details don’t get exchanged.
I have devoted a large chunk of my life to matchmaking and have enjoyed some tremendously successful years with Country Partners, followed by The County Register. I have served the Association of British Introduction Agencies as Chairman for 17 years, and more recently, I have moved across to Chair the Dating Agency Association, because of its go ahead, proactive stance on dating matters.
I am incredibly proud of our success over the years. Still, now more than at any other time, I am looking to the future again, because I am such a passionate believer in traditional face to face dating. I am finding partners for both men and women, in a safe, reliable, professional way, without having to resort to meeting strangers online or through apps. You deserve so much more than that.
If I can help anyone who is thinking of joining Country Partners, then I am happy to do that, I am still involved every day and oversee our Matchmaking Team, who set the highest standards in terms of client care. Our team put their hearts and souls into matchmaking and trying to ensure a happy and positive outcome for everybody with whom we are involved.
I wish you every success in your search for that special partner, even if you decide not to join us – there is never any obligation or compulsion whatsoever.
Heather Heber Percy