The Befriending Scheme provides friendship and learning opportunities for adults from vulnerable groups, including those with mental health needs and older people, as well as our existing members with learning disabilities. We also offer various volunteering opportunities with extra support for those who need it.
Founded as a registered charity in 1989 as West Suffolk Befriending Scheme, our core activities are running regular drop-in centres, now known as Hubs, building meaningful 1-to-1 friendships between vulnerable people and volunteer befrienders, evening Befrienders Clubs and Saturday morning groups.
We also run one-off themed activity days, workshops and social events as well as providing volunteer training and support for carers across the county.
- To support vulnerable people (aged 16 and over) in ways which promote independence, personal development and community participation.
- To support carers in ways which positively contribute to their health and well-being.
- To increase voluntary community action and involvement, together with opportunities for personal development through the recruitment, preparation, placement and support of volunteers in our programmes.
- To ensure the continued effective development of The Befriending Scheme.
Our Guiding Principles
- We treat people who use our service with respect and dignity, recognising both their differing needs as individuals and of their need for a range of practical and emotional support.
- We empower people to make choices, through advocacy and self advocacy, which enable them to make personal decisions about their lives.
- We give support and information of a consistently high standard to people irrespective of their status, religion, race, culture, disability, language and contribution to the community.
- We enable people to be involved in the way our service is planned, run, and developed.
- We work in ‘partnership’ with people, their carers, volunteers, and other relevant agencies, to ensure well co-ordinated, integrated and cost effective services.
- Our staff team is comprised of a Chief Executive Officer, Scheme Manager, Volunteer Officer, Young People’s Volunteer Co-ordinator, Administrator, Development Officer, Area and Assistant Area Co-ordinators who make every effort to ensure friends are carefully matched and the aims, values and principles of the project are fully understood and followed by volunteers.
- We have a Board of Trustees, which oversees the work of the Scheme. Trustees include people with knowledge and experience of charity work, volunteering, finance, legal matters, marketing, nursing and caring for vulnerable people. They seek the views of vulnerable people and their carers on a regular basis.
- Annual Report
- Case Studies
- DBS Disclosure Checks
- Useful Links