The Befriending Scheme provides friendship and learning opportunities for adults (16yrs+) 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 Out and About Sessions. 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.
The Felixstowe Out and About Session is held fortnightly in various locations. For tickets and more information call Becca on: 07906 758031.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What Is a One-To-One Befriender?
A Befriender is a volunteer who would like to spend some time with a member on a regular basis and provide them with friendship, company and support. Volunteers and members may meet once a week, once a fortnight or once a month for a couple of hours. Meetings will be arranged with the support of your Link Co-ordinator.
Befrienders are there to listen and to talk with. If able to, members can get out and about with their befriender to carry out social activities including meeting for a coffee, going to the cinema amongst other things. Befrienders may also be able to visit the member at home in circumstances where the member is unable to leave their home. Members and volunteer befrienders are matched on location, hobbies and interests and personality.
All volunteers will have completed a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will have completed an induction to the service.
What About Care and Support Needs?
The purpose of the one-to-one service is for volunteer Befrienders to provide individuals with company and companionship. Volunteers are not trained in personal care and are not responsible for addressing any personal care and support needs.
Does This Service Apply To Individuals With Dementia?
The Befriending Scheme will consider applications where the individual has Dementia, providing the individual meets the criteria outlined above. For safety reasons, The Befriending Scheme cannot accept referrals where the individual has surpassed a stage that we feel they would no longer benefit from the service.
How Can I Apply For This Service?
If you would like to apply to have a befriender, or would like to refer an individual to the service, you will need to complete a referral application form.
Please download the application form on our website. Alternatively, you may call the office on 01787 371 333 to request an application form be sent to you.
You will need to return a hard copy of the application form by post to:
The Befriending Scheme
1 The Croft
Once the application form has been received, the relevant Link Co-ordinator will be in touch to discuss eligibility. Individuals who are eligible will then go on to our waiting list for a Befriender. For individuals who are not eligible, we will do our best to signpost them to other organisations or support groups that may be better suited to their needs.
If you would like to know more about this service, please contact us.