Q. Who can attend Befriend events? What does it mean to be a Befriend "member"?
A. Anyone living in Perth aged 18 years or over can attend events. Being a member simply means you receive the monthly newsletter and/or are a member of the Befriend Social Network on Meetup, are interested in coming events or are already attending. If you're a human looking for social connection, you can be a member!
Q. What does it cost to join?
A. It is free to join our mailing list, and to RSVP to attend events. The only cost will occur if you go to a ticketed event or choose to buy food or drink at an event.
Q. What sort of people do you get at the events?
A. The social club currently has over 5,500 adults in Perth on our mailing list – this means that there is a huge mix of people from all backgrounds and all ages. Our youngest members are 18, and we have many young adults, but we also have adults across the age range – people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s! Our oldest member is 95!
Q. Are events only for people with a disability?
A. No. Befriend events are for everyone. We don’t like to label people as being different. We believe that it is important for everyone to share their life with good people, and it is common for anyone to want to meet new people. Hence, Befriend events are for everyone. It doesn't matter to us if you live with a disability, mental health diagnosis, if you're old, young, were born in Australia or somewhere else, whoever you are come say hi!
Q. Who hosts the events?
A. Anyone can volunteer to host an event! We run monthly orientation sessions for anyone interested in learning how to host your own event. Event Hosts plan a casual social event each month for the calendar (eg going out to you local cafe or park to hang out), and show up on the night to act as an initial meeting point for guests. The Event Hosts plan the event, meet and greet attendees and create a welcoming and fun social environment.
Q. Where do the events take place?
A. Befriend events occur all over the Perth metro area, however they are typically held at community hubs such as Perth city, Leederville, Subiaco, Vic Park, Fremantle, Hillarys, Joondalup, Midland and (soon) Kwinana. If you live anywhere in the Perth metro area, you are welcome to host your own event.
Q. How many people could I expect at an event?
A. Befriend events vary in size from as few as 5 people to as many as 250 (for Big Events such as the annual ball). Most events that you see on the Befriend calendar have 6-15 people attend. We aim to host lots of small events, as we believe that it’s often easier to get to know new people in a smaller group.
Q. Are events wheelchair accessible?
A. We encourage Befriend Event hosts to organise events that are inclusive activities, at easily accessible venues, however we cannot guarantee this at every event. If you are unsure if a particular event is wheelchair accessible, please contact us to enquire.
Q. Do you provide transport to events? Can you organise a carpool for me, or organise for someone to pick me up or drop me home?
A. We do not provide transport to events. We are a relatively small team of volunteers, and we do not have the manpower to do this. Many of our members have similar difficulties with transport, we encourage them to ask a friend or family member to help with transport. Event hosts also try to organise events that are easily accessible by public transport.
Q. How do I RSVP?
Q. Who goes to events? Will there be people there that I want to be friends with?
A. With over 5,500 members we can't be certain who will be going to each event. However, each person who attends an event is there for the same reason: to make social connections. As in everyday life, there may be some people you meet who you don't really get along with, but there will always be lots of others waiting to meet you! It's unlikely you'll meet your new best friend as soon as you arrive at your first event. Creating new connections can take time, but are worth the wait!
Q. Are you associated with any other organisation?
A. No. Befriend is an independent organisation, however we do develop partnerships with other organisations to continue to strive towards our vision.
Q. How are you funded?
A. We secure grants from government and non-government organisations and have partnerships with community service organisations and local councils that help cover our operational expenses. We are a social enterprise and our members support us by buying tickets to Big Events and participating in our paid programs. We also accept donations (which are tax deductible) so spread the word!