Meet the Team behind Befriend. Learn about our humble origins and our future aspirations.
A little bit about us and what we believe in
Meet the real humans behind Befriend
Where we Started
We started in Perth in 2010. Learn about our humble origins
As a mission-driven organisation, our values underpin everything we do
We’re includers. We live by that thing your Mum always told you; treat others how you’d like to be treated. We believe that every life matters, every person has value, and that we are stronger together. Befriend is more than just a way to meet up; it’s a movement of togetherness.
We’ve been sensing what you’re feeling; a world that seems to be becoming increasingly disconnected and divided. That’s not the sort of world we want to live in, so we started Befriend to do something pretty simple - To bring people together.
We believe that the fabric of strong communities is woven with relationships, connections between people from different backgrounds and walks of life, people of all ages and abilities, people new to a place, people at all stages of life. It is through our connections to each other that we can bridge all divides, and tackle any issue that life throws at us. Stronger, together.
Don’t be a stranger!
Befriend’s niche focus on supporting the development of relationships and community connections is underpinned by the team’s strong academic background and value for evidence-based practice, combined with a culture of innovation, and practical, participatory, capacity-building approaches. We strongly value collaboration, and desire to work with organisations who share our value for organisational humility and lifelong learning. One of our key strengths is our ability to empathise with the experience of people, taking a grounded approach to deeply understanding complex issues, and developing simple, practical, human-centred solutions.
Where we Started
Befriend was founded in 2010 by Nick Maisey and a group of people who saw how difficult it was for people to get connected, and that there was a growing sense of disconnection in our society. As humans, we're social creatures, and have a basic need to belong. But sometimes this can be tricky! We move to new cities in search of new opportunities, we end long-term relationships in search of a new beginning, we change careers, return to study, grow at different rates to those around us, or have big things change in our lives that disrupt our social network, and necessitate the need to form new connections.
For some of us, social relationships are a confusing maze, and we find it difficult to connect with others because of our unique abilities, experiences or world views. For some of us, all we need is an opportunity. Regardless of our individual backgrounds or circumstances, we all fundamentally need the same thing - human connection.
The Befriend Team know that the key to living a long, happy, healthy life is good relationships, and that the strongest human societies are those that value, embrace and unlock the uniqueness of each person. We want to make that a reality, right here in our own backyard of Perth. Since our early beginnings, Befriend has grown to become an innovative organisation with an ambitious vision, underpinned by strong governance and leadership, a team with diverse skills and experiences, and supported by a network of effective partnerships. The organisation has grown from a grassroots community group into a high-impact social enterprise, training over 800 community inclusion ambassadors and connecting over 12,000 people.
Our vision is of an inclusive, connected world.
We exist to spark human connection between people from diverse backgrounds, to grow inclusive communities in which all people are valued and belong.
As a mission-driven organisation, our values underpin everything we do, how we engage with all the people we encounter, and how we make decisions.
Inclusion - We're includers. We live by that thing your Mum always told you; treat others how you'd like to be treated.
Authenticity - Real human connection begins with being genuine. We love seeing people living as their true self, quirks 'n all.
Curiosity - We're open to exploring new ways of seeing the world, through the people we meet and the way we operate, to be ever learning and growing.
Fun - Fun is the glue that brings people together. We're basically a glue factory.
Sustainability - We want our organisation to be around until everyone has deep, meaningful relationships that last a lifetime.