If you’re new to Befriend and you’ve got a question for us, have a search below to see if we can answer it for you. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, then just reach out to us by email, phone or text and we will come back to you as soon as we can!
I can’t see any events I want to go to / that are happening near me. What now?
All groups taking place across The Befriend Social Network are run by local community members around Perth who have a desire and passion for getting to know people in their local community. These wonderful humans are called Hosts. Our role as an organisation is really about supporting those local people and their groups to thrive.
We aren’t able to control which events take place, when, or where they happen, as it really takes a community member just like you to put their hand up to give hosting a local group a go!
So, if there’s nothing happening in your neighbourhood that takes your fancy, you might need to travel to another suburb to find something, or, hey, maybe it’s time for you to bring The Befriend Social Network to your ‘hood and become a Host so you can put on your own group!
I am a carer of someone who might really enjoy participating in The Befriend Social Network. How can I connect them with you?
Thanks for thinking of us – we’d love to share more information about Befriend with anyone who has a yearning for community, is keen to experience new things, or just wants to sweeten their social life. The best way to connect us is to pass on our contact information or send them a link to our website. They’d be welcome to email, call, text, or even direct message on our social accounts! Once we’ve heard from them, a Befriendly Community Builder can get in touch for a chat and see what we can do to support their connectedness!
Are support workers and carers welcome to attend a group too?
Of course! Befriend groups really are a welcoming, comfortable space for anyone to pop along to, so if you’re supporting someone who is keen to get out and socialise, you’d be very welcome to accompany them and participate as much or as little as you’d like. You do you!
How will I know who the Host is when I get to the venue?
Look for a yellow Befriend flag or a yellow table topper! Once a Host completes our Host training workshop, they receive a flag and/or table topper to help their group stand out from the crowd! Many Hosts are available to contact via Meetup too, so once you’ve RSVP’d to a gathering, you could always reach out to say hello and warmly introduce yourself.
Can young people and children attend?
Generally speaking, Befriend groups are for adults over the age of 18. There might be the occasional event where this isn’t the case (e.g. a picnic or end-of-year celebration) but broadly speaking, the Befriend Social Network is for adults looking to make new connections.
How many people usually go to a gathering?
Groups are generally small gatherings of between 3-15 people. It varies, depending on the activity and sometimes, how long the group has been running.
How does Befriend receive funding?
Befriend is what’s known as a “non-profit social enterprise”. This means we receive funding from peak bodies and local governments to undertake impactful community development initiatives. Some of these initiatives are place-based, enabling us to recruit a Community-Builder in a specific area around WA who can support local connections at a very grassroots level. Other initiatives are more complex and experimental, like our Open Communities work around Australia or our recent pilot podcast series.
We also have our Befriend Consulting services, supporting our partners and community organisations with the design and development of innovative, contemporary approaches to inclusion and connectedness.
PARTNERING WITH BEFRIEND
I work for a community organisation and I’m keen to collaborate on a project!
I have a question that hasn’t been answered here
You’d be very welcome to give us a call, text or email and we will do our best to answer your questions for you!
COVID-19 MANDATES AND VACCINATIONS
What is Befriend's COVID-19 Vaccination Policy?
Befriend is committed to providing a safe working environment for its staff and stakeholders. We understand the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations in minimising and preventing the risks associated with the spread of COVID-19 within the workplace. Most of our staff and/or community activities do not fall under any public health order requiring vaccination and staff and community participants are not the subject of any blanket requirement to be vaccinated.
While we have not mandated vaccinations, we encourage all staff and stakeholders to take all possible measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19 within the community and help keep vulnerable community members safe, including vaccination where possible. We will comply with any applicable public health orders and work with our community partners to ensure our staff meets their vaccination requirements.
Additionally, certain community activities may be hosted at venues that impose their own vaccination requirements as a condition of entry – we encourage all staff, stakeholders and community partners to comply with any applicable vaccination requirements imposed by venues
Do I need to be vaccinated to attend a Befriend community group or social gathering?
At this point in time, vaccinations are not mandatory for people participating in the network of grassroots community activities supported by Befriend. We have consulted with a number of sources including the Chief Health Officer and can say with confidence that these community activities do not fall under existing public health orders requiring vaccination. Although Befriend’s community activities are not covered under existing public health orders, some groups within our network may choose to meet in venues that impose their own vaccination requirements for entry. We appreciate that while these venue-imposed requirements may exclude people who are unvaccinated, they offer peace of mind for those in attendance that the people around them are vaccinated. If you have any concerns regarding any venue-imposed vaccination requirements, we recommend you contact the venue directly – details for which you can find within each group’s event description on Meetup. Community groups are run by everyday community members at their discretion and at venues of their choosing.
Will the Host be vaccinated?
Befriend’s community activities do not generally fall under any existing public health orders mandating vaccination. As a result, there is no blanket requirement for a Host to be vaccinated to run a community event. That being said, community groups supported by Befriend are hosted and run by everyday citizens who are looking to meet new people and they may choose to host their event at a venue that has its own vaccination policy for visitors. We recommend reaching out to the venue directly to enquire as to how the mandate affects visitors to their premises, details for which you can find within each group’s event description on Meetup.
I feel unsure about how I’d like to participate in the community right now. Is there anything I can do to feel connected?
The Befriend community is resilient and creative – especially amidst this pandemic. Together, we’ve sparked phone trees between strangers and spent hundreds of hours on video calls, meditating in pyjamas, crafting at the kitchen table and connecting from the comfort of our homes. We see potential for a diverse range of opportunities in the Befriend landscape over the coming months that can support people to connect safely – from meeting in venues that mandate proof of vaccination as a condition of entry, to meeting outside for rolls and strolls, chats on Zoom, in letters, over the phone, in care packages to one another and in neighbourly greetings.
If you’re interested in sparking a creative way to stay connected to your community, then reach out and one of our Community Building Team will be in touch for a supportive conversation. You can email us on or call us on (08) 9520 8574.
Is the Befriend Staff Team vaccinated?
Befriend’s workforce is not covered by any of the existing public health orders requiring vaccination. However, some staff may be required to be vaccinated in order to attend certain worksites and premises. In addition, there are circumstances in which our staff have to be vaccinated to carry out work with community service partners, as specified by their organisational policies, due to their clients’ vulnerability. We will work respectfully and cooperatively with our partners in these circumstances to comply with their policies and needs.
Although there is no blanket vaccine mandate which applies to our workforce, we have a high vaccination rate within the Befriend Staff Team (close to 100%). In the rare instances in which some staff aren’t vaccinated due to their unique health and personal circumstances, we have worked together to develop individualised plans for how these team members will adapt their work to ensure they can maintain their employment and continue to make valuable contributions, whilst managing the potential risks to safety and wellbeing of themselves and others.
How are groups managing the potential risks of COVID-19 transmission at their activities?
We will be working in partnership with Hosts and community members to collaboratively consider and implement a range of possible risk reduction strategies for their groups and activities. These may include:
- Hosting social experiences at community care centre premises or other premises that require all visitors to show evidence of COVID-19 vaccination
- Hosting social experiences online
- Asking community members not to attend if unwell / experiencing any potential COVID symptoms
- Gathering outdoors or in the open-air
- Wearing masks
- Adapting the activity to minimise close physical proximity and the sharing of items, food or equipment
- Exercising recommended physical distancing, including non-contact greetings
- Having hand sanitiser available
- Using the SafeWA app (at relevant venues)
Groups are encouraged and supported to develop clear communications about the conditions and contexts in which their activities are taking place, in order to ensure you can make informed decisions about your attendance and participation. View the event description on Meetup to learn about each group’s specific plans and requirements.