Goodbye from Elizabeth, Welcome to Dave

Friday, June 29, 2018

A message from the outgoing Community Manager

 When I joined Befriend two years ago I had no idea the effect it would have on my life. I was fresh from a grueling Honours dissertation, I worked part-time for a comedy company and as a support worker. I had put no thought into what I would do post-Honours, apart from sleep for days. A friend sent me the job description for the Community Manager role and suddenly I had purpose, I knew there was no other job for mel. Whilst the interview process was terrifying, it reinforced to me that the values and approaches of the organisation  were closely aligned with my own.

 It’s hard to pinpoint my favourite part of the job, there were a number. Something I will never tire of is having conversations with people who have just found out about Befriend, who don’t know what’s available and ring/email to find out more. The relief I’ve heard from so many people, the hopefulness that they often feel when they find out how they can get involved, it has been a privilege to have those conversations.

 The people I have met through Befriend continually amaze me. The volunteers who share their passions with others, who help to make everyone feel welcome, who go above and beyond. The members who may be really nervous but determined to give things a go. Those people who come to Befriend having never made friends with someone totally different from them, but who are open and inclusive and ready to connect.

There were some days when all I would do it answer emails and be stuck behind my desk. Then the next day I would go to an event in Kwinana or Alkimos, Mundaring or Fremantle. I would talk to the amazing Hosts, I would witness members forming friendships and caring for each other, I would see members welcoming new people and sharing skills and helping each other. I can’t describe how lucky it makes me feel to see these things and to be part of this fantastic community.

 Befriend isn’t perfect, but I think it would be weird if it was. One of our values is authenticity which means to be your true self, not someone you think other people want you to be. We wouldn’t be authentic if we got things right all the time, if we didn’t make strange jokes, make mistakes, then try again. I hope Befriend continues to try new things, and continues welcoming new members and volunteers, to develop this wonderful, warm, inclusive community.

 I don’t know the new Community Manager well yet, but I am certain he is going to be a great support to the whole community. What I do know of Dave is that he is a thoughtful, warm and genuine human being, so that’s a very good start. I encourage you to give Dave a call, introduce yourself, help him get to know the Befriend community.

 Thank you to each and every person involved in Befriend. You’re doing an amazing thing, keep going.

- Elizabeth Farrant

Befriend Comes to the City of Vincent... And We're Hiring!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Befriend are excited to announce that we're partnering with the City of Vincent in 2018 to develop the Social Network in their area.  This means lots more events happening in suburbs like Mount Hawthorn, North Perth and Leederville.  All events are open to anyone over 18, but for this project we're particularly keen to recruit older Event Hosts and get more week day events happening.


The first step is hiring a local Community Builder- our ideal candidate loves Befriend and their community in the City of Vincent, and is pumped to get more events happening.  This is a paid position, one day per week for nine months, starting February 2018.  Please check out the Job Description document for more info, and pass on to friends who might be keen. 


And get excited for lots more Vincent events in 2018- picnics in Hyde Park, watching soccer games at NIB stadium, drinks at the Paddington Ale House... so many great things to do in this 'hood!

Goal setting

Friday, December 8, 2017

Have you ever felt as though life is an infinite ocean, and you’re just a ship wandering endlessly, lost and directionless? Have you ever walked home, only to find the house a little too quiet? Or what about friends and families? Maybe life is too much, and you don’t spend enough time with them?

Goals can come in many different forms, but if you don’t take any steps, they can only exist in your mind. So instead of imagining them, try taking a minute to outline a concrete plan to achieving them. 

STEP 1: Set a long term goal!

It’s the easiest part of the process, and you’ve probably done it already. Since it’s the “big picture”, it’ll probably take awhile to get there. Let this long-term goal inspire you and encourage you to work towards it.

STEP 2: Break it down!

Now that you’re imagining what it’ll be like achieving those goals, it’s time to break those goals down to little chunks. You might even want to have a medium-term goal. This’ll allow you to progress steadily towards the big one. 

Here’s an example:

Long-term: I want to have deep and meaningful friendships.

Medium-term: I will find and join a social group within 3 months
I will attend 3 social activities every month
I will set and record a monthly budget, and allocate $ 100  for social outings

Short-term: I will spend 30 minutes practicing my conversational skills every day
I'll talk to the person that usually sits next to me at yoga, after class
I will find 4 things in common with this person

Now, admittedly, that might sound as though you’re a robot. But the point is to create a concrete plan by being S.M.A.R.T. E. R. Oh what’s that you say?

S - Specific

M - Measureable

A - Attainable

R - Realistic

T - Time-bound

E - Evaluate

R - Reevaluate

It’s important that you word those sentences in a motivating way. Instead of saying, “I should...”, say, “I will…”! Whenever possible, use numbers to limit your goals so that they are achievable.

STEP 3: What are you waiting for? GET STARTED!

One last tip: consistency, not intensity. Be willing to work consistently for a long time, than work hard for a short time. Life’s a marathon, not a sprint.

If you’d like to learn more about goal settings, Katie has set up a session about achieving friendship and relationship goals. Learn more here: If you can’t make it to the session, no worries! We have a worksheet for you to set your goals via this link!

Photo: nina lindgren on Unsplash

eFriends and the Social Network got married!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The eFriends program has become part of the Social Network permanently! The Calendar now features two new types of events to help you
use technology to connect with others:

The tech-focused events will replace the eFriends Program. For more information, contact Katie Curo on 0434 559 564 or Enable JavaScript to view protected content..

How's it going down in Kwinana? Rather well, thank you!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

From coffee shops, parks and beaches, to community centres, heritage listings and the golf course, Kwinana is home to a fantastic range of community spaces and an equally diverse and engaging community. So what better place to fledge a new hub for Befriend!
There are now five Event Hosts in the Kwinana area, each with some great ideas for getting people together and enjoying themselves, including music, food, drinks, crochet, volleyball and more! 

Steph, Kwinana resident and serial crochet and knitter, has started a Befriend Crochet & Knitting Club and is willing to teach beginners, providing needles and wool for your first project, or just have a good ‘yarn’ and work on more challenging or charitable projects if you already know how it’s done.

Nancy, Rockingham resident and event finder extraordinaire, enjoys music and good food so invites us all to join her for pub lunches and some great live music!
Across six different Kwinana events in June alone, Befriend saw over 30 people and we hope for just as much wonderful company in July.
Don't miss the knitting, eating, teching and chatting events in the Kwinana are in July!

You can contact Jodie about what's happening in Kwinana and surrounds on Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

Kathleen is off to New Zealand!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Befriend has been chosen to represent Australia at the Social Enterprise World Forum to be held in New Zealand this September. Kathleen will be heading over on a scholarship to share how we think our Social Network creates inclusive communities, and will be joined by 5 other West Australian organisations including our friends at Inspirationery. Thanks to all our members who watched and liked the video submission!

To learn more about the Forum head to the website.
If you missed out on seeing Kathleen's video, take a peek here

Big Night In: Movie Quiz Night

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Think you know your movies? Put your movie trivia to the test, by tackling a whole host of questions from movie titles and stars, to classic quotes, fun facts and more. There'll be plenty of movie clips to test movie buffs of all ages and tastes, as you laugh, cry, scream and fondly reminisce your way down memory lane. 
As the winter chill sets in and the temperature drops, we'll have the hot cocoa on the brew, and the buttery popcorn a-poppin,' so you can rock up in your uggies, pyjamas, even a onezie if you're feelin' fancy. This is one event where you can certainly choose comfort over class, it's a big night in!

When: Saturday 6th May, 7PM-10PM
Where: Mount Hawthorn Community Centre
Cost: $25 per ticket, or $180 for a table of 8
Dress Code: Pyjamas (Optional)

BYO food to share with your table (some light snacks will be provided). Cash bar will be open for your enjoyment of a Saturday evening tipple. 
Bring your friends, or meet some fab new ones. Book a full table of 8, or with a group of any size, and we'll help fill tables. 
All proceeds support Befriend's ongoing work to influence a more inclusive, connected Perth.


Contact Details:
The Befriend Team 
0404 831 201 
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Ssshh...the show's about to start!

eFriends and the Social Network are seeing each other!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Befriend are trying something new: we're bring eFriends and the Social Network together by holding a series of casual social events with a tech element! We'd love you to be part of this process by attending and letting us know what you think. Check out the "Afternoon Tea & Tech" and "Perfectly Percolated PowerPoint Presentations" in this month's newsletter, or contact Katie on 0434 556 564 for more information.

Nick goes to New Zealand!

Friday, March 3, 2017

During February, I had the privilege of travelling to Auckland to attend the ImagineBetter Annual Assembly. This conference was entitled, "Will you Friend Me? Social Capital and the Value of Relationships" What a perfect conference for me to attend on behalf of Befriend! 


Speakers Al Condeluci and Janet Klees facilitated two days of enlightening workshops to dive deep into the immense value that our relationships have for our lives. I learned more about Social Capital, Social Influence Theory and Social Role Valorisation, and how these theories can be applied practically to enable people to build genuine, lasting relationships. Lifelong learning is really important to us, to continue developing and evolving Befriend to be as effective as it can possibly be in enabling people to be connected, and live good lives. The connections I made were equally valuable, strengthening our global network of peers and allies. My few days in Auckland also gave me the opportunity to catch up with my good friend Grace, who showed me some of the sights, including this pic of us at the top of One Tree Hill. I've returned home to Perth filled with inspiration, ideas and hope for a bright future for the Befriend Community.

Introducing Jodie - Community Builder

Friday, March 3, 2017

You may remember our exciting news from January about winning a grant to develop the Social Network in the Kwinana area? Part of this opportunity included funding for a new position of Community Builder. After a series of great applicants and interviews we found our winner! Jodie is a Kwinana local with extensive volunteering history (and present volunteering roles!), a passion for helping people connect, a garden of fruit trees and a hermit crab! She started with Befriend this week and has fitted right in. Welcome Jodie!

"Hi my name is Jodie and I am excited to be joining the Befriend team as Community Builder in Kwinana and surrounds. I enjoy a nice green tea, fresh food, good company, team sports and great community spirit. I regularly find all these things in Kwinana and I look forward to sparking, sharing and connecting with more people and events in our community. Come and say hello and join in at my first event Social Indoor Beach Volleyball in Port Kennedy on Friday March 24, 6:00pm – 7:30pm. Social, sandy and fun!"