We know that putting yourself out there to meet new people isn’t easy and it can feel a bit scary to try new things! Trust us when we say it’s a totally normal feeling and we’ve all been there. That’s why, 12 years ago, we founded The Befriend Social Network. It’s a free and fun social community that’s been deliberately designed to make it a little easier to connect with like-minded people and make a few friends.
This warm community is filled with every day people just like you and me, who host and attend different open-invite social experiences. That’s right, all groups and gatherings are hosted openly on the community calendar and anyone can attend! There’s no fees, no paperwork… just find a group and turn up.
We estimate that around 12,000 people have connected into the network over the last decade and the impact it’s having is beyond anything we could’ve dreamed of. You can read our community impact results just here.
All you need to do is be brave, turn up and be yourself!
How does it work?
There’s no costs, sign-up fees or paperwork to get involved with The Befriend Social Network. In fact, it’s been deliberately designed to be easy, informal and as “not scary” as possible! Anyone is welcome to attend a community group, and anyone is welcome to host one (we can support you with this as we know if might feel a bit scary, don’t worry!). The point is, this really is a space for the community, led by the community.
All groups are held in public spaces like cafes and community centres, close to public transport, they’re usually free (except for the cost of the activity – for example, if you’re heading to a coffee group, you might want to buy yourself a cookie or cuppa).
All gatherings are listed on a free website called Meetup, where you can find dates, times, details, venue information and you can reach out to the group Host for any information about their gathering.
Getting set up on Meetup
All community gatherings are listed on a website called Meetup. It’s easy to use and doesn’t cost anything, so you’ll be up and running in no time
If you’re keen to explore some groups, then it’s definitely worth setting yourself up on Meetup.com by creating a free profile and then searching for a group called “The Befriend Social Network Perth”. Here, you can browse gatherings that are coming up over the next few weeks and if you find one you like, just click RSVP so the Host knows your coming! Easy peasy.
If you’re having trouble finding us on Meetup or setting yourself up with your profile, then get in touch with the team and we will put on our tech support headsets to try to help you out.
Please remember that these gatherings are initiated and run by local community members. They choose the activity, the time, the place and the frequency of their group… that’s part of the fun of hosting your own group, right! So, if you can’t find a group that takes your fancy, then maybe it’s time to try hosting your own little gathering that brings people together!
3. Once you are signed up with Meetup, search for “The Befriend Social Network Perth”
4. Click ‘Join this group’
5. Browse through the events calendar and RSVP to any thet you like the sound of!
6. Turn up, be yourself and have fun!
CURIOUS ABOUT STARTING YOUR OWN SOCIAL GROUP?
Hosting a gathering in the Befriend community is a great way to share more of what you care about, with other people who care about it, too.
Whether that’s dogs, books, games, yoga, writing, chatting, playing a musical instrument, or even learning a musical instrument (The Befriend Singing Ukes are a group of ukulele players in Kwinana who meet weekly to learn how to play, sing and occasionally kazoo!)… it’s entirely up to you.
- How do you like to spend your free time?
- What activities do you love doing?
- What spaces do you love being in?
- Who would you like to meet?
These are great places to start. Sure, it takes a little (or a lot of) courage to put yourself out there and ask total strangers to join you in a shared experience… but it can also be so rewarding to see a group flourish and bond together!
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
We love supporting every day people to step into new roles that bring people together. It’s been our bread and butter for the last 12 years!
We’re lucky enough to have a small team of Community Builders located in different suburbs around Perth and part of their role is to help you on your very own hosting journey. Currently, those areas are the Far Northern Suburbs, the City of Swan, and Kwinana.
So the first step, is to get in touch and let us know where you’re based, so we can be sure that the right person gets back to you!
Depending on your postcode, our support might look a little different.
If we have a funded Community Builder in your area, they can have an informal exploratory conversation with you over a cuppa at your favourite cafe, or online if you prefer, and share more about hosting a social group, our values as an organisation, and, importantly, explore your ideas to bring people together!
If we don’t have a local Community Builder nearby, we’ll connect you into exciting group opportunities, workshops and informal get-togethers with staff to learn more about sparking something in your neighbourhood!
And then, whenever you’re ready, you can take your first steps on your personal mission of connection. And, there’s never any rush to go straight into hosting. This is your journey, unfolding at your pace (and good things can take time!). We’re just here to support you!
We asked people to tell us what they love about being a part of the Befriend community
Here’s what they said.
Befriend has helped me to get out more and not just stay at home in front of the TV!
I’m now more connected me to diverse people that I would never have had the chance to socialise with if I had kept within my existing social circles. I am so grateful for this!
This community gives me hope for a brighter future in which all people are valued and belong
Befriend’s community makes me feel much more positive about the world. I almost always leave an event feeling warm in my gut, with a smile on my face. And when I think back to some of the conversations I’ve had with other members I get a grin on my face. It must look funny to others when I do it on public transport!
Since being a part of this community, I’m much better at spotting the shared humanness I have with others now, which makes me much less anxious about meeting new people in general.
It just makes you feel more connected with the people in your community, whenever you attend an event, simply by being there!
I have increased hope that we humans might just find a way through our various challenges!