Q. Who can attend Befriend gatherings? What does it mean to be a Befriend "member"?
A. Anyone living in Perth aged 18 years or over can attend gatherings. Being a member simply means you've registered yourself with the Network so that you receive regular invitations to attend gatherings happening in your area (or even Host your own!) If you're a human looking for new connections, you can be a member!
Q. What does it cost to join?
A. It is free to join our Network. 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 gatherings?
A. The Network currently has over 7,000 adults in Perth registered – 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! You'll meet people from all backgrounds and walks of life - The diversity of our Network is part of what makes this experience so unique and special.
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 Host! All gatherings are hosted by local residents of Perth, just like you. We run regular free workshops for anyone interested in learning how to start your own social/interest Group and host your own gatherings. Hosts plan and organise the gathering and show up on the day to act as an initial meeting point for guests. Hosts do their best to create a welcoming and fun atmosphere for new connections to flourish.
Q. Where do the events take place?
A. Gatherings 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, Kwinana and Armadale. 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. Most gatherings have roughly 6-15 people attend. Our Hosts like to keep the gatherings relatively small, as we know that it’s often easier to get to know new people in a smaller group.
Q. Are events wheelchair accessible?
A. Hosts do their best to be considerate of accessibility needs, and to organise gatherings that are inclusive activities, at easily accessible venues, however we cannot guarantee this at every event. If you are unsure if a particular venue is wheelchair accessible, please contact us to enquire (or preferably the venue).
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. This can introduce risks to yourself and others, so our Network hasn't worked out an effective way to overcome this. Many of our Network 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 7,000 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 new 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! We encourage you to show up with an open mind, no expectations and a curiosity to sharing new experiences with others.
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 with donations (which are tax deductible).