Charity celebrates 25th anniversary with a friendship competition
A Suffolk charity working with vulnerable adults celebrates 25 years of service to the local community.
The Befriending Scheme, (TBS) which started in Sudbury in 1989, held its friendship themed 25th Anniversary celebration at Sudbury Rugby Club in Great Cornard.
The charity’s group members and volunteers, from all over Suffolk, took part in the occasion – producing items of arts, crafts, poetry and photography to convey what friendship means to them.
Many touching and expressive works of arts and personal tributes were displayed on the day, including a pair of pink-and-green knitted friendship bunnies wearing tutus, and poems illustrating how much the work of The Befriending Scheme and it’s volunteers have helped transform people’s lives. Twenty five competition winners were presented with gifts and certificates by the competition’s judges alongside the charity’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Shirley Moore.
Three lucky exhibitors were selected as overall winners:
Fifty four year old Michael Balls, from Sudbury, was the overall winner of the charity’s photography competition. Michael has been attending the Sudbury weekly drop-in groups for the last six years and has a linked volunteer befriender Tash Young. He chose to enter the competition with pictures of him fishing, because he and Tash regularly enjoy spending time fishing together. Michael is proud to say that he and Tash have a really strong friendship and the time they spend together on these trips is very special.
Helen Cooper was the overall winner of the poetry competition. Helen has been attending the Ipswich weekly drop-in groups for x years now and is often found at the arts and crafts table, alongside her linked volunteer befriender Marj. When first attending the group, Helen shared her love of bingo with linked friend Marj. Now, some nine years on, the friendship is stronger than ever.
Laura Stoddard from Lowestoft could not make the anniversary event but was delighted to learn that she was the overall winner of the arts and crafts category. Laura spent four Hub sessions to complete her entry of a blue, pink-and-white paper collage of two friends together, holding hands. Since starting at the Hub last November Laura’s passion is spending time making something creative at the craft table.
The Befriending Scheme runs regular social activities, like friendship events to help people meet and make new friends and enjoy themselves. They also provide a number of training opportunities for members including independent living skills and employability courses to help members lead a more fulfilling life.
As TBS celebrated its silver anniversary, Mrs Moore thanked the members, trustees and supporters who had enabled the charity to reach this milestone.
She added: “Today has been a real success. I have had some heart-warming feedback already from our members, and the happy faces of those who collected certificates reminded me that our work is so worthwhile, greatly appreciated and much needed.”
The competition judges were Mr and Mrs Bavington for poetry, Emily Houghton, Sector Manager for East of England Coop Funerals (Sudbury) for arts and Crafts, and Joe Fairs, North Street Studios, Sudbury for photography.
Our 25th Anniversary Celebration