Our vision is a world where people are valued equally, listened to, and included in all that life has to offer

Hub Groups

Our regular drop-in centres, known as Hubs, provide a place for our members to learn new skills, have fun and make friends. 

Running at six locations across Suffolk, the range of activities on offer is increasing all the time. Our members try their hands at drama, music and crafts, and enjoy games, cooking and relaxing over tea and biscuits.

Friends Farm Hub… be a farmer for the day… every week! 

In partnership with Easton & Otley College, Friends Farm Hub is a place where adults with additional needs (ages 16+) can take part in the setting-up and running of a farm.

Members can grow fruit, vegetables and flowers and care for small farm animals, such as chickens and ducks. We aim to help members build friendships and develop life skills; such as cooking, money-management and how to stay safe and healthy.

Call the Farm Hub Leader on 07802 724168 details of future activities and the available membership options and prices.

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Small Animals

Out and About

This new service gives Hub members a chance to enjoy being part of their community and get to know their local area. 

Sessions are held in the evenings and at weekends, including trips to the cinema and local snooker club, fish and chip suppers, tenpin bowling, swimming and pub quiz nights. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy these simple activities and gain a sense of social inclusion.

We have weekly Out and About memberships available in Sudbury and Haverhill, with Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Lowestoft and Felixstowe offering fortnightly memberships.

Call the office on 01787 371333 for more information.


You can attend as many or as few of our activities in your area as you like. The more activities you sign up to each week, the cheaper each session becomes!

In some areas we have extended our Hub groups to twice a week. Hubs are fun, interactive and educational, and allow you to build meaningful friendships with others.

Our new and exciting Out and About services include weekly or fortnightly activities in the community. It could be a trip to the bowling alley or the cinema, or a meal out with the group, all included in the membership fee.

See which membership type suits you best from our options below, or get in touch to talk to us about becoming a member.



One weekly Hub group.

£1500 per year

Silver Plus

One weekly
Hub group plus
One weekly Out and About activity.

£2230 per year



Silver Plus

One weekly
Hub group plus
One fortnightly Out and About activity.

£1850 per year



Two Hub groups per week.

£2600 per year



Two Hub groups per week.
One weekly Out and About activity.

£3120 per year


Out and About

Option 1:
Fortnightly social activity.

£400 per year

Option 2:
Weekly social activity.

£800 per year

One-to-one Befriending

We carefully match our members with volunteer befrienders based on shared interests and where they live.

Members build confidence and new skills, form a meaningful friendship with a committed befriender, and become more engaged in their local community.

“Lisa is an excellent befriender. She is kind and patient with my deafness and I really appreciate her. I’m glad to have her company.”

Beth, talking about her linked friend, Lisa.


+ What is a One-to-one Befriender?

A Befriender is a volunteer who would like to spend some time with a member on a regular basis to provide them with friendship, companionship and support. Volunteers are required to volunteer for 2-3 hours a month and may meet with their linked friend once a week, once a fortnight or once a month. Meetings will be arranged with the support of your Link Co-Ordinator. Befrienders are there to listen and to talk with. If able to, members are encouraged to get out and about in their local community with their befriender to carry out social activities. Activities can be anything from meeting for coffee, going to the cinema, museums or even fishing. Members may even have the opportunity to go for days out, to the seaside for example. Our volunteer Befrienders are able to meet their linked friend at home where needed.

Members and volunteer befrienders are matched on location, hobbies and interests and personality.

All volunteers will have completed a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will have completed an induction to the service.

+ How much does this service cost?

This is a free service for those who are eligible. Members will need to cover only the cost of their own activity, food and drink. Volunteers will pay for their activity, food and drink separately.

+ Who is eligible for this service?

To be eligible for this service, individuals must have a learning disability

Individuals being referred to the service MUST also:

  • Live in Suffolk
  • Be over 16 years old
  • Not be accessing another face-to-face befriending service
  • Have limited social contact or regularly experience feelings of loneliness and / or isolation

The Befriending Scheme have the right to review the eligibility of individuals at any time where it is felt necessary to do so.*

+ What about care and support needs?

The purpose of the one-to-one service is for volunteer Befrienders to provide individuals with company and companionship. Volunteers are not trained in personal care and are not responsible for addressing any personal care and support needs. This includes but is not limited to washing and dressing members, taking members to washroom facilities, providing meals for members and administering medication.

+ How can I apply for this service?

If you would like to apply to have a Befriender, or would like to refer an individual to the service, you will need to complete a referral application form.

To fill in the form online click here or call our office to request a paper form. For more information, please call 01787 371 333.

You will need to return paper copies of the form by post to:

The Befriending Scheme
Above Northcroft Social Club,
1 The Croft
CO10 1HN

Once the application form has been received, our One to One Link Co-Ordinator will be in touch to discuss eligibility.

*Please note that due to high demand, there may be a delay in the Link Co-ordinator contacting new referrals. We thank you for your patience. *

Applicants who are eligible will be added to The Befriending Scheme’s waiting list for a Befriender. For individuals who are not eligible, we will do our best to signpost them to other organisations or support groups that may be better suited to their needs.

+ Who can I contact about this service?

If you would like to know more about this service, please give us a call at the office on 01787 371 333 or email us at info@thebefriendingscheme.org.uk