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Information and advice for young people in Suffolk

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The Befriending Scheme

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The Befriending Scheme provides support, friendship and learning opportunities for people aged 16+ in Suffolk. This scheme is great for young people who may have additional needs or mental health issues, or just want to meet some new people and make friends.

There is a cost to become a member of a hub group, which varies depending on the type of membership you want. You might also be able to get a bursary fund to help with the costs.

There are Hub Groups in six locations across Suffolk, which provide the opportunity to meet with friends in a safe environment, try some fun activities, and develop life skills through independent living workshops.

The Hub Groups are currently offered in:

  • Ipswich
  • Sudbury
  • Bury St Edmunds
  • Stowmarket
  • Haverhill
  • Lowestoft

“The people at the groups are friendly and there’s a really nice atmosphere. If you have any problems, there is always someone to talk things through with.” – Lesley, Hub member

The Befriending Scheme also offers a free one-to-one befriending service, where you can be matched with a volunteer who shares your interests and you feel safe with. You can meet up every week and do something fun with your befriending volunteer.

They can also support you in getting out in the community and meeting with friends, give comfort during difficult times or decisions, and provide encouragement to try new things you have always wanted to do.

This one-to-one service is offered in the same six locations as the Hub Groups. There is also a Befrienders Club in the evenings and on some Saturdays, one-off themed activity days, workshops and social events.

Find out more

If you’re aged 16+ and think the Befriending Scheme is something you’d like to get involved in, email to find out more, or call them on 01787 371333.

Want to become a volunteer?

The Befriending Scheme is always looking for volunteers for their one-to-one befriending service.

Volunteering is a great way to gain confidence, develop new skills, and you might also really enjoy it! You will be matched with someone in need of a volunteer, based on your interests or hobbies.

You can also share your hobbies and interests with your volunteer, and who knows, you might both learn a new skill!

To find out more about becoming a volunteer befriender, you can call Will, the Young Person's Co-ordinator on 07715 331596, or email

Or you can download an application form on The Befriending Scheme website.

Not sure?

If you'd like to volunteer but are lacking confidence or think you might need some support, the six week Volunteer Plus Programme could be what you need.

To find out more about this programme, you can call Claire on 07722 407185, or email

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