Befriending & Community Choices

Everybody needs somebody, but not everyone has someone.

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Befriending Scheme

A workshop with the superb befriending volunteers who are helping us with our research project

People can be isolated or feel alone for all sorts of reasons – health problems, people living alone having lost loved ones and with families living some distance away, be housebound or have other circumstances which make opportunities for developing friendship difficult. Sometimes people feel alone even when they are in regular contact with others.

Through our Befriending and Community Choices research project, funded by Bracknell Forest Council and Bracknell Forest Homes we are working with elderly and vulnerable residents to understand what can be done, over and above befriending, to help reduce feelings of social isolation and increase confidence to participate in community activities.

Community Choices

The Community Choices Scheme is a service for adults under 65 years old, who for whatever reason, are isolated or lonely, and to support them in linking in with groups, clubs, education or other community resources of their choice:

♥   Photography

♥   Art / Craft

♥   Book Clubs

♥   Social Groups

♥   Sport

♥  Adult Education

Or any other activity available in Bracknell Forest.

How does it work?

The Community Choices Co-ordinator will discuss with you your interests, choices and preferences, and then research local community resources to identify potential opportunities for you.

The Co-ordinator is able to attend jointly with you to your activity of choice for the initial visits, assisting you as necessary and supporting your comfortable integration into the group.

How to join the scheme?

You can refer yourself to the scheme by contacting us directly, and we can then arrange an appointment for you to visit our office to discuss. If you have mobility issues we can arrange to visit you at your home.

You can also contact us directly with a referral if you are family, a friend or professional.

If you want to know more about Community Choices, or if you may know someone that may benefit from the scheme then contact Angie Cowan the Community Choices Co-ordinator on 01344 304404 or email

Befriending is simply a supported friendship between two people; a volunteer-befriender and a member of the local community who feels isolated or alone. This provides the individual with someone they know who is there for them without expecting payment or a return of favour.

Many of the brilliant volunteers that came to us as a result of our previous Befriending Service, and who still currently befriend in Bracknell Forest Borough, are helping us with this valuable research.

If you would like to know more about our project, or would like to help in some way, please email us.

Befriending Volunteers needed across Bracknell Forest!

Would you like to make a difference to someone else’s life? If you have some time to spare, the Befriending Service would love to hear from you. Volunteering as a Befriender can be a great way to help your local community and to meet new people. If you’re friendly, empathetic, and able to spare some time each week, please contact: Lynn Baldwin or telephone 01344 383522.

Befriending Cafe

Are you over 65?  Would you like to meet new people?
If so why not pop along to our Befriending Activity Café?
This is a great opportunity to meet other people, make new friends and have fun!

Our Activity Café runs every Thursday from 2.00pm till 4.00pm at the Old Court House in Bracknell.
We will be arranging a variety of activities such as arts and crafts, games, music and much more.
If you are interested in attending please contact Lynn on 01344 304404 .

Befriending Coffee Mornings

Our coffee mornings are for any elderly people who feel isolated to come along to sit and chat with other people in similar situations to them. They occur normally every other Monday from 10.00am until 12.00 noon at the Bracknell Leisure Centre Café, RG12 9SE.  The dates for 2019 are:

January 14th & 28th
February 11th & 25th
March 11th & 25th
April 8th & 29th
May 13th
June 3rd & 17th
July 1st, 15th & 29th
August 12th
September 2nd, 16th & 30th
October 14th & 28th
November 11th & 25th