Well Met, the conferencing office of Leeds Beckett University, is pleased to host the first Befriending Networks masterclass event at its dedicated city-centre conferencing facility, Cloth Hall Court, on Wednesday 6th March 2019.

Befriending Networks, a unique national intermediary and network for Befriending organisations in the UK, is hosting a series of free events around England over the next three years.  The organisation supports its members to deliver high-quality services that aim to eradicate loneliness, promote well-being, increase social connectivity, and ensure that everyone feels valued, through knowing that someone cares.

It provides training courses and consultancy to local and national organisations in relation to befriending, raising the profile and understanding at a local and national level.  Befriending Networks support the development and delivery of befriending services through its Quality in Befriending award and maintaining and expanding an effective support network amongst its members.

The organisation has received funding from the Big Lottery Community Fund and the Government’s Building Communities Fund to promote the benefits of befriending services through a number over events throughout England, including the event at Cloth Hall Court.

Sarah Van Putten, chief executive officer of Befriending Service Networks, said: “We’re expecting about 40 attendees to the event at Cloth Hall Court, that will include a Masterclass in Befriending Practice using existing training programmes and staff skills.  Organisations interested in setting up a befriending service will be able to find out about how to overcome common barriers, develop local networks and share best practice.

“These interactive workshops aim to increase staff skills and knowledge so that new services are set up or expanded safely with quality at the heart of development.  The Befriending Network presents a unique opportunity to attend a free event and meet other people involved in befriending services and share learn.”

There are three Befriending Network events taking place across England, Leeds (6th March), London (12th March) and Leicester (13th March).

Clare Vidler, Conferencing Manager, Well Met, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the inaugural Befriending Networks Masterclass, at Cloth Hall Court, our dedicated conferencing venue.

“The convenient city centre location, just minutes from the train station and our favourable room rate makes it a popular choice for charities and we wish them every success in this event, aiming to combat loneliness through its befriending services.”