Befriending Activities Café

04 October 2018

“You can see friendships forming – what started as a collective of strangers has turned into a group of friends.”

The Befriending Activities Café has been supporting older people in Bracknell, in Berkshire for nearly two years to socialise, develop and lead activities.

“There has been a lot of redevelopment in the town centre. While it has been very successful, it isn’t necessarily targeted at the older generation. 

The aim of the project is to give older people a safe place to get together and socialise, and get to know other, similar people in the area. 

We already had a premises in the town centre with space and the members so we set up an activities café for local people, generally older people, but not necessarily.  

It is a simple idea – we provide the space and they organise and choose whatever they want to do.  

The café is held in an old Magistrate’s Court. A group of people come regularly and they do different activities every week.  

We have a mixture of activities from arts and crafts and to games and yoga and tai chi sessions.  

We occasionally have more education-focused sessions too, we had the fire service visit recently to talk about staying safe in your own home.  

What we have seen is everyone really start to become friends – and that is one of the nicest things about it.  

We try and encourage those that attend to decide what they want to do every week so it has settled mainly on arts & crafts and quizzes and games because that is what they like doing most.  

We have a regular group that comes every week and welcome new members occasionally.

You can see friendships forming – what started as a collective of strangers has turned into a group of friends. They throw birthday parties for each other and when you see them leaving, it is never alone but instead, together.  

We are delighted it has been so successful. It took a little time to start getting regular attendees but it has been so positive.”

Philip Cook, General Manager at Involve Community Services



The Befriending Activities Café is funded by People’s Health Trust by The Health Lottery in London West through The Health Lottery.


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