The Bee Friends Afternoon marked its first birthday with a party and a cake at their regular Thursday afternoon session at The Bridge Café in Cross Flatts Park last week (25 July 2019).
Whilst the afternoons are aimed at older people with a learning disability, it is open to anyone who is feeling lonely and fancies a chat.
Anna-Marie Garbutt who organises the project explained:
“One of the things people were telling me (when I was setting up the project) was they wanted to make friends. A lot of people live with special needs live in supported accommodation or go to day centres where they don’t choose who they socialise with. The idea of Bee Friends is to create a safe space where people can come together to make new friends and its been going really well.”
Between 1-2:30pm every Thursday people can come and play board games, enjoy some music and of course refreshments. Anna-Marie is always looking for volunteers for the café, people to come along and chat and help create conversations.
Bee Friends is part of a wider Time To Shine project called Bee Together run by Leeds Older People’s Forum and funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. Its aim is to combat social isolation and loneliness.
Photo: Stephen Farrell helps Anna-Marie Garbutt cut the birthday cake