Befriending Scheme given festive treat by Asda Lowestoft store

The Befriending Scheme has been boosted with a £500 cheque from Asda Lowestoft for its Christmas par

The Befriending Scheme has been boosted with a £500 cheque from Asda Lowestoft for its Christmas party. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk charity has been boosted with an early Christmas present.

The Befriending Scheme, based in Lowestoft, was awarded £500 by the Asda Lowestoft store to spend on its members' Christmas party.

The scheme is a local hub group that provides friendship and learning opportunities for adults aged over 16 from vulnerable groups, including those with mental health needs, older people and those with learning disabilities.

Founded in 1989, the group meets every Friday between 9am and 2pm at the Salvation Army Lowestoft Citadel on Beach Road to socialise and learn new skills. Members are supported by Christine and Jane (TBS staff) and a team of dedicated volunteers, including community champion at the Lowestoft Asda store, Bev Shipp.

Group members enjoy everything from magic shows, to craft activities and dancing in a safe, warm and inclusive environment.

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Speaking about the group, Christine Roe said: 'Christmas can be a difficult time of year for some of our members, who may have limited support and be experiencing social isolation.

'Having the £500 will enable us to plan something extra special for our members over the festive period, who might otherwise spend it alone and unmarked. We'd like to say a huge thank you to Asda for their continued support and generous donation to our group.'

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Mrs Roe added: 'The Christmas party for group members is the highlight of the year – they are already looking forward to it. Everyone gets a gift and this extra special donation will make it a really good party.'

Bev Shipp, community champion at the Asda Lowestoft store, said: 'For the last three years the Asda foundation, through myself, have appliedfor a grant have covered the cost of this party for the group.

'As well as this, I volunteer through my role with Asda to go to the group every Friday, which I have done for nearly six years putting something back into the community.

'We've got a great relationship with the whole group and it is lovely they can have a great party and gift again this year.'

If you would like to know more about the Befriending Scheme in Lowestoft, contact Christine Roe on 07906758039 or email

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