Lights, camera and action to tell story of friendship

A Sudbury-based charity which fosters friendships to help vulnerable people has got the chance to have a short film made about it for television.

The Befriending Scheme has been chosen by another charity called Media Trust which matches small charities with top film-makers who volunteer their time to create professional films that demonstrate the impact of the charities’ work.

The idea is that the charity gets the chance to help spread the word about its important work to a national audience.

Shirley Moore, chief executive officer of the Suffolk Befriending Scheme, said she was delighted to be among the 25 charities chosen nationally to have its work highlighted, and said it was a unique opportunity to tell the charity’s story. One of the charity’s one-to-one friendships has been going since the charity started.

“It means we will have a professional producer and director to make a quality film for us,” she said. “I already have a meeting planned with the producer in January to discuss where and how it will be made, and it will be ready in the spring.”

The film will be broadcast on the national television channel Community Channel and, with help from the film project partner Google, distributed widely online.

Based in Gainsborough Street, the scheme has been running for 23 years. It runs regular drop-in centres, known as hubs, where people can meet and socialise and, through its volunteer network, organises one-to-one friendships for adults from vulnerable groups, including those with mental health needs and older people, as well as existing members with learning disabilities.