BEFRIEND in Crawley has won the small organisation category at the Community Services Excellence Awards.
The non-profit was founded by Nick Maisey in 2010, after he met a young man with cerebral palsy who was looking for inclusive ways to make new friends.
The organisation has since connected over 10,000 people and trained more than 650 community inclusion ambassadors.
Befriend’s Relationships and Inclusion Consultant Katie Curo accepted the award last night .
“It was such a wonderful surprise; it felt really validating to be recognised by the sector for the work that we’re doing,” she said.
Mr Maisey said the success of Befriend has been its ability to create an opportunity for connection in communities.
“The contributions of all our members, volunteers, partners and supporters have grown something that enriches all of our lives,” he said.
“We’re working to scale our impact, nurturing connected communities across the broader Perth metropolitan area.
“We’d love to hear from individuals, organisations and local councils interested in partnering with us.”
Community Services minister Simone McGurk said the awards recognise the vital role that individuals and organisations in the community services sector play in making a difference to their communities.
“Large or small, metropolitan or regional, community service organisations provide a lifeline to some of society’s most vulnerable people as well as opportunities and activities that provide for better, happier lives,” she said.
“They also highlight the innovation and energy of a sector that continues to find meaningful solutions to some of life’s most challenging issues.”