About with Friends’ mission is to give people with learning disabilities the opportunities they are entitled to and to live the life that they deserve. We are made up of permanent and part-time staff, volunteers and valued supporters.  We offer support, activities, guidance and care.

These “Who We Are” pages offer you the opportunity to see our staff and trustees, learn a little bit about our ethos and see what our policies are.

Take a minute to find out about the history of About with Friends below. We started from a kitchen table and have grown to a large organisation at the heart of the community in Cromer. We’re proud of this achievement, but we couldn’t have done it without the unstinting support of volunteers, trustees, our staff and of course our wonderful members!

Key moments in our history

Find out how we got here, and where we're going!

Work begins with 9 members and a handful of people around CEO’s kitchen table.

July 2002

Increase to 18 members and receive lottery funding of £5000.

2004

3 year funding from The Lottery.

2005

Move in to buildings on Holt Road – the ‘Base’.

2006

20 members worked on a vegetable garden at Holt Primary School alongside ‘Roots and Shoots’.

Jan 2008

Children’s Services grant awarded to begin working with young people with disabilities through the Short Breaks Pathfinder for 14-18year olds.

June 2008

Support first member to live independently in their own home.

2010

Workskills programme launches.

2010

Children’s Services full grant for Short Breaks with Children, develop work to start working with children from 9years.

2010

Workskills move to own building and increase work opportunities – production workshop created.

2012

Bespoke programme begins.

Sept 2012

Official opening of the catering kitchen funding by a capital grant from Children’s Services.

March 2013

CEO receives British Empire Medal in the New Years Honours list.

Jan 2014

Community Café opens.

March 2014

Community Shop opens.

April 2016

Achieved registration with the Care Quality Commission.

2016

Transfer to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

2016

Workskills move to larger building

2016

Bespoke Service move into custom-made building

2016

About with friends Celebrate 15th year Happy Birthday

2017

Over the last five years I have had a fortnightly, 2 hour designated gardening slot. I highly value your service and ethos.

I always have a smile on my face after a day with the members of the team. They are all individuals and each, in their own way, bring joy to my life. They are all much appreciated and I enjoy the gardening of course!

Thank you for taking K to Milton Keynes on holiday, it made her extremely happy. Selfishly, it gave my wife a much sought after period of respite after 16 years of constant care.

I haven’t seen D for ages and he looks like a new man . The stress has gone from his face – he looks great Well done !!!!

It was a massive decision for his family to make and by choosing AWF it means they trust totally in the service. I am of the opinion that AWF is the only provision in the county for D and he is very happy to attend.

Having spent many years in school with little improvements in I’s behaviour and speech, in just a few weeks with you the improvements in both areas are plain to see. Please continue as you are, as life at the moment for us as a family is greatly improved because of your input.

I just cannot thank you enough for taking K my daughter so that she could have fun with her friends on holiday in Milton Keynes, […] it made her extremely happy.

Selfishly for me it gave my wife a much sought after period of respite exhausted after 16 years of constant care. Complete respite is dependent upon the knowledge that your child is in safe professional caring hands. The ‘about with friends’ staff impress me because they display such enthusiastic vocational attitudes towards their care.

Just wanted to say a big thank you to you and everyone else that supported H on the recent trip – she had an amazing time. I enjoyed look at the Twitter feed to see what you had been up to.

Just a short note to thank you all for your help with our daughter. she has spent many years at school with little improvement in her behaviour and speech, yet in just a few weeks she has been with you guys the improvements in both areas are plain to see.

I am not sure what the different methods used are but please continue as you are, as life at the moment for us as a family is greatly improved because of your input.

We are very aware of her complex needs and how she can change like the wind but we will continue to enjoy the fruits of your labours.

We cannot tell you what AWF means to us as a family – a lifeline, a light in the dark. Something that has offered our daughter equality, to have a social life and really support us as a family.