What to expect at an Oddfellows social event

Updated: 19 May 2021

If you'd like to give one of our meet-ups a try but want to know more about them first, read this guide on what to expect at an Oddfellows social event.

Something for everyone

Our branches host a huge range of online and in-person social events for members to get together at, as well as interest-based sessions for those looking to try something new, or meet people with similar hobbies.

Oddfellows events aim to offer our members four things:

Regularity – so you’ve always got something to look forward to, and for Oddfellows events to give you plenty of opportunities to socialise regularly

Variety – so you can try new things, with different types of people, and at different times of the day

Reassurance – so you know, that if you come along to something hosted by the Oddfellows, you’ll be in a friendly, welcoming and safe environment

Affordability – so having fun with friends won’t cost you a lot of money. Some events are free to members, or discounted against guest prices, but most have a charge just to cover costs

Members chatting round a table enjoying a cup of tea
Getting together for a chat.

Can you try an event before becoming a member?

If you'd like to try a social event or activity before making a decision about becoming a member, then that's absolutely fine. Just get in touch with the event host.

Where are social events held?

Our face-to-face events are held in a variety of places. Many of our branches have halls, or their own regular meeting spaces, so their regular events will often be held there.

Our members love to get out and about, so we’ll often meet up at local cafes and restaurants, shopping centres, garden centres, museums or places of interest.

To see the sorts of places in which your nearest branch holds events, use our online Events Finder. Just enter your postcode or location to search.

For online events, we usually use Zoom video-conferencing or Facebook Live.

Do you have to pay to go to an event?

Being a member enables you to enjoy any branch social event. As a non-profit, we try and make each event as affordable as possible. Some events are free, or discounted against guest prices, but most have a small charge just to cover entertainment or refreshment costs. We’re always transparent about the price of events and publish them upfront.

Members on a group walk lined up on a bridge in their walking gear
Getting together for a walk, whatever the weather!

What types of events are on offer?

There are many different types of social events on offer across the country, and they vary from branch to branch. We host both online and face-to-face events. Use our Events Finder to take a look at what's on offer, or we can send you a copy of your local events diary.

Our most regular type of social event is a coffee morning.These events are often free for members to attend, or branches just ask for a very small amount of money to cover catering costs. You can be a chatterbox, or someone who just likes to sit back and listen – it doesn’t matter at this type of event. The focus is on easy-going company and community. Quite often these social events are run really regularly, so they are hosted every week, or the first Thursday of each month, for example.

Another popular branch social event is a ‘Dine Around’ or ‘Lunch with Friends’. This is where we book a big table in a nice restaurant or pub and enjoy lunch or dinner together. These events usually just cost what you eat or drink. For some branches, they’re tacked on to the end of a gentle walk or ramble, so you don’t have to feel guilty about having a pudding AND a starter!

Member sat round a table having fun playing a game of Beetle Drive
Coming together to raise money for the BHF at a games afternoon.

Games afternoons/evenings or guest talks are also staple branch social events. Opportunities to take part in a quiz or play bingo, Beetle Drive or Bridge with other members often feature on our branches' social calendars.

Guest talks cover a huge range of interesting topics, such as history, entertainment, health, or nature. These social events are often very affordable to attend, as they’re held at our own halls or meeting places, or online.

Other typical social events include craft sessions, walks or rambles, gentle exercise classes, trips to the theatre, outings to places of interest, afternoon teas, shopping trips and film nights. We try our best to have something for everyone.

How do you find out about upcoming events?

The best way to find out about forthcoming events is to either:

  • Use our Events Finder. You can enter your postcode, location or branch name to find a list of scheduled events. You can then filter events by date and type.
  • Refer to your local events diary. When you’re a member, you’ll automatically receive a copy of this in the post. They’re usually published every six months, so you can plan ahead. If for some reason you don’t get one or you lose yours, then you can always call your Branch Secretary or our Membership team for a new copy. They’re also available to download and print from a branch's contact details page on our website. Just use our online Branch Finder to locate this.

If you’re not yet a member, you can always request a free information pack from our Membership team which will contain a copy of your nearest branch’s events diary.

I’m nervous about coming along to an event on my own. Can you help?

It’s perfectly normal to feel this way. It can be intimidating to walk into a room full of new faces, even for the most confident of people. Why not ring ahead of the event and let us know that you’d like to come along? If we know you’re coming, we could arrange for someone to meet you at the door and introduce you to a friendly regular.

Feel free to also bring a friend or family member along if you need extra support. They’ll be more than welcome.

Can someone show me how to use Zoom to try an online event?

We're more than happy to talk people through how to get connected to Zoom. If you find an online event you'd like to try, just get in touch with the host and let them know you need a some help. You will need a device that can connect to the internet, such as a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Is there any help to get to events if I have no transport available?

Quite often, if you let a branch know that you’d like to attend, a fellow member may be able to help out with a lift. There are no formal transport support arrangements in place at our branches, but when and if we can help, we most certainly will.

Mixed group of smiling members in front of a sign at Jodrell Bank on their day out.
Enjoy a day out and guided tour of Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.

Can you go to other branches’ social events?

You can go to any branch's events, not just the ones run by the branch your membership’s linked to. We encourage people to visit other Oddfellows groups as it helps build a sense of Oddfellows family. 

If you’re away visiting friends or family, or spending time in another part of the country, it’s worth checking out what’s going on in that area. The easiest way to do this is by putting a location name into our online Events Finder. If you’d like to receive a copy of another branch’s Events Diary, then call Membership and they’ll email or put one in the post to you at no cost.

Further information

If we haven't answered all your questions or queries about what to expect at an Oddfellows event, please give your local Branch a call or speak with our Membership team.

Oddfellows friendship groups

We're always ready to welcome new members to our local Oddfellows friendship groups. You can find your nearest by using our Branch Finder, or use our Events Finder to search for social events and activities happening near to where you live.

Give the Oddfellows a try. There's no obligation to join. Contact us to request your free information pack and local events diary.

Read more advice on making friends and building social confidence in our friendship guides section.