It will be great to see some more POWs happen around Sunny Staffs. In what seems like increasingly difficult times, any opportunity to support vulnerable people, and encourage the community to communicate with other a little more; we ju can't afford NOT to take it... (And the mugs look nice too!)
I've been reading a lovely story of one of the Places of Welcome in Birmingham. Here's a little excerpt that sums up the community that Places of Welcome create by allowing different groups of people to mix together: “It’s good that all these different people are together. So isolated, elderly folk get to meet men from the local hostels, for example, and see that they don’t have two heads! It’s good to meet people whose issues are different to yours. We live and work and exist in this same locality so we’re all learning to respect each other and be family together.” (http://bit.ly/2t27E3w)
I’ve been involved with Places of Welcome in Birmingham for a few years and love the stories I hear of new people turning up and being made to feel at home; of homemade cakes and pies being brought along to share, of people sharing their hobbies with others, of relationships being formed and friendships being built in all sorts of different ways. Places of Welcome are not rocket science they are simple activities that create space for connection and friendship. I hope Places of Welcome will be as valuable in Staffordshire as they are in Birmingham.
What do Community workers think of Places of Welcome? Kate a Community Connector in Lichfield says "You know what a great project I think (Places of Welcome) is & I'm thrilled it's happening in Stoke & Staffordshire :)"
I love this quote from aPlace of Welcome visitor at one on the venues in Ashton-Under-Lyme "I feel like a celebrity when I come in here everyone is so pleased to see me!" We'd love to see more of this across Staffordshire and the Potteries. Please support if you can :-)
This initiative seems "completely relevant" for us. I am the Vicar of a couple of Churches in Stafford and we strive to be places of welcome, serving our communities and making connections within it. A scheme such as Places of Welcome could very well encourage us, helping us to make the most of each opportunity and pointing us to ways of working and to resources which would enable us to make more of an impact for good.
If you are considering making a pledge to this project please do not hesitate. Transforming Communities do a great job across Staffordshire helping those in need to access opportunities to get involved, make new friends, help other people through volunteering etc. Places of Welcome is a national scheme where volunteers offer a weekly opportunity for socially isolated people to come together in the spirit of friendship. Please remember it's not just old people who feel socially isolated. Places of Welcome are open to all. Your pledge will help Transforming Communities co-ordinate the actions of volunteer groups across Staffordshire to launch many new groups over the coming year. Please support if you can financially or by getting in touch with David to explore other ways you may be able to help.
It's such a privilege to be part of this movement that is helping to build and strengthen community across England and Wales. It's vital that we have safe places in every community to build friendships and get to know others. I hope and pray that this is a success and we see more Places of Welcome across Staffordshire and the Potteries.
This project offers rewards in return for your donation.