Places of Welcome: a safe space where people feel able to connect, belong and contribute
Do you feel part of your community? Are there places in your neighbourhood where you feel welcome? Does your community or faith group offer hospitality to people in your locality?
These are the kind of questions raised in a series of conversations, as part of the Birmingham Social Inclusion process, chaired by the Bishop of Birmingham, in 2013. Many people in our wonderful, vibrant, diverse city said ‘yes’, but a shocking number said they felt isolated, lonely and unwelcome. Some of these were people who’d been ‘born and bred’ in our region and others were newcomers.
A New Movement: Places of Welcome
This news was the catalyst for a new grass-roots movement called Places of Welcome, a network of hospitality run by local people who want to make sure that everyone has a place to go for a friendly face, a cup of tea and a conversation when they need it.
Since then, a network of Places of Welcome has grown rapidly – there are now around 160 across the England and Wales, including over 100 across Birmingham and the Black Country. Run by faith groups, community centres, libraries, housing associations and other voluntary organisations, they all very different and influenced by the people and communities in which they are located.
Wherever they are, all Places of Welcome make a commitment to the same five principles, which we call the 5Ps:
Our short (2 minute) video clip shows what the 5P’s look like in different Places of Welcome across Birmingham and the Black Country. We’re grateful to everyone who took part in the filming from Nechells POD Birmingham, the Thomas Project Walsall, the Wesleyan Holiness Church Wolverhampton, Yardley Wood Baptist Church and some of the Birmingham and Black Country Co-ordinators.
Development Worker, Sarah Turner, who has been involved from the start, said:
“The Place of Welcome movement has proved to be hugely popular, in part because of its simplicity – the core role of a Place of Welcome is to be a space where people are welcome to sit and chat and where people actively listen to each other. Anybody is welcome to come along. Places of Welcome do not provide ‘services’ to ‘beneficiaries’’ they are places where people contribute and are encouraged to share to their talents, experiences and skills.”
Why not join us? You’ll be very welcome!
How can I get involved?
To find out if there are Places of Welcome near you, and also what’s involved in offering a Place of Welcome
Visit our website: www.placesofwelcome.org
Or Email Sue at : firstname.lastname@example.org