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Buddying
Places of Welcome

Places of Welcome Buddying

Become a Place of Welcome Buddy in Walsall!

First published: 7th August 2019

Updated: 23rd June 2021

Do you like helping others get the best out of life? Are you somebody who loves to get to know people and wants to make a difference in their community?

Making friends and feeling part of the community can make a big difference to how people feel about themselves, contributing to both improved health and wellbeing.

Some of us however lack confidence, are shy about meeting new people or are unaware of what support is on offer locally. This is especially true as we start to emerge from the national lockdown but it’ where you can help!

Places of Welcome Buddies is a new part of Transforming Communities Together’s (TCT’s) work to support people and communities to thrive and flourish. This Buddying project will assist community members living within Walsall Borough initially, by offering them a ‘friendly ear’, guidance and practical help, so they can experience and enjoy the social and recreational activities available locally through the Places of Welcome network.

There are 20 Places of Welcome across the Walsall borough which provide a safe and welcoming environment for all members of the community, especially people who want to make new friends, find out what is happening locally or get some help and advice. This could be new mums or dads, people who have recently moved to the area or older people who want to stay in touch with their neighbourhood.

Buddies will help community members to attend Places of Welcome, providing company and bringing confidence to try out new things.

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The Role

You can make a big difference by travelling with them to attend a local Place of Welcome, helping them to connect and participate in the group and support them by signposting them to any appropriate services.

About you

A friendly, non-judgemental outlook is vital. You will need good communication and

listening skills with the ability to offer empathy, support, encouragement, and patience.

A knowledge of confidentiality and equal opportunities would be useful, although full training and on-going support will be given to every Place of Welcome Buddy by TCT’s Buddying Project Manager.

A DBS check is required for all volunteers, which will be paid for by Transforming Communities Together.

This project has been made possible by generous funding by The Eveson Charitable Trust

If you are interested in this rewarding, volunteering opportunity, please contact Carrie Blount, Places of Welcome Facilitator, Black Country on 07377 918101 or email carrie.blount@tctogether.org.uk

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June 2021 - Carrie training our first two buddies in Walsall

Buddying Up in Lichfield!

TCT also runs a similar Buddying Scheme with Support Staffordshire in Lichfield Diostrict.

There are lots of great social groups and activities on offer across Lichfield District but not everyone finds it easy to take part and get involved. They may lack the confidence to try new things, be shy about meeting new people or simply not be aware of what is on offer or where things are happening.

Making friends and feeling part of the local community can make a big difference to how people feel about themselves, contributing to both physical and mental wellbeing.

Consequently, Support Staffordshire are partnering with TCT’s Places of Welcome team to run a buddying project from now until spring 2020 to help local people enjoy the social and recreational opportunities available.

Funded by Lichfield District Council, Support Staffordshire will be recruiting and training a team of volunteers to be ‘Community Buddies’, to offer a ‘friendly ear’ to local residents, signposting and helping people to attend Places of Welcome and other voluntary and community services.

Sandra Payne, Deputy Chief Executive of Support Staffordshire said “We are delighted to be working with Places of Welcome to set up this buddying scheme in Lichfield District. We are fortunate to have so many different activities and opportunities on our doorstep and we want to help everyone take part. Whether this be helping people find out what is on offer, travelling with them to a club or activity or attending with them until they feel confident to go it alone.
We are keen to hear from anyone who would like to become a volunteer community buddyand help other residents to get the most out of life. Buddies will be friendly, good at listening and want to help others enjoy living in Lichfield. The scheme is available to everyone who lives in the District including Burntwood and the rural villages”.
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Sandra Payne and Clare Jolly from Support Staffordshire And Hellen Titterton from TCT 📷 David Gough Photography - www.davidgoughphotography.com

TCT Places of Welcome Enabler Helen Titterton said: “The community buddy project is about opening the door for people to meet others in their community and is a great way to involvethose who may feel isolated, including the elderly. The community buddies will be able to help people to attend Places of Welcome and other activities across the District. Places of Welcome provide a safe and welcoming environment for all members of the community, especially people who want to make new friends, find out what is happening locally or get some help and advice. This could be new mums or dads, people who have recently moved to the area or older people who want to stay in touch with their neighbourhood.”

More information about the buddying project can be provided by Clare Jolly, Support Staffordshire 01827 214138 clare.jolly@supportstaffordshire.org.uk

Photo by Connor Olson and Unknown on Unsplash

Our first ‘buddy’ referral has arrived with both buddy and his Mum. After only a few weeks he no longer needed his buddy and came with his Mum. Now Mum can leave him with us while she has some down time. He brings in examples of his art work and joins in all our activities.

Lichfield Social Prescribing Link Worker