More than 120 local people have been enjoying a warm welcome, hospitality and fun activities during a series of Summer Drop In events in Handsacre.

Handsacre Methodist Church hosts a regular Place of Welcome on Friday afternoons which provides a place to go for a friendly face, a cup of tea and a chat. Anybody can attend and there is no charge for refreshments. It is run by volunteers, who want to encourage people to meet each other, feel part of their neighbourhood and develop a sense of community.  Karen Brown, one of the volunteer Co-ordinators, is keen to encourage local people to attend said “We love meeting new people and sharing their stories over a cup of tea and a cake. We have learned so much from each other, not only about local events but also new skills”. Her colleague Karen Lowther agrees “I have always been a keen knitter but have recently learned how to crochet with help from another lady who attends our group. It is great to be able to improve your skills at any age!”

The Handsacre Place of Welcome attracts young and old through its doors and provides a range of art and craft activities and games. “Our oldest member is 88 years young” said Karen “and she loves to sit and have a chat and interact with the youngsters. The youngest visitor was just 6 days old! We are delighted to welcome them all”.

Over the summer, the Handsacre Place of Welcome has opened its doors three afternoons every week as a Summer Drop In. “We wanted to help families to have fun during the summer holidays and to give them a local place to go where they can meet and play in a safe and relaxed environment – without it costing a fortune.  We have organised a wide range of activities from painting flower pots to a paddling pool which was very popular in the hot weather!”

The Place of Welcome will continue on Friday afternoons from 1pm in September and new visitors are welcome to come along. Helen Titterton, who works for local charity ‘Transforming Communities Together’ explains that there are a growing number of venues both locally and nationally offering a Place of Welcome.  “Working with the District Council we’ve been able to have 8 venues across Lichfield district.” This growth is also being mirrored nationally, with over 250 venues across the country. For more information visit www.placesofwelcome.org.uk.


Photo (L to R) Karen Lowther, Bev Arrowsmith, Karen Brown, Jaquie Thompson