Two new Places of Welcome venues mean that Burton residents can receive an extra friendly welcome on any weekday!

We're delighted to now have 7 Places of Welcome venues running in the Staffordshire town of Burton.

Burton Upon Trent is a large industrialised market town and administrative centre for East Staffordshire. It is situated on the River Trent in Staffordshire, England, close to the border with Derbyshire. Now it's population of just over 72,000 people have a network of safe places to connect, belong and contribute on every week day!

Thanks to the hard work of TCT worker Gulsoom Aslam and our wider Staffordshire Places of Welcome team, seven local organisations have joined the national Places of Welcome network.

CoCo (Compassionate Communities of Burton) and Summerhouse Bakery are the most recent additions, joining others including Burton Caribbean Association, Wishes for Winshill Community Café, Burton Library and Winshill Neighbourhood Resource Centre.

Amanda Baker from CoCo (Compassionate Communities of Burton) said:

“As an organisation we know that disconnection not only happens for those new to an area but also to people who have been in the community for years. The shame, isolation and silence that can come from trauma, fear or illness creates distance in people. The antidote to this is compassion, connection and courage and Places of Welcome have a tried and tested method of enabling this. We are proud to be a small part of that.”

The Places of Welcome movement is spreading across the Midlands and other parts of the country with over 360 venues taking part, including twelve across the Borough of East Staffordshire. Places of Welcome are run by local groups who want to make sure that everyone in their area has a place to go for a friendly face, a cup of tea and a conversation.

Burton Places of Welcome Facilitator Gulsoom Aslam said:

“Places of Welcome is all about creating connections, it’s a great way to bring people together who may otherwise be isolated or disconnected in some way. This initiative is creating spaces for people to engage with others in their communities, to have company, conversation, to feel valued and heard and to enjoy a cup of tea together. It’s great to be a part in this flourishing movement and its lovely to see others share this vision”.

Kim Smith, Centre Co-ordinator from the Winshill Resource Centre said:

“We see our Centre as a place of welcome and now we can officially say that it is! Not only have friendships been formed at our Coffee Morning but all the organisers of the local Places of Welcome have made friends too! Refreshments such as tea, toast or cereal are free of charge to everyone; our guests come along to meet new people and find out what is going on in the local community or just when they happen to be passing by, everyone is made to feel very welcome!”

Places of Welcome locally is sponsored and supported by our Transforming Communities Together team.

Transforming Communities Together Chair, Rev Dr David Primrose, said:

“We’re delighted to have Places of Welcome at a growing number of places across the Diocese and want to continue this growth across East Staffordshire. We are particularly grateful to local County Councillors Bernard Peters, Ron Clarke and David Brookes who made a contribution to support Places of Welcome using their Local Members’ Fund in 2018. It’s fantastic to have libraries and community centres, as well as churches involved, as we work towards our vision of every neighbourhood having a Place of Welcome.”

Places of Welcome is a grassroots movement that began in Birmingham. It has five values ensure that each venue is open at the same time and place for at least a few hours every week and is welcoming to anyone wanting to attend:

  • Place: An accessible and hospitable building, open at the same time every week.
  • People: Open to everyone regardless of their circumstances or situation, and staffed by volunteers.
  • Presence: A place where people actively listen to one another.
  • Provision: Offering free refreshments and basic local information.
  • Participation: Recognises that every person coming to a Place of Welcome will bring talents, experiences and skills that they might be willing to share locally.

There are no charges for joining Places of Welcome, and anyone can start one in their community. Places of Welcome can be in any location including churches, mosques, temples, community centres or housing associations.

"The antidote to this (shame, isolation and silence) is compassion, connection and courage and Places of Welcome have a tried and tested method of enabling this. We are proud to be a small part of that."

Amanda Baker from CoCo