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Reflections on 2019 - Places of Welcome

Over the next few weeks, our staff are reflecting on their highlights of 2019

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To start us off, it's Helen - our Places of Welcome Team Leader

2019 has been a real year of growth for the team.

Here are some highlights:

  • Achieving 70 Places of Welcome across Staffordshire and Stoke, including an widening range of faith and non faith groups
  • Prison library Places of Welcome are a particularly exciting development
  • A celebration event hosted by Bishop Michael in September. A very joyful event which recognised the value of enabling connection and hospitality between local people, building stronger, supportive communities
  • Partnership with Support Staffordshire to plan, nurture and grow opportunities for volunteer buddies to help people access and enjoy the many assets and opportunities there are within the community

Some Stories:

* A lady and her son from abroad have started to attend a Place if Welcome (PoW) In Lichfield District. The lady’s first language is Russian, so her son was finding it useful to attend the PoW in order to practice his English. She was having difficulty finding a school place for her son so a volunteer was able to support her and advocate for her at the nearby School in order to secure a place!

* A new Mum has called into another PoW in Burntwood; her baby was 16 weeks old and she is struggling to cope with depression. The PoW volunteers were able to signpost her to two other support groups. The Co-ordinators discussed other ideas to help too!

* St Anne’s Church have welcome phenomenal number of guests to their PoW; they are offering toasted teacakes and crumpets. A church member donates to help with the refreshments and the volunteers bring in contributions themselves. One lady bakes a homemade cake every week!