TNT is pleased to work with the national Places Of Welcome Network as the Notts Area Coordinator. It is a growing network of local community groups providing their neighbourhoods with places where all people feel safe to belong, connect and contribute.

There are currently 20 places of Welcome (PWs) in Nottinghamshire (400 plus nationally) although all had to close in their pre lockdown format. Some have been meeting online, but for many this has not been possible due to most visitors not having access to the internet or the confidence to use it. Most coordinators and volunteers have been in regular contact via phone to regular visitors. However due to the drop in nature of many PWs, not all had contact details of visitors prior to lockdown. This has highlighted the need to explore taking people’s contact details in future, should another lockdown occur.

Places of Welcome can be in any location including churches, mosques, temples, community centres or housing associations. We are currently in conversation with libraries across the county and some churches about starting new PWs as lockdown eases.

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Setting Up a New Place of Welcome

For each Place of Welcome, the support from Transforming Notts Together varies, but it follows the following steps:

Step 1- Initial contact- this may be through an existing contact, or someone from the church or venue may contact us to find out more

Step 2- Initial conversation- with the interested person/ people in person if possible

Step 3- Facilitated interactive workshop with potential coordinator and volunteers to consider what their PW might look like, what factors they need to consider and how they are going to invite people

Step 4- Visit an existing PW

Step 5- Gather local information- volunteers find out what else is going on locally and put together some signposting info to have available.

Step 6- Visits and support for the first session and several visits over the first few months, offering any support for example with activity/ craft ideas, how to overcome any hurdles.

Step 7/ on-going- Coordinator meetings- a lower level of support through meetings and contact with other PW coordinators. TNT is available for further support on a case by case basis if requested from the PW and may also offer other strands of TNT work for example Cash smart, credit savvy or ‘getting started’ workshops. The PW may also connect in with their local Faith Action network if there is one locally.

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The 5 Ps of Welcoming

Each Place of Welcome is open to anyone and each one follows the following values (5 P's):

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 (at least a cup of tea and a biscuit) 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.

Transforming Notts Together can offer support to existing projects who would like to explore joining the network, or places wishing to set one up. We also coordinate a map of over 100 churches across the county who are opening their doors to the local community:

To read about a current Place of Welcome, and how they have adapted to Covid-19, see our impact page.

If you’d like to find out more about Places of Welcome or putting Please get in touch with Julia Terry or Jackie Smith.

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