TNT Development Worker, Julia Terry, recently visited the Place of Welcome known as 'Connections' at Holy Trinity Southwell...

Connecting During Lockdown

Holy Trinity Southwell have hosted a Place of Welcome for many years. It has recently been renamed as 'Connections' because that was what they did during lockdown- they sent out weekly newsletter, crosswords, activity sheets and other resources and quite a few regulars said it kept their connections with group and friends going during lockdown when they didn't see anyone. As a result most have come back, and they have even gained two new members!

They have a total of 12 volunteers, with about six volunteering on any given week, and 30 regular attendees- mostly retired- but have recently welcomed a home educating family who are new to the area. During Julia's visit, one of the children gave a picture they had coloured to an older lady, who was absolutely overjoyed and said she would "keep it forever". It is these connections that are the lifeblood of Places of Welcome, and the loving and welcoming culture that Holy Trinity have created in this space.


Audrey (left- proudly showing her knitted doll) only started knitting again because of this group, and as folks asked her what she was doing she'd bring in finished results to show- and then sell for cancer relief. Audrey said that she wouldn't knit if just for herself and the other ladies give her their spare wool as their eyesight is failing.

In addition, one member has started leading a craft session once a month for anyone to participate, as well as facilitating a Dementia friendly/reminiscing week and members of local Alzheimer's group attend and love it, with some also attending other weeks too.

Next week Connections are holding a "Get Away"- a whole day of activities including a chicken dinner, singing, craft exercise, lots of cake. A true staycation! Where do we sign up?!

The Difference Connections Has Made

Julia was able to chat to some of the regulars about what difference attending the Place of Welcome made.

Most said friendship, companionship and "being able to communicate with real people" (John) who hadn't seen anyone during lockdown.

Dorothy said "When I come here it's special, brings colours in my to my life".

Arthur said "Nice outing from where I live, I like to meet people hear what they do and I'm getting to know more people".

Derek said "It brightens up my life".

Julia also heard such a wonderful story about how one couple got a few people together from Connections to make a welcome hamper for a family who were new to the area and didn't know anyone. This has blossomed into a wonderful relationship, and the couple have now been adopted as surrogate Grandparents!

This is a truly remarkable Place of Welcome, serving and loving the community of Southwell, and making sure that everybody has a place to belong.

Connections meets every Wednesday from 10am until 2pm. 'Join us for a cuppa & cake, activities, games, occasional films and craft etc, always followed by a light lunch between 12.00-1.00. Everyone (of any age) is very welcome, so please do come along, and connect with old & new friends.' Find out more at https://www.holytrinitysouthwe...