Spotlight: Bricks Welcoming Space

Image Credit: 
8 February, 2023

Since the Cost of Living Crisis first emerged, Voscur has been involved at a strategic level in helping to coordinate Bristol's response. Through regular meetings with key partners, including local authority, we have ensured the decision-making process is informed by the expertise of the voluntary sector.

Whilst advocating our sector to those with power is a vital element of Voscur's function, it is equally important that we remain embedded in the sector, acting as a listening ear and an accurate conduit between community organisations and decision-making bodies.

With this commitment in mind, we have decided to visit local Welcoming Spaces and shine a spotlight on the excellent work they are doing. 

Last week, our VCSE Development Adviser - Outreach Rachel Varley visited Bricks at St. Anne's House. Rachel spoke with Georgia, Bricks' Programme Producer, who had the following to say:

  1. What does your Welcoming Space offer the community? 

    A drop-in community living room space, with art activities in the morning, free lunch and gentle exercise in the afternoon, plus space to just chill out on sofas, play games or do your own thing. Tea and coffee is available too - just help yourself.  


  2. Any tips or ideas you'd like to share with other Welcoming Spaces across the city?

    - Create a space where people feel they can make themselves at home. You might make them a cuppa on their first visit, but after that they should be able to help themselves. 

    - Make it homely and comfortable, with options for how to engage with the space. We offer some structure, with the art group and gentle exercise activities, but there are also options for visitors to do their own thing e.g. play a game, read a book, etc. 

    - Build upon the activities you already have happening in your space rather than starting something new e.g. we already had an art group running, and therefore had an audience engaged with using the space to invite people to join in with. 


  3. What long term legacy would you like to see for your Welcoming Spaces? (Or, what would you like to see continued/funded?) 

    We would like to keep the community living room open on a more permanent basis, but this is funding dependent. The support via Quartet has enabled us to fund a receptionist and certain activities, as well as overheads. We’re looking at how we can become more of a hub for the community here and have been working on several new projects including a community newsletter and community action fund.  
    To learn more about Welcoming Spaces, and find a space available to you, click here.