Our spotlight series focusses on the Welcome Spaces established in response to the Cost of Living Crisis. Recently, Rachel Varley, VCSE Development Advisor - Outreach, visited JTE Hub at Shirehampton Methodist Church to guage the feeling on the ground of this vital space.
What does your welcome space offer the community?
"We hold a drop-in twice a week with free drinks, snacks, access to Wi-Fi and charging points. Sometimes there are specific activities, like craft and creating displays for the Shirehampton Window Wanderland.
At other times, the venue hosts a Changes wellbeing group, has advice drop-ins with Citizens’ Advice, a film club, job search support and much more!"
Any tips or ideas you’d like to share with other welcome spaces across the city?
"Every contact matters, so be patient and present in your conversation and interactions with everyone.
You might not know the hurdles or barriers someone has faced before coming through the door, so be observant to their needs and offer flexibility for how they can be in the space. We often have an activity they can join in with, but it’s also fine for someone to just sit and drink a cuppa without talking to anyone."
What long term legacy would you like to see for your welcome space?
"Our hope is that this space helps to start up a new sense of community – an all-inclusive space where people can connect."