What's your name and role?
My Name is Shane Perry and I am a Centre Assistant at St Werburghs Community Centre.
What does your Welcome Space offer the community?
We have been a proud member of the welcoming spaces scheme since its launch in autumn 2022. We have been able to offer open access computers, charging points and free WIFI, seven days a week, in a warm and friendly environment. We often find that people who come to use the centre will go on to engage with some of the community courses we have to offer such as gardening and cooking, art , and computer literacy to name but a few. We also have a Food-Share scheme at the centre which can help people on low income to get a bag of groceries for a small donation.
Any tips or ideas you'd like to share with other Welcome Spaces across the city?
I think it would be great to add to the offer with workshops and information evenings. Some of the people who actively come to the centre to keep warm will likely require help and support that in many cases require us to signpost to other organizations. It would therefore be a good option to have specific sessions set up to aid people in the current economic climate. These could take place at the various venues and could potentially be supported by welcoming spaces volunteers
What long term legacy would you like to see for Welcome Spaces?
I think regardless of the current cost-of-living crisis there will always be a need for welcoming spaces in the city. I’d like to see this scheme continue as it helps people to connect with spaces like ours that have been providing this service for years. Lack of heating has been the main focus for some to come to our centres, but it is the importance of individuals truly feeling welcome in a space that needs to continue and thrive with continued support and funding.