Action Zones 

Place of Welcome

PLACE OF WELCOME1st February 2020

Pam Spychal reports

What happens to someone newly arrived in our town? Is Great Yarmouth a welcoming town? What if you’re not well connected? What if English is not your first language? What if you feel isolated? What if your circumstances have changed due to bereavement, or redundancy, or even a new baby?
At the time of writing, I am looking forward to the launch of a new project in Great Yarmouth. Thursday 30th January was the date of the first Place of Welcome event, at St George’s Café, King Street. This event will repeat every Thursday from 10 am to 12 noon

Places of Welcome ( “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 now over 350 such places in the UK.  They take place in a variety of different venues including churches, community centres, libraries, mosques, temples, and other community group buildings
St George’s Café was chosen as a venue because it is central and accessible, and because the lovely people there are willing to have us! Free tea or coffee and a biscuit will be offered to everyone who comes
We hope it will be truly a Place of Welcome, where everyone will be listened to and where everyone can contribute if they wish. We know each person will bring their talents, skills, and experiences, to share with others, if they so wish. We aim to provide basic information about our community for those who need it
Places of Welcome are staffed by volunteers. Our Place of Welcome is no different. Currently we have a small group of volunteers from around the Borough, but we are hoping to expand our numbers so that we can share the commitment across a number of weeks
I hope that by now you are asking yourself – what has this got to do with me?
Well, the answer might be that:

you’re new to the area and you would welcome a chance to meet up for a cuppa with some locals,
you’ve lived here for years, but at the moment you’re feeling a bit isolated,
you have a talent, such as knitting, card-making or DIY, which you would love to share with others,
you would welcome the chance to do a bit of volunteering,
you’re not free on Thursday mornings, but you know someone who would fit right in to our Place of Welcome

It would be lovely to see you, or your friend, next Thursday!

as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life