We help to co-ordinate a network of 30+ Places of Welcome in Sandwell, as well as many more lunch clubs and other activities to tackle loneliness in our communities.

Everyone needs friendship and conversation. Yet the number of people who describe themselves as lonely in Sandwell is growing every year.

In Sandwell there’s a network of 30+ Places of Welcome and many more lunch clubs and other activities to tackle loneliness in our communities. Sandwell Churches’ Link works in partnership with core members of the Together Network to helps to co-ordinate these because we want this network to grow.

During Covid-19 Lockdown all Places of Welcome had to close, but many have kept in touch by telephoning members to help each other through this difficult time.

You can find out more about Places of Welcome by going to the following website: https://www.placesofwelcome.org.uk/about

Some of the amazing Place of Welcome groups across Sandwell

Working in partnership with Transforming Communities Together,funded by Lichfield Diocese, Carrie Blount (Black Country Places of Welcome & Buddying Co-ordinator for TCT) supports many groups that lie within the Sandwell area.

Below are just some of the Places of Welcome that Carrie has visited that are back open as usual. Here she shares her reflections and photos from a variety of groups. Why not pop along to a Place of Welcome near you; the kettle's on!

The Gap Christian Family Centre; West Bromwich

The Gap Christian Family Centre has decided to open as a Place of Welcome at Hargate Lane, West Bromwich, B71 1PH, every Wednesday between 11:30 and 13:00, serving free teas, coffees and biscuits. If you want to make a morning of it, from 9:30 until 11:30 The Gap Centre also serve a reasonably priced breakfast, with a full English costing £2 and extra toast just 30p! However from 11:30 the drinks and biscuits are on the house!

Louise who runs the Place of Welcome has a real heart for her community and intends to hold quizzes and craft activities within the Place of Welcome, but it’s also fine to just go along for a cuppa and chat. Louise has lots of other ideas for the centre so once you have been to the Place of Welcome, you might find that you want to attend Line Dancing or one of the other activities she will arrange. She also has a lot of local knowledge about other activities going on in the local area. Go along to this gem in West Bromwich on Wednesday mornings to make new friends, chat and laugh over a free cuppa, and find out what is going on locally in your area.

The Gap Christian Family Centre

St Mark’s Church, Ocker Hill

Open every Friday, 9.30am-11.30am, St Mark's Church, Ocker Hill Road, Tipton, DY4 0UT is a wonderful place to spend a morning; great to meet new friendly faces and hear about the plans for a new community centre kitchen.

Ocker Hill Screen Shot

South Staffordshire Water Community Hub

South Staffordshire Water Community Hub opened their doors on Monday 24th May to welcome the Wednesbury community for a free cuppa and biscuit, providing a safe place for people to connect, belong and participate. Fiona who hosts the Place of Welcome says “If you are out and about in Wednesbury on a Monday morning between 9 and 10am, then why not pop in for a cuppa, a listening ear and see a friendly face”. We can’t think of a better way to start off your week – so head on down to South Staffordshire Water Community Hub on Union Street, Wednesbury – where you will be very WELCOME!

Screenshot South Staffs Water POW

If you would like to explore whether you could host a Place of Welcome, please contact your Places of Welcome Area Co-ordinator, James Lynch at james@sandwellchurcheslink.org.uk