National Estate Churches Network

NECN in Conversation with Tracey Rawlins

A Space of Welcome in Wythenshaw

Place of Welcome


2020 – What a year!

I came back from my break to Lisbon and went into run our regular Place of Welcome on the first Monday in March.  The conversation was about one thing – Coronavirus.  It soon became apparent a closure was on its way.  Well, that’s it then.  I’ll get laid off I thought.  How wrong I was.

Within 4 weeks I was getting to grips with Zoom and running our Places of Welcome as Spaces of Welcome – an online coffee morning.  Locally, emergency funding became available and so I started to apply for 6 months’ worth of “doing things differently” – a better laptop that could cope with Zoom, Teams etc, project funding to send people tea, coffee and biscuits.  We changed our processes for running our Foodbank and weekly community grocery scheme with Bread and Butter Thing. Many of our regular volunteers were shielding or coping with children being at home so we recruited new volunteers from the local authority neighbourhood team and staff furloughed from Manchester Airport.

We changed our open access holiday breakfast clubs so that we were able to provide a bag of groceries and an activity pack to families.  In the first school holiday we supported 40 families.  We are about to prepare our Easter packs and we will reach 150 families. We have core funding to December 2022

Tracey Rawlins CDW March 2021

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