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July 15, 2021

Making best practice easy, the Warm Welcome way

Do you feel nervous before you start new activity? Don’t we all have a little prickle of anxiety as we open the door to a room full of strangers, however enticing the subject? Our new pack will help you offer the welcome you want as you step through the door.

Early in the Time to Shine programme, delivery partners identified a need for groups to be welcoming to new members.

Our colleagues at Ageing Better in Camden developed and tested a new approach – the Warm Welcome – which formalises the best practice we hope we all follow (but do we really?). To accompany Camden’s Practitioner’s Guide & Toolkit.

We have created a pack to make it very easy for organisers to take on the Warm Welcome approach. It contains checklists, prompt cards and editable, printable signs for you to use as you run day-to-day and one-off events.

Whether you are a large or small organisation you can use this set of tools to organise your activity in a way we know helps new people feel more comfortable joining a group, helps them to stay, and to come back.

There may appear to be nothing new in our suggestions but, even if you mean to greet everyone at the door, get them a cup of tea, show them where the toilets are and check in on them during the meeting, can you really do all of that, every time, on your own?

I suspect all of us running an event have at some point had that sinking feeling as a new volunteer or member offers to help, but we don’t have the headspace to make good use of their enthusiasm. This Checklist pack will help you to produce easy to follow role cards and get them working! The cards also explain just enough to help others to understand why it is so important to do these things.

Now might be a good time to use the Warm Welcome Practitioner’s Guide and Toolkit (produced by Ageing Better in Camden) You can use this resource to help you think about how you re-create activities. As volunteer coordinators will tell you, one of the best ways to create really satisfying job roles that mean volunteers stay and grow is to hand that thinking to them. The resources available to you here might offer a framework for them to work inside.

Download the Warm Welcome checklists pack. It contains:

    • helpful checklists
    • blank plans
    • direction signs,
    • prompt sheets

You can print off and use all of these. The whole pack can be used as it is, but many sections can be edited to add in local variation or take out things that are irrelevant for your group.

Jessica Duffy
Learning Facilitator, Time to Shine