Welcoming people to new housing developments – experience from Kemble

One of the “Engagement” priorities of the Diocesan LIFE vision is “Connecting with new housing developments in innovative ways”.  Martin Kingston, leader of the priority group developing activities in this area, reflects on his own experience of welcoming people to a new housing development in Kemble.

Engaging with people into their new homes makes them feel welcomed into the community that they have moved into. It provides them with a point of contact and useful information about their new community.

Kemble is a medium to large size village with a mix of older and newer housing developments. The new housing development we welcomed people into consisted of 47 new houses of different sizes, 30% of which were affordable housing. We made contact with the developer’s sales office to explain that the PCC wanted to be able to welcome people into the village. The sales office staff were friendly and pleased that their purchasers would be receiving a welcome into the village.

We put together a welcome pack including a leaflet containing local information, a parish magazine with the contact number of the visitor and, if appropriate a leaflet about Kemble Primary School. When we were told by the sales office that a new occupier had moved in, we delivered the welcome pack and a bunch of flowers personally to the house, choosing a time of day that the family was likely to be at home. After visiting, a note was made of the new residents and their address in order to avoid any duplication of visits.

If you have never engaged in this activity before, you will find that a new enlivening and rewarding experience awaits you which is very effective in extending a warm welcome to new residents.

 

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Q: “What do I say?”
A: Typically something very simple such as“Hello I am … and I live in the village, I am calling to say welcome to…and to leave some information that might be helpful.”
Q: “Will people be rude to me or offended?”
A: No, we have not had one unwelcome response, people have been genuinely pleased that someone has welcomed them into the village.
Q: “Will people think I am trying to sell something?”
A: No, just make it clear at the outset who you are and why you have come. It is probably best not to visit in pairs but for just one person to go.

 

Early in the new year, the priority group will be hosting networking events in the Diocese to share experiences of welcoming people to new housing developments. The group are also working to develop a ‘welcome pack’ which parishes can customise for their own circumstances which will be ready early in the new year. For more information, please contact hwolfson@glosdioc.org.uk.

 

Further resources on connecting with new housing developments can be found:

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