Story #8

Bringing People Together in the Black Country & across Lichfield Diocese

Civil Society Consulting CIC has been working closely with our friends based in Wolverhampton, the active and engaging team at Transforming Communities Together. The three rounds of Lockdown have done little to dampen their spirits and resolve to tackle social injustice, poverty and social isolation across the Diocese of Lichfield.

As their Senior Development Worker, James Henderson says: “ Our charity benefits people from across the diverse communities of the Black Country and we are determined to see everyone thrive and flourish. As the crisis hit we set up a new network called Bringing People Together, and this offers  webinars for people of different faiths and none, and vaccine webinars.”

Transforming Communities Together has creatively used technology and social media to reach out and provide social support. They quickly jumped to the challenge! As James explains further:  

“ We used to support churches and other organisations to run Places of Welcome, a network of welcoming coffee mornings, but of course they closed, so people weren’t able to meet in groups, and now we haven’t for nearly a year. We saw people using online platforms for groups to meet and also a lack of knowledge and confidence to run similar groups in some other groups. 

So we devised a network called ‘Bringing People Togethe’r where we were able to train and support hosts to run groups in their local area. Each weekly meeting can be joined by telephone, mobile or computer as well as following a set of principles where everyone is invited, welcomed, and offered a place of mutual respect.”

Transforming Communities Together now have over 14 groups running with currently over 100 people finding friendships, laughter and encouragement – all from the comfort of their own home. 

One person said that the sessions give him a routine and are highlight of his week. He has been able to talk through what has happened to him during the week, and where his mental health is at that moment. Another participant used to say very little at the physical sessions, but now tells a ‘joke of the week’, and participates fully in quiz time. She likes being able to keep her camera off as it gives her more confidence.

For more information contact James Henderson: