I was ruminating on a post in Allendale area notices, as you do, and wondering whether the enquirer, newly arriving in the area, could use the services of a friendly Welcome Pack. As far as I know, nothing like that exists, and while Allendale does enjoy some well-deserved pride in being a very friendly village, it can take a little while to actually get inside the friendliness sphere, so I’m told, by people coming in from other parts to make their home here.
She was clearly a member of the facebook notices group, so that she could ask a question about the Oil Collective Buying Group. But I felt sad that she didn’t quite know where to turn, though her question was answered with alacrity by Denise Williams, who we have chatted with in the diary. Could a Welcome Pack be useful to new families coming into the area? What are the positives and negatives of such a package? [I’ll use the generic term ‘family’ below, to encompass everyone from single individuals to a whole extended tribe]
- The new family might feel more welcome than they otherwise would, and perhaps could find their way around the village and its local tradespeople, as a big example, a bit easier
- Personal delivery into the new family’s hands might be a great opportunity to offer a smile, to commiserate with the challenges of moving, to laugh about the winter [ha!] and delight together in the spring/summer sunshine; a first opportunity to make another friend
- By decreasing the frightening concept to new folks of a caller being ‘pushy’ or a nosy busybody, a simple Welcome Pack could provide lots of convenient information, pointers to online resources, photographs and diagrams in addition to text which all together could describe what the residents think of the place.
- A Welcome Pack might help the new family integrate better into the village activities, and help to avoid the situation where a family might only use their new house as a bedroom, and find physical and social activities elsewhere.
- Putting such a Welcome Pack together could be such a joy for the small group of people doing it.
NEGATIVES or TASKS REQUIRED:
- A Welcome Pack has to be kept reasonably up-to-date: who will be responsible for that?
- Who, for that matter, will be responsible for the Welcome Pack in the first place, and why should they assume this role; is this perhaps a pretentious conceit, as if some group somehow thinks or takes it upon themselves to be the ‘welcome party’
- The information in the pack really should cover the needs and interests of an extended family, so there’s a fair amount of work required to put something like that together; it really is more than just printing out a few pages of the community website
- Who will fund the Welcome Pack, come to that
- Is advertising in the Welcome Pack a bonus, or would it skew the welcome message?
- How are new families moving in, identified? Would a small campaign to alert current residents that the Welcome Pack is ready for distribution, and if they suddenly get new neighbours, please could they contact such-and-so and a Welcome Pack will be delivered to the new family soon . . . wouldn’t such a campaign be necessary, else nobody would know about it, anyway? This is not necessarily a negative, just a task really
So this is another of those open-ended diary entries, wondering and pondering really whether this idea is a good ‘un, or maybe better to kick into long grass for somebody to pick it up at a later time?
Howsoever it transpires on the Welcome Pack front, we really should note that by the time this Allendale Diary is finished, it should provide quite a useful introduction, in and of itself, to Allendale and the Allen Valleys, and as such we can say, right here and right now: Welcome to the Allen Valleys!