The Welcome was started in 1995 and over the years The Welcome has grown into a fully functioning Community Centre offering a wide range of activities, services and support to the people of Longridge and Shaw Heath and surrounding areas. The Welcome is open to all members of the local community including young children, teenagers, busy parents and the elderly. They offer affordable, good quality, home cooked meals from their cafe and provide a variety of free and great value activities to suit a range of age groups and interests.
The Welcome is a perfect example of what has become known as the Big Society, and in 2011 was awarded the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award. The community comes together at The Welcome, there’s a wonderful spirit, with most of the time and effort being put in by committed volunteers who at the moment number in excess of 25. Without their contribution, The Welcome could not function. In 2013, The Welcome received the Queen's Award for Volunteers.
Its funding currently comes from a mixture of supportive individuals, local businesses, charitable trusts and local government programme support.
The Welcome is very grateful for the support it receives from the local MP, Ester McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and their Patron, George Osborne (formerly the Chancellor of the Exchequer).
The Welcome (Knutsford) is a Company guaranteed by Shares, and is a registered Charity no 1142084.
The Welcome is run day to day by their Operations Manager Marie Fox who has over 20 years experience in helping individuals in communities and being involved in social action.
Their Cafe Cook, Elenor McAndrew runs their kitchen so that it continues to provide good quality, reasonably priced food and drink to attract everyone in the community.
Sarah Pownell is their community support worker and responsible for co-ordinating their volunteers.
The work of The Welcome is overseen by a Board of Trustees which consists of Pete Bowler (Secretary), Anila Khalid, John Kinney (Treasurer), Christina Lees-Jones, Rebecca O'Rourke, Rev Sue Swires, Dr Roz Tavernor and Gill Weeks (Chair).See more