This is a guide that should be used as a reference when inducting people into the role of Welcome Committee in person. Anyone who has completed this session can perform the induction for other people.
Have you ever had an experience where you approached a group and didn’t feel welcome? What happened that made you feel this way? (Share stories)
Have you had an experience where you did feel welcome into a group? What happened to make you feel this way?
One of the best tools for helping someone feel like they belong is an early introduction. If you are close to two people you know and you aren’t sure if they have met, ask them both. Even you can’t remember their names (or like me, you forget because you’re scared of forgetting), the question is enough break the tension and the others will take it from there.
Before you physically touch anyone or discuss a heavy/sensitive topic, check with the person you seek to engage with if they are comfortable with that – if they consent. Don’t assume your physical, intellectual and emotional boundaries are the same as other peoples.
Ask and listen
Ask which areas of the garden are of interest and introduce the person to the other people working on it and generally make sure they have/know what they need to get started and take ownership.