Last week Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT) invited residents from communities across Gloucestershire have their say about where they live and to help shape its future.
Over 60 people from communities including Matson, Robinswood, White City, Podsmead, Tuffley, Stonehouse and the GL10 area came together for the ‘Future Creating Workshops’. They talked about what they love about their areas, what would make life better, and what can be done to make it happen.
GGT ran the workshops for the second year running as part of the annual Community Survey it conducts in its target areas. Residents unable to attend the workshops still have the opportunity to have their say, as a specially trained team from the local communities will be conducting surveys door-to-door and at community events and day trips over the summer.
Mark Gale, CEO of GGT said: “The Community Surveys give us amazing insight to our communities, encourage people to come together and make life better, and also informs GGT funding. We added Together In Matson and The Venture: White City as community funded partners as a direct result of what residents told us, and now both receive £20,000 a year from GGT, alongside our six other community partners.”
The 2018 Community Survey also highlighted that despite the ups and downs of community life neighbourliness is still strong, so GGT launched the LOOP Project to build on that spirit and to support communities in making new connections and sharing their skills.
Mark said: “Many of those who took part in the 2018 survey did say they didn’t feel able to influence local decisions, this a great chance to share thoughts as the results of the survey will be shared with local councillors, community groups and decision makers.”
Matson resident Sandy said: "I think as a resident the future creating workshops are a great way to get your voice heard and to have the possibility of instigating positive changes."
Professor Mary Brydon Miller from the University of Louisville added “I come to Gloucester each summer to help facilitate the Future Creating Workshops and train the local survey team. Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, Gloucester Services and the work they are doing together is growing a worldwide reputation for Gloucester and their community driven development work. I have spoken about this work in the USA, the Philippines, South Africa and Europe and I know many other organisations across the world are now independently looking to learn from the experience of this project. There’s no doubt it is a trail blazer showing how communities and business can work together for mutual benefit.”
Gloucestershire Gateway Trust and Westmorland win the Long-Term Partnership Award 2019 for Gloucester Services at the Business Charity Awards
Amid its success, Gloucester Services has exceeded its charitable goals and created over 400 jobs, employed over 80 people specifically from ‘target’ local communities, and supported over 130 local producers within 30 miles. In the last 18 months over £700,000 has been reinvested into community projects and development activity in the target communities to support regeneration. Local residents help decide how future funding is spent through Gloucestershire Gateway Trust’s annual Community Survey and an additional £2.5 million will be committed to these communities over the next five years.
Sarah Dunning, Chair of Westmorland said: “It's fantastic to have the hard work of everyone involved in the partnership recognised with this award. Embedding the charity directly with the aims and ambitions of the business has been of huge benefit to both. The partnership with Gloucestershire Gateway Trust is about investing in our community for future generations and we look forward to continuing to build on what has been achieved to date."
Gloucestershire Gateway Trust receives up to 3p in every £1 of non-fuel sales from Gloucester Services to invest in our local communities.
The Business Charity Awards were created by Third Sector to celebrate and share outstanding partnerships between charities and corporate partners.
Amid its success, the partnership has exceeded its charitable goals and created over 400 jobs, employed over 80 people specifically from ‘target’ local communities, and supported over 130 local producers within 30 miles.
In the last 18 months over £250,000 has been reinvested into community projects in the target communities to support regeneration. Local residents help decide how future funding is spent through an annual Community Survey and an additional £1million will be committed to these communities over the next five years.
Mark Gale, CEO of GGT said: "We're delighted to be shortlisted for the ground breaking Gloucester Services on the M5. With our shared purpose and ownership, we're proud to deliver the vision of local residents, which has created jobs, opportunities and regeneration across our neighbourhoods."
The entry has been shortlisted in the long-term partnership category, with the awards taking place on 22 May 2019.
Gloucester Services is a pretty special place and attracts some high profile visitors, but yesterday the GGT team met the cutest celebrity going - Little Richie, the four week old lamb.
Gloucester Services is a great place to work (not least because of the great food) so it’s no surprise they can receive over 100 job applications every month. Some applicants have no prior experience in catering, retail or customer service, whilst others may need a little more support around CV writing, interview skills and communication.
In January, GGT funded a three day ‘Bridging the Gap’ course with Charlton HR to help potential applicants to work on these skills, and guaranteed an interview for anyone successfully completing the course.
Six people completed part in the course and went on to be interviewed, three of which had developed their skills so well that they were ready for employment and were each offered jobs at Gloucester Services.
Participant Brian described his experience of the course: "Inspiring, motivational and worthwhile. Stand out service station and never been more excited to join a new company and the views are stunning… people doing the course were great too.”
Fellow participant Katie said her highlights of the course: “[the course] made me more confident, meeting the staff, visiting the site. Really excited about the new job, can’t wait.”
Jason Dunsford, Head of Employment and Skills for GGT said: “We’re proud that people really got involved and completed the course, which will have helped them all to move closer to employment, but of course delighted that three of them now have paid jobs with a great employer as a direct result of Bridging the Gap.”
The course is open to anyone who is interested in applying for a job at Gloucester Services but feel they need some pre-employment training.
The next course will be held on 5th-7th March 2019 at The Phoenix Centre, Matson. See the attached flyer for details as to how you can find out more.