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 their dream communities would look like, 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."
Another resident at the workshops talked about changing mindsets: “If we all took a minute to pick up some rubbish, tidy a hedge or help a neighbour, we’d be even prouder of where we live.”
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.”