Clark Clevely found it tough finding work while being the sole carer for his mother, but now he’s sowing the seeds for a brighter future with his first paid job after seven years on the dole. Clark, aged 39, from Tuffley, is now helping to run the Growing Communities project at Gloucester Services on the M5, planting wildlife meadows, a community orchard and new woodland of 1,000+ native trees and hedgerows on three acres of land on the Northbound Services site. Read Clark's story
Amazing stories of how GGT's community partners are making a real difference to people's lives.
Gloucester Services has opened a colourful photography exhibition to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of community partner Play Gloucestershire.
The exhibition has been curated by the Play Gloucestershire team and features a collection of images of the charity at work; aiming to give visitors to Gloucester Services an understanding of the charity’s fantastic achievements in the community.
Play Gloucestershire provides regular, free play sessions in urban parks and rural locations across the county throughout the year, whatever the weather. Since 2007, they have taken local children on over 100,000 play visits, in 84 communities.
The gallery space is installed in Gloucester Services Northbound in one the busiest positions in the Services.
Katie Jefferies from Play Gloucestershire explains: “It’s great to be working with Gloucester Services thanks to their partnership with Gloucestershire Gateway Trust. It gives us the opportunity to shout about the work Play Gloucestershire does within the community. We’re a small charity and the opportunity to tell visitors about what we’re doing in a fun way is really valuable for us.”
Gloucester Services was created as a unique partnership with local regeneration charity, Gloucestershire Gateway Trust. The partnership is not just about charitable donations; it is a more fundamental way of connecting business and community for the benefit of both.
Mark Gale, Gloucestershire Gateway Trust’s CEO, explains; “It’s another great way to be able to show the work that’s being done within the community and let visitors to Gloucester Services know that when they spend in the Services, they’re putting back into the local community.”
The exhibition will remain at Gloucester Services for several months.
Two hundred saplings of native trees were planted at Gloucester Services northbound site this week (Feb 1) by volunteers – including Services staff and local residents.
They join nearly 1,000 trees native to the UK, traditional Gloucestershire fruit trees, hedgerows, a wildflower meadow and orchard which were planted on the site last year, as part of the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust’s Growing Communities project.
Mark Gale from the Gateway Trust, which works in partnership with Gloucester Services, said: “Since the northbound services opened, local volunteers led by Paul Stepney and Clark Clevely have been working hard to transform the four acres of very exposed landscape by creating a wildlife haven as well as a productive orchard. The trees and hedgerows will act as wind breaks, attract and shelter wildlife and create a wildlife corridor – buzzards and even peregrine falcons have been spotted on the land.
“Eventually, the orchard fruits will be harvested for produce to be used in the Services kitchens for seasonal signature dishes to raise funds for our local communities. Working outdoors, planting and nurturing is proving to be great, practical experience for many local unemployed people who learn skills and knowledge as well as team-working, helping them to find jobs as a result.
“The Growing Communities project, which is part-funded by Grundon, gives people fantastic opportunities to learn these skills. Now, 200 more trees will be taking root on the site thanks to volunteers from Matson and Robinswood Residents Group and Matson Gateway, The Conservation Volunteers, Gloucester Services staff, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and GL Communities ‘Dig Deep’ project.”
Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, a ground-breaking partnership between local communities and a motorway services business, is seeking new trustees.
The Trust will soon be able to start sharing money generated by the multiple award-winning Gloucester Services on the M5, with its community and charity partners in and around Gloucester and Stonehouse.
Through its unique partnership with the Westmorland Family which operates the Services, the Trust will generate sustainable income to support local communities over the years to come.
The Trust has already helped create around 400 permanent local jobs as a result of the opening of the North and Southbound services, established ‘Growing Communities’ community planting areas and beehives as well as enabling a wide range of community initiatives in our target neighbourhoods.
The Services support more than 200 local and regional food and craft producers in its farm shops, butcher and fish counters, lifestyle sections and kitchens.
Anyone interested in supporting the Trust as a Trustee during exciting times, especially people with financial skills or community development experience, is asked to contact the Trust’s Chief Executive: