Seeing the real impact

Yesterday we had an inspirational day of togetherness, community learning, connection building and idea sharing, as we welcomed eight brilliant local Gloucester Services producers to join us for a very special outing.

We’re all about making connections and building partnerships, so together we visited some of our community partners so that the producers could see the impact of the investment that we are able to make, thanks to the sales of their produce at Gloucester Services.

From sausage roll producers to clothing specialists, we were delighted to be joined by Cinderhill Farm, Gloucester Brewery, Beaus Bakehouse, Hobbs House Bakery, Godsells Cheese, Humphries and Begg Home, Made in Stroud and ZeroDig, plus several members of the Westmorland Lifestyle Buying Team for an eye-opening, enjoyable trip.

Pictured at The Redwell Centre in Matson

First stop was a visit to The Ewe Space in Matson; taking the group back to where the vision of Gloucester Services began as an idea of local residents, and where Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT) came to be based to make it a reality. The Ewe Space is also now home to the Matson and Robinswood Residents Group, a GGT community partner.

Next door live another of our community partners, the amazing GL4 CIC who bring incredible arts, theatre and culture to Matson, so we popped in to hear about what they have coming up.

We then headed to see our City Works neighbour and community partner Play Gloucestershire, where Director of Play Ben Morris talked about the tremendous work this organisation does to support children, young people and even parents, through active and creative play.  

Aysha who runs the Emma Willis Sewing Studio pictured with Tracey, Head of Lifestyle at Westmorland

At community partner Fair Shares, based in Barton and Tredworth, the group learnt about timebanking, which is based on the concept of two-way volunteering to give and receive support within communities. It then got really creative as the group were treated to a special viewing of their woodworking workshop, as well as the Friendship Café ‘Emma Willis’ sewing studio, where Aysha told us all about how the studio started, what they offer and how it supported her own personal journey.

Deborah from Cinderhill Farm admires a table made by a participant in the Fair Shares Woodwork Workshop

Our last community partner stop of the day was back in Matson at The Redwell Centre. Warmly greeted as always by Vanessa Worrall, Project Manager at the Redwell Centre, we had a tour of the building and talked about how this community hub offers support, a safe space and the goal of happiness, through a diverse range of activities, clubs and everyone being welcome.

Mark Gale talks to a Mindfulness Coach who runs sessions at The Redwell Centre

After an extremely informative and motivating morning, the tour finished with a delicious lunch kindly served by Emma Wilson and her team at the Long Table Matson; a community café with the aim to make locally sourced and homemade food available to everyone.

Finishing off with a delicious lunch at The Long Table Matson

“It meant a great deal to meet and see first hand the work that is being done by the communities that inspired and drove Gloucester Services.  It really is a remarkable model of a highly effective symbiotic relationship where all parts contribute to and benefit from the core relationships.”

Deborah Flint, Cinderhill Farm

A massive thank you to all of our community partners who took the time to welcome our guests and share such inspiring, heartfelt stories, and of course to the Gloucester Services producers and Westmorland Lifestyle Buying Team for also taking time out of their busy schedules to join us for this event.

Gloucestershire Gateway Trust receives up to 3p in every £1 of non-fuel sales from Gloucester Services to invest in our local communities.

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