We have three new partners!

After the first five years of a successful community partnership with nine organisations receiving over £900,000 in funding from Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT), we are delighted to announce another three organisations as official community partners.

Thanks to our unique partnership with Westmorland and stake in the business at Gloucester Services on the M5, we at GGT receive up to 3p in every £1 of non-fuel sales which we reinvest into the communities and neighbourhoods that we alongside, with the help of our incredible community partners.  In total, Gloucestershire Gateway Trust have reinvested over £1m into groups in the communities we work with between 2017 and 2022.

Read With Me, GL4 CIC and the Matson, Robinswood and White City Community Partnership (MRWCCP) will now join our partnership and benefit from community development grant funding from Gloucestershire Gateway Trust for at least three years, as well as the many other benefits partnerships can bring. 

Breaking down barriers

GL4 were formed in 2016 and have been bringing fantastic live events, youth participation and community engagement to Matson ever since, from touring theatre and shows to virtual reality dancing, they’ve been breaking down barriers and showing that arts and culture is open to everyone. 

“We are thrilled to have become a GGT partner. GGT have always been supportive since GL4 started. Becoming a partner now means we have financial security and can continue to bring high quality events to the community. “

Sarah O’Donnell, GL4 CIC

The Matson, Robinswood and White City Community Partnership (MRWCCP) is a forum of community organisations and people who work together to create bottom up social and economic plans and tackle negative perceptions of the ward, as well running events to draw in the arts, boost confidence, ask questions and suggest solutions.

“Having enjoyed the encouragement of GGT over the years, the Partnership is delighted to join as a full partner.  The increased support will allow us to develop as an organisation and be in a better position to represent the ward and its residents and its wonderful voluntary and statutory bodies.”

Bob Allen, Chair of the Matson, Robinswood and White City Partnership

The third new organisation to become an official partner, Read With Me, was set up by Linda Cohen during the pandemic, as it is estimated that 1 in 5 children leave primary school unable to read which can result in dramatically reduced employment opportunities in the future.  Read With Me now has a team of over 100 volunteers who work closely with local schools, hearing over 1,500 children read every week as well as providing school holiday provision and Rhyme with Me for preschoolers. 

“Gloucestershire Gateway Trust have been at our side for the last two years, a constant source of advice, encouragement and help when it was needed. We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together, and we are so pleased that Read With Me has become an official community partner.  It serves to not only further cement our relationship but gives a firm foundation on which to continue to scale and ensure sustainable provision for the communities we serve.  It’s an ever-present challenge to secure funding, the generosity of this support is transforming.”

Linda Cohen, founder of Read with Me

Long-term funding made possible for twelve Gloucestershire community organisations

After an in-depth review at the end of the first five years which ran from April 2017-2022, GGT are also very pleased to confirm that the existing nine community partners will also continue to receive the same level of funding. Mark Gale, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Gateway Trust said:

“We love our partners, each one is an essential part of our local communities. We’re excited to add 3 new partners bringing the total to 12. Co-operating for the benefit of our neighbourhoods brings added value to everybody. Of course this community investment is only possible because of the success of Gloucester Services and our partnership with Westmorland which came about as a result of local residents vision for the future. This is a great virtuous circle.”

A service station like no other

Over 20 years ago, conversations began between residents on the social housing estate of Matson in Gloucester about how to turn the nearby M5 motorway into an asset to create local jobs and sustainable income, and the idea of a new motorway service station was born.

Gloucestershire Gateway Trust formed a unique partnership with a family business, Westmorland, to bring this vision to life with a pioneering model of social investment and the creation of Gloucester Services on the M5.  Both have a stake in the business.  Gloucester Services has exceeded its charitable goals and created over 400 jobs, employed over 100 people specifically from ‘target’ local communities, and supported over 130 local producers within 30 miles of the services and a further 70 within the region. 

“Community and charity are the absolute foundations of Gloucester Services. The partnership has flourished over the years and as the trust invests in local communities this benefits our business enormously. Investing in charities at a local level helps to build vibrant communities, bridge gaps in areas like literacy and mental health provisions, invest in the arts and inspire people to be their very best. The children we assist today to learn how to read may well enter our business down the line as both customers or colleagues.  We hope through our continued partnership, we will be able to work on many initiatives in the future which support those needing jobs and bring investment back into our local communities.”

Sarah Dunning, Chair of Westmorland

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