Community Building Collective Set to Continue Good Work
A community interest company set up by Gloucester City Council to help people invest in their own communities is set to continue its good work and expand across the city.
Gloucester Community Building Collective (GCBC), was established by the City Council in 2019 to take an ‘asset based approach’ to building and improving communities.
The idea being that by helping people to recognise their own strengths or assets, they can help communities solve their own challenges, shape their own outcomes and change things that matter to them.
Councillors at this month’s cabinet meeting are set to give the green light for the good work to continue when they consider a five year business plan for the organisation, the appointment of four new directors and to extend funding over three years of £35,000.
The Gloucester Community Building Collective is a key part of the Council’s Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) strategy which says that for communities to thrive, they need to be given the tools and resources to find solutions that work for them and for the places where they live.
GCBC employs Community Builders who talk to residents about what they love about their neighbourhoods and the changes they want to see. By connecting people they help neighbourhoods discover and use the skills they have to realise their visions and plans.
Recently throughout the pandemic, the organisation played a critical role in assisting neighbours to help each other.
Working alongside the Councillors, it delivered postcards to 57,000 households encouraging people to look out for each other; it supported 500 Street Champions to help their neighbours throughout the pandemic and helped spread the message about social distancing.
The team was also instrumental in supporting the City Help Hub offer and linked with partners including Gloucester Gateway, the Redwell Centre, Court Community Association in Tuffley and Gloucester Culture Trust to deliver food supplies and other resources including creative packs to support peoples’ mental well-being.
Over the summer, its website also became a hub of advice and guidance and a place where people could read stories of kindness and neighbourly support.
Councillor Jennie Watkins, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, said: “The Gloucester Community Building Collective has been hugely successful in working with our residents to help them build stronger and happier communities. This kind of work is vital and the Covid 19 crisis has shown us that our communities pulling and working together, is key to meeting the challenges that we face.”
Richard Holmes of the Gloucester Community Building Collective, said: “The approach that we take helps local people build friendships, before they are needed. It is much easier to ask a friend or neighbour who you know well for help, than it is a stranger. We believe our communities are stronger and more resilient when we are all better connected.”