Latest news at CGA

We Have A Winner!

We had a fantastic response to our competition around communications here at CGA. Many of you were very positive about what we do and how we communicate with you. We received some really good feedback from you regarding the type of news you wish to receive and what communications’ channels you use the most. From this we saw that many of you want more information regarding events in your local community, as well as more regular social media posts. We will of course look to implement many of your suggestions moving forward.

Our winner, drawn randomly from all participants, was Sara Murphy, a CGA tenant living in one of our great new properties in Walton Gardens, Hutton. Upon receiving her £50 in Love2Shop vouchers, Sara, said, “I’ve been a tenant since I was 17 and now I’m nearly 50. I definitely think that more investment in social media is the way forward. I use the CGA Facebook and Twitter feeds and so was keen to get involved. It’s really made my day to hear that I’ve won.” Thank you CGA! Sara’s husband Trevor (pictured), was equally happy, and said, “We have lived here in Walton Gardens for just over one-year after living in Penwortham for over ten-years. This was a great surprise just in time for Christmas.

Building a better future for local young people

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Jack Stileman. I am 17-years old and from Chorley. I am currently studying for a B-TEC Level 1 in Construction at PVC.

Why did you choose PVC?

Like many others, I am not the most academic of people. After leaving school I didn’t really have a real idea about what to do next. I heard about PVC through a family member, thought it sounded interesting and went along to see what it was about. The rest is history!

How have you found it so far?

I’ve really enjoyed it. The learning is very hands-on, which makes it easy to stay interested. From plastering to bricklaying and decorating, no two days are ever the same. The teachers and staff are another big reason why I’ve enjoyed it. They treat everyone as equals, and are always respectful. This has created a great environment for everyone to learn in. 

What will you take away from your time at PVC?

Well my B-TEC of course! But I’ve learnt lots of things, including how important hard work and doing something you enjoy are. I’ve become interested in plastering and have recently been staying behind after class to help plaster the PVC building as a way of giving something back.

What do your family think about you being at PVC?

They are proud. They say I have become much more positive after finding something I enjoy doing. They also say they are much less worried about my future prospects now.

So what’s next?

I think for the first time I am optimistic about the future. I graduate in the summer and then hope to start an apprenticeship at a local building company. After that, who knows, I may look at starting my own plastering business.

If you would like to learn more about the great work being done at PVC, visit their site at


Tree-mendous deal for tenants

Community Gateway, Preston’s largest social housing association, has been out and about planting trees for local residents. As part of National Tree Week and its ongoing commitment to protecting the environment, Community Gateway planted 100 trees for tenants and will continue to maintain them completely free of charge.

One person who took advantage of the offer was Kathleen Loftus from Westfield Drive, Brookfield. Having lived in the same house since 1967, Kathleen clearly understands the importance of creating a pleasant community for herself and her neighbours. She was therefore very happy to receive a beautiful ‘Sugarplum’ blossom tree from Community Gateway. Kathleen said, “I thought the offer of a free tree was a nice gesture. I can’t do as much as before, so it’s good to be able to enjoy the tree without having to plant and look after it, which I am no longer able to do.”

Rob Wakefield, CEO at Community Gateway, was on hand to present the tree to Kathleen, as well as a bouquet of flowers in recognition of her long tenancy and strong relationship with the housing association. Rob said, “It’s amazing to think that Kathleen has lived in her home for over fifty years, and I am pleased that our GreenCare Team have been supporting her in maintaining her garden for about ten years now. We are both pleased and proud to be able to plant this tree for Kathleen, and I hope it brings her much happiness.

Did you know? A tree disease called ash dieback is expected to severely affect or kill over 90% of the 80 million Ash trees in the U.K.

If you are interested in helping replenish the tree stock in our communities by planting a small tree in your Community Gateway garden, call them on 0800 953 0213 or  01772 268324, and their Greencare Team will take care of the rest.

colleagues sleep rough for charity

An intrepid team of 12 colleagues from across Community Gateway (CGA) and Preston Vocational Centre (PVC) recently braved the cold to participate in The Big Sleepout at Preston North Ends’ Deepdale stadium.

Organised by The Foxton Centre, a Preston-based charity working with local young people, the November 15th event was held to raise money for the purchase and renovation of a local house that will be used to provide a safe and secure location for Preston’s homeless. 

Participants were asked to bring only the bare essentials to the sleepover, with the event designed to provide a small insight into the many hardships surrounding local people sleeping rough.

With over 300 people taking part in the event, the team from PVC and CGA did fantastic; raising more than £3,500 for the charity so far.

Patsy Alexander, Housing Support Co-Ordinator at CGA, was one of those who bravely slept out, and said, “It was very rewarding to see so many locals from different walks of life come together to raise money and awareness about homeless issues in Preston. People have been incredibly generous in their support and we would like to thank everyone that got involved and sponsored us.” participants gather together for the BigSleepout

Tom Jones, Health, Safety and Environmental Manager at CGA, also attended the event, and said, “The whole experience was incredibly rewarding and a real eye opener for those of us that went. The cause relates very closely to what we do here at CGA and so getting involved was an easy decision for all of us.”

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