Latest news at CGA

CGA Uniform Bank

Buying school uniforms every year can be a heavy financial burden in normal times and even more so during the current pandemic. That’s why we are collecting primary and secondary uniforms for any schools across Preston, allowing us to place them with families who may need that little extra support ahead of the new term in September.

We are here to help you and will deal with everyone discreetly and in absolute confidence. There could be even more ways we can help, so please get in touch with our friendly team for a chat.

Thanks to the Lancashire COVID-19 Community Support Fund and National Emergencies Trust we have been able to add a few more exciting items to our offer:

  • Every child is guaranteed to receive two new shirts/polo tops and new socks.
  • Primary school children will receive a lunch box and water bottle.
  • High school children will receive a fully equipped stationary pack and a toiletries pack.

If we don’t have the items you need in stock, we will do our best to source them on a case by case basis.

 

Thank you to our fantastic partners across Preston who have supported us through what has been a busy time for them too:

  • PNE Community & Education Trust
  • St. Clare’s Catholic Church
  • Farri Park Community Centre
  • Penwortham Community Centre
  • Preston Community Hub
  • The Intact Centre
  • Soundskills
  • Mill Bank Wellbeing Centre
  • Moor Nook Chippy
  • Larches & Savick Boxing Club        

Tasha Cowperthwaite, Community Engagement & Support Officer at CGA has been overseeing the uniform bank and has been amazed at the response received:

“We have been blown away by the kindness shown through donations. The CGA Uniform Bank is allowing our communities to support each other, making them stronger communities to live in. We want to play our part in supporting our communities and have done that by providing a platform, but they have lead the way.”

For more information and donation point locations visit communitygateway.co.uk/uniformbank

The End of Free TV Licences

Free TV Licences, funded by the Government, for all over 75s will come to an end in July 2020. From the 1st August 2020, there will be a new scheme.

Under the new scheme, anyone aged 75 or over receiving Pension Credit will be eligible to apply for a free TV Licence, paid for by the BBC. Pension Credit can be in the name of the licence holder, or their partner’s name,  if they are a couple living at the same address. If Pension Credit is not received the TV Licence will need to be paid for. The cost of a colour TV Licence is £157.50 per year.

If you already have a free over 75 licence you will be covered until 31 July 2020.

If you would like to check whether you are entitled to Pension Credit please telephone our tenancy support team on 0800 953 0213 who will be happy to carry out a benefit assessment and, if eligible, help you to apply.

£95m investment deal for CGA

We are excited to announce that CGA have raised £95m in our first private investment.

The cash injection will support us to deliver our corporate plan, which includes building 600 affordable rented homes by 2024, some of the funds will be used to repay existing loans.

CGA was formed in 2005 from the stock transfer of homes from Preston City Council and we now manage around 6,600 homes across Preston and beyond. We are nearing completion on the unique Courtyards extra care scheme at Ingol and our next major development will see around 90 homes built on a site at Lightfoot Lane, with further schemes in the pipeline.

Craig Garner, Executive Director of Resources said:

 “This is a significant milestone for us. We are delighted to have secured this investment, which will enable us to drive forward our ambitious development programme to build a range of high-quality, modern homes that meet the needs of local residents. We would like to thank our partners who supported us over recent months to achieve this outcome.”

The July deal, which was brokered virtually with support from Savills Financial Consultants, Barclays and legal advisers Trowers and Hamlins, drew strong investor interest due to CGA’s robust operating track record. As a result, we were able to achieve £30million more than originally planned due to the very favourable interest rates offered from two private investors.

PVC Awards Evening 2020

Yesterday our Charitable Subsidiary, Preston Vocational Centre (PVC) celebrated the success of the school and sixth form learners and the end of a somewhat unusual and testing 2019/20 academic year with the Annual Awards Evening (the doorstep version).

Members of the PVC tutor team visited the ten award winners with their trophies - even though handshakes were not exchanged this year, lots of congratulations and encouraging words were given. 

A massive congratulations and well done to all the young people who have worked very hard this year to achieve their BTEC Level 1 in Construction qualifications and the team at PVC who make a huge difference to so many lives. 

Rob Wakefield, Chief Executive of Community Gateway Association, passed on this message to the wonderful students and the team at PVC:

"Congratulations to each of the students for achieving such fantastic results. You should be proud of everything you have achieved. Well done to the team at PVC for their hard work and success year after year. As our charitable subsidiary, PVC is transforming the lives of local young people and adults within the heart of our communities."

See a full list of winners here - PVC Awards 2020 

Supporting 'Homes At The Heart' Campaign

As a member of the National Housing Federation, Community Gateway is supporting “Homes at the Heart”, a campaign and coalition calling on the Government to put social housing at the heart of its plan for social and economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

The coronavirus crisis puts into stark relief the need for secure, high quality, affordable homes and, for many people, support to live in them. Some of the worst affected by the crisis include low-paid key workers living in homes they can’t afford, rough sleepers, homeless families in temporary accommodation, older people in unsupported homes and families stuck in overcrowded conditions.

Chief Executive Rob Wakefield agreed, saying:

“Investing in social housing, in all its forms, will not only provide more people with a safe, secure and comfortable place to call home, it will also help the country recover from this crisis by boosting the economy, creating jobs and improving people’s lives when our nation needs it most. “Homes at the Heart” is calling for a once-in-a-generation investment in social housing.”

homesheart

For more information on the #HomesAtTheHeart campaign visit, housing.org.uk/HomesAtTheHeart

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