Latest news at CGA

Community Gateway secures National Lottery support for activities in Independent Living Schemes

The National Lottery Heritage Fund logo The Outreach and Support Team have been successful in their bid for funding to support activities at our Sheltered Housing schemes.  The Heritage Lottery fund has awarded the Association £9,600 to support Armchair Travel, which allows residents to experience other countries and cultures from the comfort of their scheme lounge by sharing a traditional meal, listening to music or learning about the customs and dress of a particular area.

Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project enables people to explore the history, and traditions of places they may never have visited or bring back memories of places they went to when they were younger.

By providing interesting and enjoyable activities, such as Armchair Travel, we hope to reduce social isolation and loneliness in our older customers. At the same time, we hope this will improve people's health and wellbeing by enabling people to make new friends and try out new things.

Paula Lister, Outreach and Support Service Manager at Community Gateway said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident the project will enable people living in our Sheltered Housing Schemes to experience other countries and cultures without having to travel. 

Community Gateway unveils plans for Phase 2 of Savick regeneration

The Community Engagement Team at Community Gateway have now concluded a detailed consultation with Savick residents on the future of Savick shops.

A planning application has recently been submitted to develop 12 new houses, a brand new library and one retail unit.

Part of the consultation was to gain feedback to determine the demand in the area, and what type of business local residents wanted to see the retail unit used for.

The community have told us that they would like to see it become a convenience store, selling a wide range of goods while also providing everyday essential services such as PayPoint.

If you would like further information on the market research and findings, please contact the Community Engagement Team on 0800 953 0213.


Library with Retail proposed plans

Proposed 3d views and elevations savick phase 2

We’re supporting Gas Safety Week 2019

Community Gateway is supporting Gas Safety Week (16th-22nd September 2019) and will be sharing top tips on social media to raise awareness about the importance of gas safety.

The ninth annual Gas Safety Week sees organisations from across the UK working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

This year, Gas Safety Week is addressing a whole range of gas safety matters with a focus on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable - from advice about how to keep vulnerable loved ones safe, to raising awareness of using a registered engineer who is legally qualified, to ensure consumers don’t become vulnerable to illegal gas work though lack of awareness.  

You can keep up to date with Gas Safe Register’s updates and advice throughout Gas Safety Week by following @GasSafeRegister on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and search #GSW19. 

To keep you and your family safe, follow Gas Safe Register’s top tips: 

  • Know the symptoms of CO poisoning; headaches, nausea, breathlessness, collapse, dizziness and loss of consciousness.
  • If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24-hour national gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999.
  • Never attempt to work on a gas appliance yourself, always seek the help of a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer who can work on your gas cooker, boiler or fire in a safe way.
  • Don’t cut corners - only employ a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer when having gas work carried out in your home.
  • Always ask to see your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card. Make sure you check the back of the card, which will state which gas appliances they are qualified to work on.

Gas Safe Register is the official register for legally qualified engineers. You can find a registered engineer in your area by visiting the Gas Safe Register website at or by calling on 0800 408 5500.


Celebrating Sheltered Housing with #StartsAtHome

We’ve been supporting Starts at Home day today talking to some of our tenants over the week about why they love our Sheltered Schemes. Starts at Home Day is a campaign run by the National Housing Federation to  promotes supported and sheltered housing and join in the call for more funding and more recognition of the benefits this type of tenancy gives.

During the week we heard from lots of people including 99 year-old Joan who said: “The Warden calls every morning to check I’m all right. She bobs in often and has a little look at me, they’re very nice here.”

The reassurance of a Warden and support package resonated with Lynette who said “My doctor wanted me to come here and with my disability, if there’s a problem they’ll be here for you and that is wonderful.”

Tony, who came to us from shared accommodation said: “It gets me out of the house, instead of just watching TV. There’s always a lot on, singalongs and trips out and I like talking to people.”

Ken has made some terrific friends in his scheme. He said: “We all look out for each other. George and I we’re best of friends…it’s our own community. If I weren’t here I’d be in a hotel or something and it’s safe here, you need a key fob to get in when the doors are closed.”

Gordon's family feel reassured that Gordon is well looked after. He is in a ground floor flat which he says is perfect for him, as his mobility is not good. He can get out to the garden or communal areas easily. When taken ill in Preston recently, he got a taxi back to his accommodation as he new he "would be all right if he just got back and could press his buzzer."

Louise Mattinson, Executive Director of Customers and Communities went along to a special Afternoon Tea held for StartsAtHome Day and explained how it’s all part of our wider strategy to deliver the right types of homes for people with different needs at different stages in their lives. You can listen to what Louise had to say by clicking the short video below.


You can see some of our tenants’ videos on our Twitter and Facebook pages #StartsAtHome


Tributes paid to tenant champion

Tributes have been paid to a “tenant champion” who has passed away after a long illness, aged just 57.

Gill Lawson was a founding board member of Community Gateway, the very first Gateway Model housing association in the country.  Her passion for the tenants’ voice was clear to see, and led to her being invited to many other housing associations, conferences, and even the Houses of Parliament to present her unique perspective on tenant involvement and promote the Gateway Model.

Nic Bliss, Head of Policy at the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, supported Community Gateway during the stock transfer of Preston City Council homes to the Preston-based landlord in 2005.  He has fond memories of Gill, who was a member of the shadow board,

“Take it from me – she was a special woman! She was very instrumental in setting Community Gateway up.  I remember the first meeting she came to - she sat at the back saying nothing, and then right at the end she asked me very sheepishly in a quiet voice ‘Do you think I could get involved?’ A far cry from the feisty and lively person she later became!”

Louise Mattinson, Executive Director of Customers and Communities at Community Gateway recalls,

“She was my customer conscience on my shoulder, for example if we were changing policies or structures, I always had ‘How is Gill going to react to this?’ at the back of my mind.  She was the voice of the customer and was prepared to challenge you.” 

“She would ask ‘Have customers been involved, is this right for the customer?’ She would hold people to account.”

Chief Executive of Gentoo, Nigel Wilson, was also a founding board member and served with Gill. He says,

“I worked alongside Gill for over 9 years; she was a heart-on-the-sleeve person who put the people of Preston and Gateway tenants first in everything.  She could be fiery and was never shy in sharing exactly what she thought on the subject in discussion.  She was a great board colleague, a woman of passion and pride in her Gateway and her Preston. She is missed.”

Gill stepped down from the Community Gateway board in 2014 but remained involved with the organisation as an associate member, continuing her active involvement in action groups where she reviewed service standards, policies and procedures and conducted mystery shopping.

Although her failing health began to slow her activism, it couldn’t stifle her passion.

Many of us at Community Gateway have lost a unique champion and friend.

Gill leaves behind her devoted husband Mick and two children.

Gill Lawson on the Gateway Tenants Committee

Newer articles Older articles