Latest news at CGA — articles for 2019

Helping Our Tenants Back Into Employment!

Community Gateway is thrilled to have helped yet another tenant, Sarah Ayles, back into employment through their More Positive Together programme.

Sarah, who lives with her seven-year old daughter, told Community Gateway why she decided to turn to the initiative, More Positive Together, after being out of work for almost 10 years.

“I went to University and got a degree but after falling pregnant and becoming a single parent, I couldn’t afford to work.”

Sarah told us how whilst being out of work, her confidence began to deteriorate, as she felt she had a lot of barriers to overcome to get back into work, such as childcare support, transport, a gap in her CV and social isolation. Before she knew it, she didn’t know a way out.

“Deep down, I always wanted to be a veterinary nurse but never had the confidence to go for it, let alone know where to start. Then one day, I heard about the Community Gateway programme that helps people back into employment. I contacted them and have never looked back.” 

After several one to one meetings with her CG mentor, Ve Bennett, the two of them explored how Sarah could overcome her barriers and put steps in place to boost her confidence and social skills.

Sarah began attending the CG ‘Feel Good Friday’, CG Job Club, and enrolled onto a 10 week Confidence training course, which also allowed her to pass her 1st Aid Course whilst on the project.  

Sarah gushed about the confidence course and began searching for another opportunity with Ve – this time, to take another step towards her dream career of becoming a veterinary nurse. Fast forward and Sarah has just begun an Apprenticeship at a pet healthcare practice and is looking forward to the future.

Sarah added:

“Thank you to Community Gateway and the team on the More Positive Together programme; you’ve truly changed my life.”

North West Air Ambulance

Today Community Gateway proudly presented a cheque for £7,991.63 to North West Air Ambulance (NWAA) to help support the service, which is funded through the generosity of the public’s donations.

Colleagues at Community Gateway get to vote for the charity they’d like to pledge their support to, and this year, decided that NWAA would be the charity of choice, as they reach, treat and transfer patients via helicopter all over the North West.  

Throughout the year, we’ve taken part in a number of exciting activities to raise money for this great cause – here’s just some of the amazing activities that have taken place:

-          Pretty Muddy obstacle course

-          The Great North run

-          Chester Marathon

-          Scaling the ‘Big One’ at Blackpool

-          Bake sales

-          Raffles

-          World Cup Event

-          Ongoing Tuck Shop

Thank you to everyone who has been involved and supported us throughout – your donations, time and effort (not matter how big or small!) has gone towards making a huge difference to people’s lives.

Statement regarding Savick Shops Development

Louise Mattinson, Executive Director of Customers and Communities, says,

“In 2017, in response to feedback from the community, Community Gateway began regenerating the area around Savick shops.  The first phase included the development of 6 new homes on the site of the former Savick pub. 

Phase 2 of the scheme includes the redevelopment of the maisonettes and shops on West Park Avenue.  These properties are outdated, unsightly and are a magnet for anti-social behaviour, resulting in half of the shops being emptywith no new businesses interested in taking up a lease.  

However we listened to the community’s concerns around the impact to residents regarding the loss of the library and shops, and so we worked with local residents, councillors and remaining business owners to develop plans which included a commitment from Community Gateway to build a brand new library and 4 shop units to accommodate the remaining businesses. 

We agreed that we would provide the new units at below market rents to ensure the viability of the businesses for the benefit of the community.

Initially, all the business owners were supportive of these plans, which would have included the provision of high-quality, fully serviced temporary accommodation to allow the businesses to continue to operate whilst the demolition and building works were completed. This would have requiredsignificant investment from Community Gateway, but we believed that the cost was worth it to enable the businesses to continue trading. 

Disappointingly a number of the business owners have since changed their minds, and we now have only one business owner who has confirmed that they would like to enter into a new lease.  Sadly, this means that it is no longer viable for us to continue with our plans to invest in the building of a number of new shops when there is no evidence to suggest that they could be let. 

Whilst we understand the café owners would like to enter into a lease on a new unit, the provision of temporary accommodation is only feasible if a majority of business owners are in agreement.  

It was always our intention to replace the library and shop units and we share the community’s disappointment that there is insufficient interest from business owners to make this possible. However we can confirm that we are continuing with our plans to provide a new purpose built library which will benefit the community for many years to come.” 

Rob's Blog

If any of you have been in to Harbour House, or driven past a Community Gateway van this week, I’m sure you can’t have failed to notice that we have now launched our new Community Gateway logo. 

 

This is the culmination of a considerable amount of effort, hard work and commitment and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our colleagues and customers who have been involved in the development of our new logo; from those of you who attended Brand Champions meetings, to filling out the online survey, to co-ordinating the launch. 

 

I’m really pleased with the outcome, and just as pleased with the way that tenants and colleagues have worked in partnership throughout the project.

 

We have tried to capture much of the feedback from all of the consultation we’ve carried out with a wide range of stakeholders.  The logo is much fresher in look and feel – with a more modern font and the introduction of vibrant colours whilst retaining the teal from our original logo, and of course, as promised, purple remains the predominant colour.  Most importantly we were looking for the logo to give a sense of what we as a company are about and feel that the central “icon” within the logo does just that.  The icon combines both people and house shapes and conveys a sense of community, teamwork and togetherness, and the fact that we are a community based housing provider. 

 

We have also removed the word “Association” from the main logo as the feedback told us that a) our customers rarely use the word when referring to us, and would instead use Community Gateway, or simply Gateway; and b) it felt too formal, stuffy and old-hat – not reflective of the organisation we are or want to be in the future.  Our business name, registered with Companies House, will always be Community Gateway Association, but our new look logo and brand guidelines will refer to us as Community Gateway.  

 

Once again, a big thank you to everyone who has been involved in this project in one way or another, providing feedback and input and helping to shape the final look and design of our new logo.

 

I’d love to know what you think of the new logo so why not tweet me @CGARobW

Rob

Welcome to your new look Community Gateway

Hello everyone and welcome to your new look Community Gateway!

After lots of hard work, the team at Gateway is delighted to finally share the new brand with you and we want to thank all of our colleagues and members for their support and input on creating this new look and feel.

Since the start of the project, our colleagues and customers have worked closely together as brand champions to develop the new logo - all the way from the consultation phase, to the design, where members were updated at the AGM in September. We’re very proud of what we’ve created and we hope you love it as much as we do!

Why The New Look?

Our previous logo had been around since 2005 and with our new corporate plan taking us through to 2024, we were all in agreement that we were due an update and the new brand should represent our evolving company.  As you can see, our four new colours are bright, diverse and impactful – just like us here at CGA! But don’t worry; we will always be purple people!

We’d love to hear any feedback from you so please get in contact to tell us your thoughts!

Email communications@communitygateway.co.uk or check out our social media pages!

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