4 Dec 2018

Celebrating community links

Community group members enjoying a drumming workshop with artist Kulchalee
  • Community group members enjoying the event
  • Artist Kulchalee and staff from GreenSquare Housing Support
  • Community group members enjoying the celebration event
  • Ashley Brooks, store manager from Tesco, Churchdown awards first-prize in the photo competition to the New Friends Network, Bishops Cleeve. GreenSquare chief executive Howard Toplis, pictured far right.

GreenSquare’s housing support service celebrated the achievements of their community groups from across Gloucestershire last week (30 November) at a special event. 

Over 30 members and volunteers from a range of community groups came together at the GL3 Community Hub in Churchdown to meet up, enjoy some food and take part in an African drumming workshop by popular local artist Kulchalee.

GreenSquare’s housing support service is a short-term, client-led service that helps to support people from the Forest of Dean, Gloucester and Tewkesbury borough with their housing needs.

Alongside housing support, they also run a number of community groups and activities helping clients meet new people and connect with their local area.

The different groups and activities include: a monthly cooking group, a camera club, walking football, a women’s group offering arts and crafts projects, and a community ground force group who help out at the St James City Farm.

Jo Chance, support worker for GreenSquare housing support, said: "It was lovely to see all our community groups come together to enjoy the day and a great opportunity for our clients to get to know others.

"When clients who access our housing support service are identified as socially isolated we make them aware of these community groups and networks, which they can still access even when they don’t need housing support anymore. Many go on to become volunteers.

"The groups are open to the public too, so when our clients come they often bring a friend with them, which then introduces them to our housing support services. These community groups really help us make valuable links."

At the event was Mark, from Coleford in the Forest of Dean, who received help from GreenSquare housing support after he’d suffered a serious car accident which left him needing speech therapy. He said: "GreenSquare helped me tremendously. I like the organisation that much I wanted to become a volunteer. I enjoy meeting the people, socialising and helping people if I can.

"I’ve been to where they are many years ago and I try to put my experience to them and hopefully provide them with a direction to go."

At the celebration event, the results of a photo competition which the community groups took part in were also announced. Judged by GreenSquare chief executive Howard Toplis, the first, second and third-prize winners were all given festive hampers donated by staff from Tesco in Churchdown.

More information about GreenSquare’s housing support service can be found on the website gloshousingsupport.com