The first Neighbourhood Project in Gloucester, the White City Community Project was established in 1980 by local residents who wanted to tackle a range of local issues relating to poverty, unfit housing, crime and a lack of local opportunities.
Residents initially came together through a new Residents Group and decided first to set up an adventure playground and then to create a community project. The adventure playground focused on creating free open access play opportunities and the community project was initially focused on providing advice services and supporting the Residents Group in campaigning for community improvements. The White City Community Project registered as a charity in 1984. Over the next 20 years, nine other communities based on social housing estates developed the Neighbourhood Project concept and created their own organisations on their own patches and together created a strong network of community building activity across Gloucestershire.
Within these local areas the projects became well known and made huge contributions to improve the lives of the residents. In areas of Health and Well- being under the Single Regeneration Bid 5 funding “Better Together”, Healthy Living Centres New opportunities Funds support and Education/Training under the European Social Funding we were able to support residents to gain the skills to support re-employment and make the right choices as individuals about their own mental health and well-being as well as encouraging the development of resident led organisations and initiatives through mutual support and community action.
Additionally, the projects developed and launched a range of social enterprises such as the Furniture Recycling Project, Community Foster Care, community shops, cafes, the Gloucestershire Neighbourhood College as well as sowing the seeds of the Gloucester Services project on the M5.
GL Communities represents the coming together of 3 of the most successful of these neighbourhood organisations (White City Community Project, Matson Neighbourhood Project and Podsmead Neighbourhood Project). It was set up as a Company in 2008 and received its registration as a charity in 2010.
'In 2019 we will celebrate 35 years of neighbourhood working In Gloucestershire'