In 2012, Cardiff Futures, our leadership and development programme, brought together eight research and senior professional staff from a wide range of backgrounds.
A common interest emerged from this University-wide collaboration: to develop a meaningful and long-term relationship with local communities, enabling the sharing of community and our expertise to achieve common goals.
Community Gateway was born as a platform for developing such a relationship, with an initial pilot set up in Grangetown, one of the most culturally diverse and largest electoral districts in Cardiff. The platform's format emerged from community consultations and events in Grangetown organised between 2012 and 2014.
We asked our staff and the Grangetown communities what would make a difference. They said they would like to see us working with and in the community, celebrating and supporting existing initiatives and offering expertise. They also said they would like to see us generating new projects to foster social and economic developments, focusing on health, sustainability and the environment.
Community Gateway has the following aims:
- Work with the communities of Grangetown, responding to their concerns and needs as equal partners
- Develop a long-term community partnership which can support a range of projects over a significant length of time
- Achieve visible, appropriate and mutually beneficial impact
- Develop partnership opportunities between the university and Grangetown to share our mutual and diverse expertise, passions and visions.
A Community Gateway steering group has been formed and is composed of both community representatives and university members. The group meet quarterly to discuss the effectiveness of the project, ways it can help in the community and to make decisions on any applications for project funding that have been received. Community Gateway has also set up an Advisory Board which provides strategic advice on the sustainability and profile of the project and a Schools Advisory Panel that meets quarterly to ensure that local schools are involved with both new and ongoing community projects.
In May 2015 a public consultation took place entitled 'Love Grangetown' which aimed to discover what local residents felt were important issues within the area. From this consultation emerged nine main themes: Shop & Work Locally, Safe Grangetown, Road Respect, Healthy Grangetown, Friendly Communities, Provision for Young People, Communication Without Barriers, Community Meeting Places and Clean Streets, Green Spaces. From these themes over 100 expressions of interest forms for collaborative projects have been received and currently 32 access projects are either running or completed with many more planned to start over the next 12 months.
Community Gateway are also in the process of securing the lease for the Grange Bowls Pavilion which will be a physical base and hub in Grangetown for pop-up events and community projects - bringing Cardiff University to the community.
Longer term, we will aim towards expanding the model to other communities in Cardiff and Wales.
- Telephone:+44 (0)29 2087 0456