Gloucestershire Learning Site

In brief

· Nurture Development is working in partnership with Barnwood Trust, contributing towards their ten-year plan – You’re Welcome.

· You’re Welcome is all about creating more welcoming and inclusive communities across Gloucestershire.

· And finally we are working closely with Barnwood on ensuring a long-term legacy for ABCD community building.

· We are supporting Barnwood to build relationships with people across the county and then offering people in places, if they want, support to take action in an ABCD way.

· We’re also providing the ABCD Community Builders in place with mentoring and coaching to support and deepen their practice.

· We’re running  regular workshops to anyone living or working in the county to introduce ABCD ways of doing things.

· And finally we are working closely with Barnwood on ensuring a long-term legacy for ABCD community building.

· Since September 2013, more than £11,000 has been awarded to community groups through the Small Sparks grant fund.

A unique and important partner towards change

· Nurture Development’s relationship  to the Barnwood Trust is of a different kind than most others in the UK, in that ND is working with BT to help shape and carry out their plans as a community partner. We are therefore working with the Trust to change how they work, as well as working with the community and people they serve who are engaged in real community building.

· Here, in addition to training and mentoring, etc:

· ND walks along side BT and their partners, in a way that is of growing interest to those who are thinking farther ahead, beyond a project, or budget cycle, etc.

· We believe this kind of ‘in it for the long-haul’ relationship is proportionate to the challenge. 

Impact to date

· Over 400 people living in the county took part in the first wave of You’re Welcome workshops as part of the You’re Welcome Learning Programme.

· Of those, 205 were trained specifically on the basic principles and approach of ABCD.

· Cormac Russell trained a group of people to run introductory workshops about ABCD.

· 121 groups have been created on the You’re Welcome website since it was launched at the end of 2013.

· More than 140 events have been shared on the You’re Welcome website since its launch.

· In the last year seven Community Builders have been employed in five communities to help build community using ABCD.

Some examples of community action in Gloucestershire


Below you will find some pictures of local action around people’s passions and interests. Some images revolve around the Cirencester Sofa Month, an idea that came about in a community meeting where people were challenged to think of creative ways to engage in conversation.

The group behind Sofa Month wanted to try and reach out to people in different places around Cirencester, making a space to sit and chat. Each week is themed in the hope that we will be able to reach a wide range of people within the community and find ways to make Cirencester a welcoming community for everyone, especially those who may feel geographically or socially isolated.

Cirencester Youth Group: asset map started by a group of residents. This was supported by You’re Welcome Guides Maureen Rowcliffe-Quarry and Philip Booth, from Barnwood Trust.

Cirencester Youth Group: an evening with 117 children. Many of them joined a game of Neighbourhood Bingo and added their ‘places of welcome’ to the canvas.

Cirencester asset map.

Cirencester residents enjoyed sitting on the local sofa and sharing stories and things they planned on doing together.

This sofa has been doing the rounds in Cirencester, inviting residents to sit, relax and share.

During the celebration of the Cirencester sofa month many residents got together to share their passions and start organising activities around those things that interest them.

Maureen sharing some of the ideas that were generated about Cirencester.

Philip hearing feedback on people’s experiences of neighbours coming together to make life better in Cirencester .

Maureen and Jennine introduce Neighbourhood Bingo to over 40 residents during a celebration of the Cirencester Sofa Month.

The Cirencester sofa made it to the BBC radio, listening to its story!

Cirencester Community Builders, connectors and local residents used a sofa that traveled around the area to listen to people and start conversations that led into community action later on. Below is a video that summarises part of that journey.

⇒ Community action continues… Read about what happened after the Sofa Month.


But Cirencester is not the only place where communities are following their passions. Below is a glimpse of what Matson community is achieving:

In the past 2 years we have supported local residents to establish and maintain 9 projects with many more emerging, such as Parents of Matson, who arrange activates for local families. Plenty of activities take place at the Redwell Centre Matson.

There are now weekly connectors gathering where representatives from all of the projects and other local residents come together to update, share, and support one another.

Residents are sharing their interest through groups that include:

· Fishing.

· Domestic Abuse support group.

· Football.

· Cake decorating.

Connectors meeting.

Epilepsy group connectors.

Associates Sarah Frost and Jennine Bailey deliver a story capturing session with Connectors at the Redwell Centre in Matson.

Parents of Matson group.

The Community Builders and connectors in Matson came together to showcase their achievements and include the wider community in the conversations at a Country event on 20th August 2015 at The Redwell Community centre.

The local Fire Brigade and Police joined them and heard about some of the other community activities that are taking place in the area.

Over 50 residents and associations enjoyed country fate games, animals, face painting, jewellery making, competitions, music and line dancing.

The ABCD team displayed pictures and updates for each project that emerged as a direct result of the work. An asset map was displayed allowing residents to locate there where they live, and then completed the conversation sheets about their passions, skills and resources.

The Community Builders are currently following up some emerging themes that emerged from all the conversations. See some pictures below!

Stewardship Circle

In Gloucestershire we are also involved in the Stewardship Circle, an ABCD Leadership Programme that Nurture Development has been commissioned to develop and deliver by Barnwood Trust.

This initiative is designed to come alongside leaders in Gloucestershire who are interested in supporting the legacy of Barnwood Trust’s 10 year plan called You’re Welcome, which aims to build more welcoming and inclusive communities across the county.

Read more about it here.

Which of our team members is in Gloucestershire: Cormac Russell, Managing Director of Nurture Development; Jennine Bailey, Associate.

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