Creating a space for a community to grow

Gatis Community Space was invited to apply to win funding for a specific project from public votes as part of The People’s Projects initiative. Media Trust worked with the non-profit to provide its staff with media training so the organisation could tell its story in a compelling way ahead of an ITV film shoot.

Five ways to well-being

Gatis Community Space, is a local community group based in Whitmore Reans and Wolverhampton. Led by director, Maria Billington, Gatis is run by a small number of committed volunteers with a diverse range of skills, ranging from horticulture to arts and crafts. Its mission is to create a “vibrant community hub” where people can come together to share skills, stories, and food, and help create a more sustainable future that celebrates human diversity. Using the foundations of the five ways to well-being, the aim is to develop the site into a multi-purpose use facility offering a range of clubs, activities and volunteering opportunities. It provides small business development support and, above all, is a place where people can visit to explore their own potential.

The training session was fantastic and the booklet really helped us set up what we felt was a good campaign.

Maria Billington, Director, Gatis Community Space

An ideal launch platform

The People’s Projects is a golden opportunity for organisations like Gatis, which are often overlooked in their communities yet in great need of funding. For Gatis, the scheme provided the ideal platform to launch itself by showcasing its current activities and giving the charity the opportunity to compete for some much needed funding. At the time, the charity was just completing its second year of operations.

Maria and her organisation were invited to apply for funding for The People’s Projects; she comments that she felt it was the “ideal opportunity” to try and raise funds to continue some of the innovative activities they had started with the potential of developing additional areas.

Training tips and useful tools

As part of The People’s Projects, Media Trust provides one person per organisation with a full day of media training. Maria attended our session in Birmingham along with four other project finalists. The session focused on campaign planning, media interviews, content and key messages. All attendees from the session received a detailed media and campaign training guide to share with their colleagues and volunteers.

Maria says, “the training session was fantastic and the booklet really helped us set up what we felt was a good campaign. It’s given us the basic tools to realise that there are different potential audiences to market to and an insight into how we might achieve that.”

We’ve learnt a lot and been given a publicity boost that we could never have achieved on our own.

Maria Billington, Director, Gatis Community Space

New volunteers and anonymous donors

As a result of the campaign and The People’s Projects media training, not only has the charity been able to significantly raise its profile, but a number of new volunteers, eager to get involved with the organisation’s projects, have been attracted. Gatis Community Space has also received anonymous donations towards its raised bed community garden.

Maria remarks, “I’m so glad we decided to enter the competition. The training and filming have been such useful and exciting experiences. We’ve learnt a lot and been given a publicity boost that we could never have achieved on our own. We are very grateful to have had such an opportunity.”

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