Gateway is proud to invest in it's local communities. This is part of it's corporate vision over the next 5 years to make 5,000 lives better. During 2014-15 they spent just under £99k to support social and community activities amounting to just under 1% of our annual turnover. For each £1 they spent on community activities they secured £1.87 in externally funded resources, including £147k through Big Lottery funding for STEP, £6k match funding for the youth projects and over £9k savings through their joint training programme. They have used these funds to:
• Improve residents financial well-being by supporting their residents through the impact of Welfare Reform, providing bespoke financial support, debt advice and fuel poverty advice through the in-house Welfare Advisor and external agencies such as MyBnk and Bromley-by-Bow Centre.
• Improve employment opportunities for local people through the outstanding Support To Employment Programme(STEP) STEP has seen tremendous outcomes for local residents with jobs in a variety of sectors including social housing, care and support and retail. Overall the STEP partnership supported 739 people with employability support and 134 residents into employment.
• Improve the well being of older people by helping to reduce social isolation for our Sheltered residents’, providing IT Facilities and free IT training for their older residents to get online and through our Winter Warmers project, where we referred 122 onto day centre’s and 50 residents onto befriending services. Raise health awareness by promoting a range of health initiatives in the borough and supporting a range of health awareness projects, including, the ‘Bow Health, Beauty and Leisure Project’ run in some of the sheltered schemes and funding women only fitness classes and promoting healthy walking. Some 54 activities and events were supported benefiting 2,830 local residents including activities and events that promote diversity and community cohesion such as community fun days, intergenerational events, joint Eid and Christmas Party and our Black History Month Event in October.
Overall Gateway has made a considerable social impact in their local community. The 187% return on investment is fantastic. Gateway has a genuine commitment to investing in their community. As part of this, they are establishing a Community Investment Team which will ensure that they are delivering their 5 year corporate plan – ‘Making 5000 Lives Better’, meeting their social purpose and vision of supporting local communities to thrive.