Connect Community Trust
Facts & Figures
Established in September 2003 the organisation evolved through the drive of the local housing provider and the need to focus on regeneration and service development for the community as a whole. Connect is a catalyst and key partner for activities that address a wide range of local people’s needs including training, education, social needs, financial literacy, health, wellbeing and employment. Activities include a walking club, elderly lunch club, dance, ICT courses, various social and community events/evenings, advice and support, youth drop-in, youth holiday programmes, music/recording studio, family excursions, family support, a wide variety of volunteering opportunities and confidence building initiatives. Over the past 4 years, the Peoples Gateway project has been highly successful and supported over 600 people into work and to gain qualifications through job search, positive psychology and training courses.
Company Limited by guarantee with Charitable Status
Currently 1 of the 5 facilities that are operated by the Trust is under a long leasehold from Glasgow City Council. A feasibility study and business plan are currently being constructed with a Community Asset Transfer application being submitted so that full ownership is under the Trust.
Value of assets
Roots & Links
Established in 2003, Connect has evolved from working within 1 neighbourhood of Greater Easterhouse (Wellhouse) to working with housing associations and residents throughout the area of Greater Easterhouse and the East End of Glasgow due to demand for services and support.
Connect now operates 4 community facilities within the Greater Eastherhouse area (the hub, the connie, hubSports & Innerzone), ReConnect Glasgow a furniture reuse and recycling warehouse and showroom within the East End, allotments and various outreach youth and employability support services.
The Board of Directors consists of 13 locally elected people and 2 professional business people in the area. The Trust has a vision for a dynamic and sustainable area that strengthens an inclusive and growing economy, by the creation of successful social enterprises, sustainable activities and support mechanisms – responding to the needs of the community as a whole.
Over 15 organisations deliver services through the facilities operated by Connect. Connect also works closely with RSLs throughout the East End to support tenants. The Trust has made considerable impact on the area by working in partnership with a variety of organisations, in particular, the Wellhouse & Provanhall Housing Associations, Glasgow Kelvin College, the Youth Network, GCC Social Work, Job Centre/DWP, Police, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Empowering Communities Co-op.
Connect is involved in a wide range of community regeneration and support activities and through links with Community Planning Partnership, Voluntary Sector Networks and Employability Forums throughout the city. Connect is part of Glasgow Empowering Communities which involves various DTA Scotland members that deliver throughout Glasgow without losing their community focus. Connect is a member of DTA Scotland and a committed supporter of Local People Leading.
THE HUB is a community education and employment facility that incorporates a community café, childcare facility, housing offices, healthy living initiatives, knitting groups, additional needs social activities, IT learning centre, library, employment and training courses and job clubs, social events, activities for the elderly, support and advisory services, volunteer opportunities, an eco garden and a free cash machine. INNERZONE is based a short walk from The Hub and caters for children and young people aged between 8 and 21. It’s a relaxed, friendly space offering a pool room, a computer suite and a music studio with instruments and recording equipment. hubSPORTS is a large sports hall and external 7-aside astro pitch. The facility is well used by local clubs, private hires and the youth services in the area.
The CONNIE is a regeneration facility within a another neighbourhood of Greater Easterhouse. Consisting of youth services, job clubs, lunch clubs, MUGA pitch, community café and social nights, the Connie provides services for all ages and needs in the area. ReCONNECT GLASGOW is the furniture reuse and recycling operations of the Trust and provides a wide range of employment and training opportunities whilst supporting a Zero Waste Scotland mission to divert bulk household items from landfill through the upcycling and reuse of all household items.
Wellhouse ALLOTMENTS provides a base for local people with disabilities and young people to grow their own veg and fruit but in addition it is providing local people with disabilities the opportunity to build their own garden furniture and provides a sustainable route for the ongoing development of the project.
Builds Local Capacity
Connect provides a wide variety of volunteering, training opportunities and confidence building initiatives for local people. The Trust has a particular emphasis on encouraging young people to broaden their horizons and for adults to embrace a positive attitude and learn skills to help themselves amd become more self-reliant. The IT suite provides informal learning opportunities for residents throughout the area.
Connect is a catalyst and key partner for activities that address a wide range of local people’s needs including training, education, social needs, financial literacy, health, wellbeing and employment. Activities include a walking club, elderly lunch club, dance, ICT courses, various social and community events/evenings, advice and support, youth drop-in, youth holiday programmes, music/recording studio, family excursions, family support, a wide variety of volunteering opportunities and confidence building initiatives. Over the past 4 years, the Peoples Gateway project has been highly successful and supported over 600 people into work and to gain qualifications through jobsearch, positive psychology and training courses.
Through working in partnership with other local organisations Connect is able to also provide: Credit Union; alternative therapies; housing support, health advice, cookery classes and much more.
The Hub building is owned by the Housing Association and managed by Connect. Innerzone has been developed in the old Housing Association offices with a lease in place with the Housing Association. hubSports is currently owned by Glasgow City Council with £200 rent per year but is treated as an asset within the Balance Sheet as a long leasehold. CCT is investigating asset transfer at the moment. The Connie is owned by Glasgow City Council with a £2000 per year rent.
Over the years the Trust has supported over 10,000 individuals to take positive steps in their lives whether this be helping a child with homework, an adult gaining employment, a person with disabilities not feeling isolated anymore, an elderly resident becoming more active and improving their health – the stories and achievements are wide and varied but most of all needs are continuing to be met in a diverse and creative way. In addition, Connect prides itself on listening to the voices of the communities and supporting local people to make the necessary changes, choices and/or actions to their lives or within the community they live.
Financial sustainability continues to be the main challenge. Connect has set-up a trading subsidiary (Connect-IN Enterprises) and continues to develop the services to increase income for reinvestment into the community.
Without the majority of the community believing, supporting and involving themselves in the day-to-day work of the Trust none of the achievements to date would be possible. Success can only be achieved if the local community continues to embrace the services and activities, but most of all, take ownership of them. Connect will continue to ensure that the community is at the heart and forefront of all developments.
The Trust is investigating ways in which it can become more financially self-supporting, eg. by delivering contracts for other organisations. Connect-IN Enterprises is one way of doing so. Within the Trust, employability services delivered through the Peoples Gateway project is continuing to source DWP and GCC funding to become mainstreamed, but is starting to look at sub contracting arrangements with national companies who have won larger tenders.
The Glasgow Empowering Communities Co-operative is also key to the ongoing aspirations of the Trust so that it doesn’t lose its community focus but is able to bid for larger Glasgow-wide contracts with other DTA Scotland members.
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