Creative Sustainability is a values-led organisation, with Empowerment, Inclusion, Sustainability and Wellbeing at the heart of everything we do:

INCLUSION: ensuring inclusion of people with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those excluded from school and cared for young people.  

SUSTAINABILITY: encouraging personal responsibility for the natural environment, living and working more sustainably, developing knowledge and understanding of the issues.  

YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: speaking up for young people, facilitating them to become more enabled, empowered and have a confident voice in their local and global community.  

WELLBEING: inclusive and community-based activities to prevent feelings of loneliness and promote good mental and physical health.  

We provide residentials, activities, workshops, volunteering and work opportunities for marginalised people and communities across Gloucestershire, facilitating safe, supportive environments in which people develop confidence and independence, raise self-esteem and expectations, access peer to peer support, volunteering, and paid work opportunities, develop and maintain friendships and become active citizens. For many these are first steps towards improving mental and physical health and living happy and fulfilled lives.

Planning & Delivery

Our planning, delivery and evaluation is informed by a number of principles or premises –

  1. Co-production with people and communities for whom the work is focused on
  2. Asset-based and community-led community development – those who need it inform it and can access it
  3. Participants are equal stakeholders along with us and the funder, and have an equal say in what happens
  4. Place-based facilitation, not service provision
  5. Partnership working to achieve sustainability and sharing of best practice models
  6. Creative approaches, seeing opportunities for innovation rather than problems.
  7. Take risks to create change, being comfortable with doing things differently.

We are a thinking organisation, working with partners to review traditional models of planning, delivery and evaluation. Key research and development since 2020 –

  • Co-produced, Inclusive Evaluation Methodology with the Countryside Community Research Institute;
  • Peer-to-Peer user-led Mentor Support Training programme with young actionists and participants
  • Community-led place-based application, the first of its kind for the National Heritage Lottery, successfully implemented for the Cotswold Canals Connect project.
  • Area Hubs strategic development with Stroud District Council to support local volunteer action and make our communities more resilient, safe, and inclusive in the face of any emergency.

2022 Projects Overview

ACCESS BIKEan open door, youth led bike workshop for young people, reconditioning bikes and providing targeted personal development courses for disadvantaged people referred by local agencies.

AREA HUBS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – cross-sector development for the Stroud District, grass roots and organisational capacity building for emergency response and day to day resilience.

BIKE DROP – youth-led enterprise supporting zero carbon delivery, skills development and fair wage jobs for young people, supporting local businesses to enhance and increase their offer for local people.

COMMUNITY RAIL PARTNERSHIP – facilitates improved connectivity, empowerment and economic opportunity for local people through active sustainable transport, destination marketing and station activities.

COTSWOLD CANALS CONNECTED – a major regional multi-partnership and development project for which we have been managing delivery of the Activity Plan to ensure maximum benefit for people and communities.

CREATIVE CAMPING – supports disabled and non-disabled teenagers to spend the weekend together at wilderness camps encouraging self-agency, positive risk taking, cooperation, friendship, inclusion.

GOING THE EXTRA MILE (GEM) – supports individuals who have barriers to work or education and moves these people closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment
RECONNECT – brings people living with stroke, dementia, aphasia and other long-term health conditions together, through peer befriending, regular group sessions and activities in nature.

3RD SPACE – a vibrant, inclusive, safe, supported space for young people to explore their potential, volunteering and earning a living, develop and maintain friendships and become active citizens.

YOUTH CLIMATE ACTION GROUP – taking action to make a positive impact for a low carbon and resilient Gloucestershire that reduces inequities and centres the needs of people and the environment.

Our premises at Fromehall Mill, Cainscross, enjoy a canal and river based location within easy walking distance from Stroud Town and easy cycling distance from Stonehouse and Ebley along the canal. We have meeting rooms, IT suite, community kitchen, garden, bike workshop, creative and therapeutic activities space, music room.