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Our History

Gatis Gardeners Timeline

December 2013

Volunteer group formed to support council staff

February 2014

Group becomes constituted with a small management committee and bank account is set up.

September 2014

Council announces site is being shut down. Maria went to Eden Project as a part of the Big Lunch Extras project and is inspired. The volunteer decided to try and save the site

December 2014

Our team submitted ideas to the council to save the site.

March 2015

Trustees have ongoing discussions with the council and start formulating a business plan and look at the legal business structure.

May 2015

Group take out insurance and take over the site on a licence to occupy – activities begin and small funding pots are secured.

October 2015

Funding from both Awards for All and Esmee Fairbairn foundation totalling 55000 over two years. The volunteer group becomes a CIC with Acts of Random Caring Community Interest Company ARCCIC on the 4th October.


October 2015

Become a Limited company by guarantee.

November 2015

Accepted as a Creative Black Country Groundworks Arts Group. We are nominated for a Social Enterprise West Midlands award and are runners-up in the SE Planet category and were shortlisted in three categories.

February 2016

We secure funding from Tesco Groundworks to develop a community garden on site.

June 2016

Building work commences making the changes to the building to allow a Terrific for Twos nursery to run from the site.

August 2015

We receive a visit from the leader of the Green Party - Natalie Bennet, and feature in the local press and are mentioned by her on national radio.

October 2015

We receive a Highly Commended Award from Grow Wild for our community project. The Lantern Parade is a great success with a good turnout. Gatis is represented at Milton Keynes Share Fare (ABLE/Eden trial).

March 2017

We are announced as finalists in this year ITV Peoples project and filming takes place on site and we launch a media campaign featuring We Love Gatis short videos made featuring regular users of the site.

June 2017

We are Successful in securing ESF Community Funding bid.

October 2017

We host a public workshop at Boundary Way. Lantern parade is held despite storm. We are awarded two years funding from Power To Change.

December 2017

We become a partner in Wolverhampton For Everyone (participatory cities) collaboration.

January 2018

S4S Stitched up – sustainable fashion project starts at Uni and discussions are held to have Gatis as a partner organisation.

February 2018

Esmee Fairbairn agrees to the continuation of funding for a further two years. Café is redecorated and revamped. RJFP weekly surplus market starts.

March 2018

Wrong sides together sustainable fashion project is started. We take our lantern workshop to The Hub at Ashmore Park and discussions are started to take the lantern parade city wide. We host first participatory city partnership event – Bringing the Big Lunch to you in conjunction with Eden Communities.

August 2018

The centre has doubled its visitor figures in the last six months and many small projects are now running successfully.