Our Story

We have been working with communities across Gloucestershire for over 100 years. As we move beyond our 2023 Centenary, we continue to work with people and communities to help them shape  thriving places for local people to live and work. 

Bringing communities together

The First World War decimated rural communities across England, leaving poverty in its wake and intensifying the need for improved education, health and welfare.

In 1923, a group of socially-minded individuals from voluntary & community organisations in Gloucestershire came together to form Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC).

Back then, GRCC focused on five key areas: Health, Education, Juvenile Welfare, Rural Industries and Music. We aimed to encourage and foster village activities and to bring such activities into touch with each other and with central organisations.

Inspiring and enabling community action

In our early days, we we were involved in a diverse range of projects such as music festivals, improving care for people with disabilities and establishing Community Centres and Village Halls.

Any activities that brought “happiness or elevation to a community” were considered viable back then. GRCC as an organisation has adapted and evolved over the years, however we continue to  encourage and support communities to 'spark' and develop ideas and activities that will benefit them, now and in the future.

Empowering communities to develop and grow

It goes without saying - a lot has changed for communities since 1923. Urbanisation and the ‘smaller world’ created by the internet has made the definition of community much wider. We have embraced this change and have adapted our services to become a source of information, advice and support for communities in Gloucestershire's towns and cities, as well as villages and rural hamlets.

The involvement of multiple agencies in the issues affecting communities, and the policy decisions of central government, have also made community decisions more complex. We have developed our own expertise, capabilities and team-wide knowledge to become experts in local and national policy and infrastructure. This has enabled us to support communities better when dealing with the issues that affect their future.

Keeping people at the heart of communities

Many of the challenges faced by communities back in 1923 remain today - unemployment, poverty, housing and caring for the diverse needs of people living and working in Gloucestershires communities continue to have an impact. Additional challenges have also emerged (pre and post Covid-19) including tackling and preventing social isolation and loneliness, levelling up inequalities and supporting people with their health & wellbeing.

GRCC is still here; developing, growing and adapting our services to support individuals and communities. The core of our work remains centered around empowering people and communities in urban and rural Gloucestershire to make the best decisions for them and their future.

We are also committed to raising awareness of the amazing work that individuals, groups and organisations are doing within our communities. We currently do this via our Social Media and will be updating the 'About Us' section of our website over the coming months to include these on our website.

For more information about our current work and services, please visit our About Us page. You can also follow us on Social Media