Gloucester Community Networking & The Churchdown War Time Spirit – Better Together

My name is Christopher Auker-Howlett, I live in Churchdown, I’m a British Army veteran wheelchair user, seen during Poppy Collecting in Tescos and ‘Barking Orders’ on my electric scooter on ‘Remembrance Parades’. I am a Trustee with the GL3 Community Hub and I have founded my own ‘not for profit community organisation’ called ‘GCN’ -‘Gloucester Community Networking’ (

GCN’s aim is to build and strengthen Networks between ‘those in need’ and those ‘who might be able to ‘support these need’s.

Our main projects: ‘WORS’ – War Outreach in Schools (WW1 & WW2 Living History), ‘FA4A’ – First Aid 4 All and ‘GIVS’- Gloucestershire Integrated Veterans Strategy.

Covid-19 Lockdown cancelled most of projects, however, GCN volunteers focused on local needs, trying to raise ‘Churchdown’s War Time Spirt’ while combating the COVID-19 Enemy. We would like to give additional thanks to GCN and other local volunteers who have supported the following events:

24th March: GCN distributed ‘Mother’s Day Flowers’ from ‘Churchdown Tescos’ (not bought due to Covid-19 lockdown) to the staff of Badhams Chemist, the GP Surgery and Isolated people.

April: Churchdown ‘Helping Hands Community Crafter’s came to our aid with the GCN appeal for Covid-19 ‘Mask Extenders’ and ‘Uniform Bags’ for a Nursing Home and Gloucester Hospital A&E Dept.

8th May: 75th VE Day GCN Volunteers use our limited Bunting and Recycled Poppy Wreaths (from 2019 Reembrace service) to try and celebrate around Churchdown and with isolated veteran at Parkland.

26th June: GCN supported Gillian Clark, while she waiting to join the RAF, carried out a 500-mile sponsored walk over June, whilst helping isolated people, raising £1513 for Combat Stress (Veterans Mental Health Charity). GCN supported Gillian via BBC Radios Glos interview and an Armed Forces Day Display in Tesco’s store, highlighting Gillian’s effort and promoting mental health.

“Mental health impacts us all in differing levels; loneliness, depression, PTSD, sometimes Self Harm and Suicide” Chris Auker-Howlett. (info on Mental Health Services use GCN Facebook and website details below).

July – Aug: As a Trustee @ GL3 Community Hub, I would like to thank all those involved in the relaunch of the ‘GL3 Hub Carden Café with Simon and Amy producing great take away food incl ‘Tai dishes’ during the Lockdown at much reduced prices (Facebook: @gl3gardencafe, 07988 651871, Additionally, Trustees, staff and Mike Holder (General Manager), working so hard getting the Hub ready to start welcoming the community back whilst managing Covid-19 health regulations (Facebook: @GL3CommunityHub, 01452 715058, ).

15th August – 75th VJ Day Anniversary: Our WORS Project worked in partnership with Mary Jordan (Councillor), the ‘Helping Hands Community Crafters’ (Info on Facebook) in creating several hundred meters of ‘Red White and Blue’ bunting that has decorated Churchdown and Recycled Poppy Wreaths @ The Old Elm Inn, The Manor, Churchdown Community Centre and Parklands fence etc

Veteran’s Chris, Kris and Dec from the ‘Alabare’ Homeless Charity (01452 507123, assisted our WORS Volunteers Gary & Janet Murden, Paul Elksnis and Roy Ward to erect a 75th VJ Day display in St John’s Church grounds, “in the rain thank you to Rev’d Jacqui Hyde lol” (01452 713421 facebook:@StJohnsChurchdown) and the great art work by Chris Evans (Butterfly Garden / Dundry Nursery), aimed to both celebrate and commemorate VJ Day whilst acknowledging the loss of life in starting the nuclear era

Gloucester Community Networking is aiming to launch its FA4A Project in December 2020, teaching Community First Aid including AED – Automated External Defibrillators and Mental Health First Aid courses.

Information on GCN – Gloucester Community Networking and our Main Projects contact Chris Auker-Howlett Tel: 07535 3355804 (text) Email: Website: Facebook: @gloscomenet Twitter:@gloscomnet