As your Big Local Rep every three months or so, I share my thoughts on local area progress with you as residents and with the central team managing the national programme. Your comments and thoughts are always welcome.
Big Kirk Hallam progresses well. The partnership continues to meet monthly and partner agreements, reports on activities, minutes of meetings and stories of action and change are posted on the website. These are supplemented by quarterly newsletters and the excellent annual report. The activity monitoring sub group met in May and approved all partner reports.
The partnership has started a thorough review to help set direction for the next four years. In June, the group used a traffic light system to plot progress of all funded activities and related challenges set out in the last plan against background statistics. The majority are green, with some on amber as they develop and a very few stuck on red for the time being. In the autumn Jane Bettany will lead a resident conversation to refresh the background profile that underpins the vision, priorities and activities of each plan.
In April, three members of Local Trust team visited, Matt Leach, Chief Executive of Local Trust, Georgie Burr and Fiona Cowley. Matt emailed the chair to say:
“It was really inspiring to see quite how many people were using the Community Centre and the extent to which Big Local funding has enabled it to become such a great resource for the whole community. It was also great to get such a sense of the strength of your local partnerships and the incredible level of energy and activity you are helping to happen across your area.”
And at the same time, a heart-warming email was received from a resident. “I’m proud of how Big Kirk Hallam has created somewhere that families feel welcome to go and do things with their children that’s readily available and affordable.”
Two notable developments are strengthening the delivery of a range of activities for residents. First, a number of the groups are becoming more and more self-running, gaining in confidence in managing their own activities and offering valued opportunities and support to residents. Second, there is good news on responding to some key areas of need that have been especially hard to progress for lack of local capacity and prolonged cuts to services supporting children, young people and their families. A new agreement is in place to support young carers across the two primary schools and the academy. A range of holiday activities are now in place through a partnership with Erewash Borough Council. The Freedom programme is being brought to Kirk Hallam to help challenge domestic abuse. In addition a partnership with Erewash Borough Council may lever in public health funding for work to combat isolation.
The partnership funds a number of community activities over the summer, including Lakes and Meadows, the church garden party and an event at the community centre. Looking to the autumn, the partnership remains very keen to support a young people’s forum feeding into the main partnership governance structure. In the autumn, the community conversation will develop to review and refresh Big Kirk Hallam’s vision and priorities leading into the next plan in June 2020.