Author Archives: Bill Badham

Big Local Rep’s quarterly report April to June 2019

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.

Looking back

Running things

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.”

Doing things

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.

Looking ahead

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.

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Endorsement for Big Kirk Hallam from residents and Local Trust

On Friday 26 April, the Big Kirk Hallam partnership welcomed and met with Matt Leach, Chief Executive of Local Trust which is the managing agent for Big Local. Also with him were Georgie Burr and Fiona Cowley from the central team, all three taking the opportunity to see first-hand how residents are leading local change.

Matt, Georgie and Fiona met with residents using the café and taking part in various activities, enjoying an excellent lunch themselves. They met with partnership members and took a quick tour of the area. Afterwards, Matt contacted Tracy Thorp, our chair.

Reflections from Matt Leach

“Massive thanks to you, Amanda, Mark, Christine, Jsan and all the rest of your team for such a warm welcome to Kirk Hallam last Friday, the excellent lunch from your fantastic café and the opportunity to learn so much about what you’ve all achieved.

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 then Matt added a nudge to Tracy:

“It was great to see you booking places to attend Big Local Connects in September. I’ll get back to you closer to the date to check whether you are up for joining me on stage to welcome people the East Midlands at the start of the event!”

Thanks from one resident

After their visit, we also got a wonderful email from one resident who wanted to add her own special thanks to Big Kirk Hallam.

“I didn’t get round to saying that 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. My son looks forward to stay and play and cinema club every school holidays and my eldest son (14) practically lived on the skate park last summer! Without these things being available on our doorstep it would cost me an arm and a leg to access them separately elsewhere. So I’m very grateful.

I always try to entice friends to come along to whatever we attend, because I feel if there’s a need and a want for it then hopefully, it will continue in the longer term.

Thank you all for the hard work and dedication to the community.”

Last thoughts from Georgie Burr

“I just wanted to drop a note to say thank you so much for hosting us on Friday, for your time (especially Tracy and Amanda on your last day of your holiday) and really tasty lunch! Hearing about the number of activities provided – and connections being made through these – was really inspiring.

I was regaling stories of all the activities being run by the volunteers to my family and my Mum remarked that she didn’t reckon she could run her community lunch every week at 84 – so impressive.”

Big Local Rep’s review for Autumn 2018

October – December 2018

As your Big Local Rep, every three months 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.

Looking back

Running things

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. Service Level Agreements for funded activity have been updated and are shared on line. As the Local Rep, I recently shared a blog on what happens when the money runs out.

The partnership undertook its annual review in the autumn and is really pleased at the developing relationship with the Academy, run by NOVA. Mark Watts, the headteacher, is an active member of the partnership and is bringing valued support and scrutiny to how things are run and how the Local Trusted Organisation manages its responsibilities.

The Annual report was published in time for the AGM and distributed to every household and is jam packed with news and information on action and change across Kirk Hallam. In the coming months, Amanda Speake and Mark Watts will lead on developing a young people’s forum linked to Big Kirk Hallam, building on years of active involvement, written up in a recent blog.

Doing things

Big Kirk Hallam held its AGM and Big Thank you in October. It was a massive success for the residents taking part and for the partnership in organising it. Capacity was helped by having the Christmas celebration separately – again a huge triumph.

The autumn round of community chest saw grants given to the craft group, monkey trouble playgroup, Dallimore School for transport to universities, the poppy display and Ladywood Duke of Edinburgh Scheme. Funding was also available for putting on the Christmas lunch once again but sadly it wasn’t possible to muster the numbers to take part this year. The partnership was pleased to approve funding to Lakes and Meadows for replacing a bench in memory of Hazel Cooper.

The Community Centre gets ever busier and the focus for the coming six months is to seek and secure further funding to strengthen its longer term sustainability. The café has being building reputation and trade, but there is a lull while recruiting a new manager. Thanks also to Debra Ward who is leaving the Warm Welcome Club after many years and to Tony Robinson as caretaker of the centre.

Looking ahead

The partnership is looking forward to the coming quarter, with many activities lined up across the outcome priorities of the existing plan, things to do and places to go, access and environment, quality of life and education and training.

What’s changed and how do we know it?

The resident-led partnership is always keen to know what change has happened thanks to Big Kirk Hallam’s help, through investment, support and volunteering.

The fantastic annual reports bring together a glittering array of stories of resident-led action and community change and you can find other stories on this website and in the regular newsletters.

Back in October 2015, three Big Local areas explored how we know what’s going on and how we know what difference we’ve made. These ideas and methods have guided us over the years, seeking to capture the difference that specific activities and projects have made as well as the more general sense of how things are changing for the better and why we feel Kirk Hallam is an even better place to live. Here is the report.

BLeval-session- reportOct15.docx

More resources are available for free here: http://localtrust.org.uk/library/how-to-guides/how-to-check-your-progress/

Young people and Big Kirk Hallam – from strength to strength

Here is a short story we have recently put together, tracking just some of the inspirational ways children and young people have been involved with Big Kirk Hallam since it started in December 2012.

Being there at the start

Young people have been involved from the very start of Big Kirk Hallam and throughout its progress since. They have been a vital force, representing wider community needs and those of their peers. They have been community activists, campaigners, journalists and ambassadors for their community as well for Big Kirk Hallam.

Energising community consultation

Young people contributed to the initial scoping of community priorities, including on tough and often hidden issues about responding to drugs and alcohol and to vandalism. Dallimore students shared their views in the same week that Big Local was launched in Kirk Hallam. So did students from Ladywood. They did this through small focus groups, art work, photographs and picture books and recorded thoughts on video; they undertook, designed, distributed, collated and shared findings of a survey to 1200 students. The young people from the academy linked with and supported students from the two primary schools in sharing the things they liked and those they wanted to see improved in Kirk Hallam. In 2016, when reviewing progress, many young people took part in a survey to help build the new plan.

Making sense of the background profile

Young people from the academy took on the challenge of interpreting the long and detailed community profile and created a range of visual resources that are still around in Kirk Hallam to share with residents more easily the key findings and messages that underpinned the plan.

Taking part in the action

Young people soon moved from contributing and sharing ideas to taking in projects and getting involved in the action. By May 2013, two young people joined the first community chest panel and worked for many months with adult residents in agreeing grants to local groups from start-up moneys available before the first plan was launched. Young people and adults had longed championed the call for a skatepark in Kirk Hallam and as this pressure grew, one young person, Matt Betesta, took the initiative to galvanise opinion and share designs and watch over its construction. More recently, Sylvie Humphreys campaigned for and gained a reading shed for Ladywood primary school, an initiative now modelled also at Dallimore school.

Gaining from the activities

Some of the best ambassadors for Big Kirk Hallam have been the young, especially those from the two primary schools, in large part because they have lived the benefits of a whole range of activities, projects, trips and resources. Some, such as the skatepark and youth club, arose from much inter-generational collaboration and lobbying. And though the youth club struggled in its latter stages, the early success included regular attendance of about 70 young people. The passport, campout and Fishy Friday school meals are just some of the myriad of activities supported through Big Kirk Hallam.

Sharing the story

Young people from the Academy have had significant involvement in sharing the news of Big Local in Kirk Hallam and further afield right from the start. A dedicated group became part of the communications hub, contributing stories to newsletters and the website and sharing through social media. Young people also took part in national Big Local events, taking the one in Nottingham by storm and contributing to one in Birmingham on young people’s involvement in Big Local. They featured in national Big Local newsletters and case studies. More recently, in October 2017, Big Kirk Hallam was represented by two young people at the Big Local national event held in Allenton, Derby. Sylvie Humphreys and Matt Betesta spoke of their involvement in Big Kirk Hallam and Sylvie took part in the reporting and creating of a newsletter for all participants on the day itself.

Helping run things

From the earliest days, young residents of Big Kirk Hallam have not only helped build the community conversation and taken part in a wide range of activities and projects. Some have also wanted to get involved in running Big Kirk Hallam itself. In recognition of this, Big Kirk Hallam’s partnership constitution of May 2014 ensured two reserved places for those 12 – 17. Matt Betesta has been on the partnership since 2016 and Sylvie Humphreys joined in early 2017, once she was 12 years old. They are full partnership members, with equal responsibilities and voting rights. Matt Betesta has been Co-vice-chair since 2017. Looking ahead, the partnership and the three local schools are working together to scope a model for a young people’s forum to share their views on what should be happening and how things should be run.

Looking forward to the end of Big Local

Big Local is about half way through its life with some wonderful and powerful stories to tell of resident led action and change.

All investment within Big Local areas and the activities being funded must be completed by 31 March 2026. Any remaining money will be returned to the National Lottery. No funding can be put aside for activity or organisational support beyond March 2026. (Additional money that local areas raise through or on the back of Big Local can be used without conditions from Local Trust.) It’s possible and perfectly legitimate for your Big Local area to finish funded activity before March 2026 and such areas will have the continuing opportunity to remain part of the Big Local community and take part in learning and research activity.

You can read more about this in the article online here or in the attached PDF.

http://localtrust.org.uk/library/blogs/spending-out-getting-the-most-out-of-big-local-now-and-in-future?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=AB%20test%20-%20section%20headers&utm_content=AB%20test%20-%20section%20headers+Version+A+CID_6c8284f7305eda8eb875c0de18680cba&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Read%20the%20blog

Bill Badham

Big Local Rep

Local Trust – Spending Out.pdf

Big Local Rep quarterly review July – September 2018

As your Big Local Rep, every three months 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.

Looking back

Recent activity and successes for Big Kirk Hallam are overshadowed by the death of partnership member and friend to many, Dave Addis. Our thoughts are with the family over these difficult coming weeks.

Running things

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. The latest newsletter was published in July and circulated to ever household.

With the Academy now being run by NOVA, the Local Trusted Organisation responsibilities have been transferred across to them as Big Kirk Hallam’s accountable body. The new headteacher, Mark Watts and the Executive Head Teacher, Chris James, have both been very supportive of the arrangement and how it can benefit Big Kirk Hallam, the Academy and the community, stressing they recognised the importance of community and engagement with the community.

As the Local Rep, I have recently shared a blog on how Big Local is managed and run to ensure resident led action and sound governance and transparent accountability.

Doing things

The summer was very busy and highly successful. Between 50 and 80 children took part each week for the five weeks of Stay and Play, accompanied by at least one parent or carer. Parents took increased responsibility for helping run the sessions. Each family took away Fare Share snacks and lunch bags. Baking and cooking were very popular. Thanks to growing interest and support from various sources, this success led onto Free Food Friday, with 751 bundles of food and household items given out. And a third activity, a children’s cinema, attracted 16 – 34 each week and again included free snacks and food. The partnership remains committed to these successful approaches to help combat poverty and isolation but is outspoken in its concern at the underlying causes of such need in the community.

Another successful round of the community chest led to awards to Big Kirk Hallam Community Centre, Warm Welcome Club, Ladywood Primary School, Friends of Lake and Meadows, 21st Ilkeston Scouts and to 1st Kirk Hallam Brownies.

The Community Centre is seeing new bookings, including from Insight Mental Health and Aspire Wrestling (very popular!) and increased usage from established groups like the café and Knit and Natter. The community garden has proved a popular project. New members have joined the committee and a revised constitution developed.

Looking ahead

Big Kirk Hallam is holding its AGM and Big Thank you in October. The Christmas celebration will happen as a separate event. And residents are once again committed to ensure a Christmas lunch is put on for those in Kirk Hallam who are lonely and isolated and are applying to the community chest for funding.