Author Archives: Bill Badham

Big Local rep’s review of April – June 2020

First of all some breaking GOOD news! Local Trust has just approved the new Big Kirk Hallam plan. Congratulations to all the partnership and all the many residents who contributed.

These last three months of reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic have had a huge impact on our neighbourhoods and communities. We have been faced with questions and concerns we could not have even imagined and we approach the summer with many uncertainties ahead. Yet, people’s warmth and compassion, understanding and action in responding to such unprecedented need are the lasting tribute to the community’s compassion and resilience. Thank you all.

Local Trust continues to support the 150 areas through help with online networking and events and is holding Big Local Connects online from 9-11 July. Any likely Covid-19 related funding is flagged up, such as the Emerging Futures Fund. We share local issues and action to influence wider policy, stressing how Big Local succeeds through strong local relationships, responding to community need, open communication with residents, collaboration and partnership.

Priorities and achievements looking back: running things well, responding to the Covid-19 crisis and submitting and having approved the new plan starting in July.

Running things

The partnership meets monthly – online for the time being. 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.

Paul Bragman, the Local Trust plan assessor, met with the partnership online in June and was extremely impressed with Big Kirk Hallam: how things are run and what you are doing and achieving. He said to me how you are his go-to example of good governance. Paul concluded that “It is an exciting plan and I wish the Partnership every success going forward with their delivery over the next two years.”

Doing things

The partnership continues to operate effectively, reviewing partners’ quarterly reports and ensuring payment, with some adaptations and adjustments due to the changing nature of delivery during lockdown. The next round of the Community Chest has got underway. Some activity, such as the community summer events, has had to be cancelled. The Newsletter had been written and circulated on line and via social media. 500 copies have been printed. Around 150 had been delivered with the Everyone Eats charity with their packs delivered in Kirk Hallam. They have also being given out at the community shop

Big Kirk Hallam continues to support the community centre, valuing how Stay and Play, Craft and Chat and the Community shop have adapted and responded. Let’s Sing and slimming world are operating virtual meetings. The café has had to be closed for the time being.

Key priorities looking ahead

With its new two year plan approved, Big Kirk Hallam is able to approach the continuing uncertainties with clear vision, dedicated resources and firm priorities. The partnership’s strength is it knows its direction of travel and is able to adjust its course to get there, responding to the contrary climate. Citizens Advice Bureau sessions are to be kept on due to the worsening impact of poverty through the pandemic. Work with young carers will continue. Other community activity will continue to be funded but with flexibility as to when they will be able to occur, for example the Big Camp Out, the Streetgames project, Freedom’s support to vulnerable people, with telephone support, guidance and signposting where needed, concerned at the rising levels of domestic abuse. EPEC parenting course will be doing a catch up session over the summer term.

Key achievements, success factors and insights into what has worked well

Responding to community need in the Covid-19 crisis thanks to an established network which has arisen thanks to Big Local investment over the last ten years, as well as dynamic and committed people.

Thumbs up for Big Kirk Hallam’s new plan

Big Kirk Hallam’s new plan has been approved after very positive feedback from Paul Bragman, the plan assessor for Local Trust. Congratulations to all involved, to the partnership and to all residents who remain so positive about what has been achieved and clear about the priorities ahead.

Paul’s feedback is attached. In it he said:

“Big Kirk Hallam are a strong, committed and passionate Partnership that are able to discuss and work through challenges to deliver a range of community activities in their area. They have done a lot to strengthen their Governance arrangements that has helped them to be clear as a Partnership and make good decisions. It was interesting to hear that all projects are discussed by the Partnership and that monitoring reports are signed off by the Partnership and sent to the LTO and they double check against the SLA before paying.

It was great to hear that they are most proud of the community centre and some of the groups that have grown. Particularly as they talked about a lot of things closing down over the years. It was lovely to hear that the Big Local projects made the community proud of the area when lots of things were being closed and that it has also brought the community together. Their Facebook page has lots of nice comments saying how grateful residents are. It was interesting to hear that as part of developing the plan the Partnership undertook a Deep Dive review beyond their quarterly reports. It aimed to be part of building the community, by building stories that the community could also share. My recommendation is to keep doing what they are doing. It is an exciting plan and I wish the Partnership every success going forward with their delivery over the next two years.”

Kirk Hallam assessment feedback.pdf

Review of current plan approved by Local Trust

It may not sound the most exciting news, but it is vital to the partnership progressing toward the next plan: Local Trust has approved the current plan review which allows the group to now submit the new plan due to start in the summer. Sue Ansarie from Local Trust said:

“What we liked about your plan review:

· We liked that you included quotes from residents about how they benefitted from getting involved in Big Local e.g. more connected to other people, increased confidence.

· It’s great that you commissioned a community profile review to evaluate your work against the Plan. We really liked that you used surveys, focus groups and semi-structured interviews to evaluate your work.

· The website link that you added to your review helped us to see how you shared information to members of the community online.”

Plan review feedback-Kirk Hallam- May 2020.pdf

Big KH newsletter April 2020

Here is our latest newsletter – our 17th and one that comes to you in uncertain and troubling times, but times that also show the strength and resilience, love and care that are at the heart of our community of Kirk Hallam.

This newsletter comes with our thanks and our best wishes to you all. It included a summary of the community review we did last year and it includes the headlines for you of the new plan we are putting together and which should be launched in July.

LowResBKHNewsletterApril2020.pdf

BL rep’s quarterly report, January – March 2020

During these most challenging of times, I wish you and your families and neighbours safekeeping and good health and positive spirits. I am mightily impressed with local action and support including through the Big Kirk Hallam partnership and community centre. Some good news is that Big Local has guaranteed a further £50,000 to each area, bringing the total to £1,155,000 over the whole programme.

Every three months, as your Big Local Rep 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.

Some useful Big Local resources have been developed in partnership with local areas:

· Developing Potential shows how residents can gain from regeneration and development, rather than lose out to it.

· Community hub handbook is a full and practical guide to the tough task of developing and sustaining such a resident resource for the long term.

· And during the Covid-19 pandemic, some useful guidance on volunteers and safeguarding has been produced by government.

Priorities and achievements looking back: running things well, reviewing the current plan and building the new plan to start in June.

Running things

The partnership continues to meet monthly (now moving to online / email. 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. Partner quarterly reports were considered and all approved by the sub-committee in January and February. The deep dive review and summary are also on the website and the summary was added into the newsletter.

Doing things

The plan is on track across all themes and priorities and new initiatives such as that with Street Games are being explored. The winter round of Community Chest took place successfully in February. Alex Harris is now the communications lead on the partnership and has written a powerful piece about the impact for residents of the Citizens Advice Bureau weekly surgery, including increasing the income for one household by over £11,000 a year.

Key priorities looking ahead

In January, the partnership started building the new plan by first reviewing progress and resident priorities, drawing on the profile review done by Guidemark Publishing. In February and March, early drafts were developed and shared before Covid-19 stopped the partnership meeting face to face. Final elements of community consultation will take place remotely.

Key achievements, success factors and insights into what has worked well

The partnership has worked well during these three months and held its March meeting before lockdown. It then moved to use email and phone for decision making and this seems to be working well. Fortunately the partnership was able to conduct its review of the current plan and draft the new one while all in the same room. Finalising both will be easier remotely.

Benefits locally of support available from Local Trust

Partnership members value contact and input from the wider programme, most receiving the national newsletter. The information arising from the Covid-19 has been well received, timely, informative and reassuring. The messaging around the £50k was confused by some as a Covid-19 response but that was quickly redressed. The Street Games programme is set to happen and now will be delayed to the new plan in July.

Rep’s report for October – December 2019

October – December 2019

Every three months, as your Big Local Rep 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 Local is half way through. An excellent report charting challenges and achievements is well worth a scan. There are also loads of small film clips from residents about the impact you are making. A more catchy way of capturing the Big Local magic is to listen in to these lyrics written at Big Local Connects 2019. Locally and nationally, to quote Local Trust CEO, “We are telling out story more proudly and it seems to be having an effect.”

Priorities and achievements looking back: running things well and building the partnership, the AGM, community engagement and celebration

Running things

The Big Thank You celebration awards and AGM in November were very well received by residents. 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. Partner quarterly reports were considered and approved by the sub-committee in November. The partnership review was submitted and commended in October. The young people’s forum (#BigKHYP Team) has met and is exploring its role and contribution to the running of Big Kirk Hallam. The deep dive review into resident views about the area and about Big Kirk Hallam is complete and the headlines are a ringing endorsement of the partnership’s focus, funding priorities and ways of working.

Doing things

The plan is on track across all themes and priorities and new initiatives such as that with Street Games are being explored. The autumn round of Community Chest took place successfully in October. This year’s Christmas event was very well attended, organised by the Big Kirk Hallam Community Centre, with crafts and stalls, Santa’s grotto and choir.

Key priorities looking ahead

In January, the partnership starts building the new plan by first reviewing progress and resident priorities, drawing on the profile review done by Guidemark Publishing. In February and March, early drafts and further community consultation will take place to affirm priorities and principle activities.

Key achievements

The partnership has worked hard this last year to reflect on progress and to build on its strengths. New members have joined bringing fresh ideas and knowledge. The young people’s forum is now in place. More partnership members are taking an active part in sub groups such as for monitoring partner reports and taking on specific tasks such as reviewing the finances and communications. The Local Trusted Organisation lead, Mark Watts’s praise is well deserved. He highlighted the progress in the partnership over the last year. “I commend you all”, he said, highlighting improvements in running things including the quality of the quarterly reports, the efficient reviewing of the plan, engagement with stakeholders, tightening procedures for the sub groups including resolving conflict of interests and budget management.

Rep’s report July – September 2019

I have noticed gaps in my quarterly report posts and so I am plugging them!

July – September 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 is helping to make the area an even better place to live by its community leadership, its funded vision and its collaboration with residents and partners organisations. Over the summer, at the end of its first year of its third plan, the partnership took stock of progress. First, it reviewed the plan and found most activities were running well and having a wider impact. Second, from the independent feedback gained from residents it heard there was a great deal of satisfaction and praise for the range and quality of activities supported by Big Kirk Hallam. Third, reviewing how the partnership is working, it found many positives linked to the drive and passion of resident members, the quality and diligence of the plan co-ordinator and the effective delivery of many of its partners. The partnership is concerned to strengthen its ways of working especially with the community centre and has agreed an action plan to help with this.

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. 19 quarterly reports were considered and approved by the sub-committee on 19 July.

The chair and vice chair both took part in the Big Local Connects event in Nottingham, sharing expertise and experience and learning from other Big Local areas.

Doing things

The partnership funded a number of community activities over the summer, including Lakes and Meadows, the church garden party and an event at the community centre. Service Level Agreements have been put in place for holiday provision and support to young carers and are being developed relating to combating isolation and raising awareness and tackling debt. A further round of the community chest was held and local groups and projects funded. Combating isolation is being led by Erewash Borough Council, having received £30,000 to cover 25 hours a week over an 18 month period. This is a good example of how Big Kirk Hallam has brought in additional funding and resource to the area through partnership working.

Looking ahead

The partnership is planning the annual celebration awards and AGM in November and the Big Kirk Hallam Christmas event in December. Both have become local institutions, generating much energy and community spirit. At the AGM, the partnership loses two of its resident members, Sylvie Humphreys and Matt Betesta. Both have been and will continue to be shining examples of community and youth leadership.

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.

Reps’ report January – March 2019

I’ve just spotted some gaps in my quarterly report posts, so I am plugging them for the record!

January – March 2019

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

Big Kirk Hallam is running well. It has been tightening some of its ways of working, supported by the Local Trusted Organisation. This includes improved ways of tracking progress, called Plan Scrutiny, clearer agreements on how subgroups work, managing relations with the community centre and on financial tracking and reporting. These may not sound very exciting things, but they are very important aspects of governance to ensure transparency and accountability for all investment to help make Kirk Hallam an even better place to live.

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 partnership is also currently exploring a mid-programme deeper dive resident conversation to refresh the background profile that underpins the vision, priorities and activities of each plan.

Doing things

The Community Centre goes from strength to strength, with the recent relaunch of the café by new café manager, Jade Lockley, looking like a very positive move. Some groups such as the Warm Welcome Club, TLC and Knit and Natter and Monkey Trouble Playgroup are building their capacity to run themselves through volunteer members which is also good news in looking to their longer term sustainability.

The areas of concern within the ambitions of the plan link to lack of delivery capacity in the area, linked to prolonged cuts in children and family and youth work services. But the plan co-ordinator, Jsan Shepherd, is still researching and scoping ways the partnership can support responses to concerns about domestic violence, debt, the pressures on young carers and supporting young people at risk and in difficulty.

Looking ahead

The partnership hopes that the coming months will see young people involved in decision making about a programme of summer holiday activities and that some young people will also be part of a forum to help influence the wider running of Big Kirk Hallam. It also looks like the Dallimore Garden Project and the Get Growing Community Garden involving the schools will get underway.

As the first year of this third two year plan is completed this June, there is much to celebrate in bringing the community together and extending the opportunities for them to have things to do and places to go. Challenges ahead include the community centre building its self-sustainability and Big Kirk Hallam finding willing partners with relevant expertise to respond to some of the complex and challenging person issues some residents face.

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.