Category Archives: Community conversations

Community Consultation 2019

Here is the full version of our profile review which was undertaken by Jane Bettany in 2019

Full profile review 2019

and here is our 4 page summary

Profile Review Summary

Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute – we are really pleased with the positive comments and glad that s many of you think that the funding is making a lasting difference

Our plan review and draft for 2018-20

The partnership reviewed progress on our current plan and shared a draft of the next plan at the community meeting on Saturday 24 March. Your comments on the attached are welcome. We are hoping to sign off the final plan and submit it to Local Trust by mid-May.

There were some really helpful reflections from residents and partners last Saturday. Here are ten points to guide us going forward. Thank you to everyone who has supported Big Kirk Hallam and helped us as a partnership.

Ten things arising from the community conversation on 24 March 2018, reviewing the draft plan.

1. Much of what we support is inter-generational, with children and older residents mutually benefitting. Friday lunches, the Warm Welcome Club, the Big Thank You are all examples.

2. We look to remain true to the original community desire to want to be part of the action in helping make Kirk Hallam an even better place to live. Environmental action and developments at the community centre are good examples.

3. Supporting vulnerable groups arose as a priority in the earliest community conversations and has been retained throughout, including exploring new initiatives to combat isolation, domestic violence and debt.

4. A key theme in the new plan is building activity and capacity through the community centre. As vice-chair Amanda Speak said, “We were sleeping on sofas and now we have our own home.” Backing this legacy for a sustainable future is central to this plan.

5. The reach and number of community events has grown, including those set up and run through Big Kirk Hallam.

6. While investing and backing our big legacy partnership with the community centre, we also want to remain flexible and accessible to immediate and smaller scale community projects through the community chest.

7. Some things may happen quite easily but other things, like stay and play and responding to holiday hunger, have taken a lot of dedication, time and energy from a few committed people.

8. Community connection and engagement remain vital. Our first hopes had been to have a link with at least 500 residents. With the range of projects, the school partnerships and the community centre, the number of residents linked to Big Kirk Hallam is far higher than this and growing.

9. There is less activity and spend in this plan on themes 2 and 4 – access and the environment and education and training. Many activities relate to these. The partnership will take a further look at what may be needed under these two themes going forward.

10. Communicating what Big Kirk Hallam is about and what has been achieved with residents and partners is central. Newsletters through the door make sure everyone can know what’s happening and take part as they wish. Social media reaches large numbers and the website remains vital for our accountability to our neighbours and the wider public.

Looking forward the partnership has taken the following broad approach during this middle phase of the ten year Big Local programme:

· Retain the overarching vision as relevant to Big Kirk Hallam residents.

· Keep the four main themes or pillars in the existing plan.

· Look to reduce the number of activities to improve focus in the new plan.

· Build on the legacy investment in the Big Kirk Hallam Community Centre through funding activities taking place there and through underpinning its core functions by contributing to staffing costs.

· Support a wider range of community events, reducing the funding of two well-established events. Underpin the costs of events run through Big Kirk Hallam.

· Continue with the community chest, but remove the dedicated schools strand so that children and young people and parents can reconnect more with that sense of ownership that comes from applying directly themselves.

· Look to support young people in Kirk Hallam through dedicated and targeted mentoring and support, moving away from the generic youth club that has proved very hard to manage.

· Overall this approach means a likely increase in annual spend for year 5 and year 6, nearer £170,000 each year, with infrastructure support costs to the community centre providing the single biggest legacy project for Big Kirk Hallam.


Big Kirk Hallam takes part in community engagement research

Big Kirk Hallam is one of 150 areas in England which is part of the Big Local programme, supporting residents in control. As a partnership we gain a lot from other areas and want to share our own journey for others to gain from.

Local Trust asked NCVO to look into community engagement within Big Local areas – what makes it work, what are the challenges and what are the practical ways to overcome these. Big Kirk Hallam took part in the research and was pleased to share our experiences, our hopes and successes, our challenges and frustrations.

The Big Kirk Hallam case study is here along with others:


There is also the overall report and blog here:



“To reach everyone, you have to have a printed newsletter through every door about four times a year even if some don’t get read. To be accountable to residents you need face-to-face opportunities through being seen at others’ events and running your own. To share and discuss plans, you need to work with interested groups and bring the findings to a larger event. To keep a record, you need to see the web as both a live communications tool and an archive.”

Kirk Hallam engagement case study (Final .pdf

Community engagement at the heart of Big Kirk Hallam

Recently, Deb James from NCVO has been looking at Big Kirk Hallam’s approach to community engagement on behalf of the national Big Local programme.

She then asked the partnership what had influenced the approach to engagement it had taken since the start in early 2013. The partnership talked about this at its April meeting and its response is below. We hope this matches with how residents and partners see how Big Kirk Hallam has worked.

It’s what we’ve always done.

The group recalled the very first meeting the Big Local rep facilitated in January 2013. At the meeting a number of the current partnership were present and remember the exploration of the different ways community members could be involved, with Bill brandishing a bike wheel and suggesting the rim of wider community interest, the spokes of people taking the strain of the action and the small hub connecting these to moving forward. This picture has remained with the partnership, seeking to ensure (rim) large numbers know of and feel connected to Big Kirk Hallam through newsletters, website, events etc, drawing on the (spokes) strengths, skills and commitment of those leading on the action by building vibrant partnerships and clear agreements on who is doing what and to what purpose and retaining a committed and connected (hub) partnership with the majority of residents retaining the vision and giving direction.

What else could we do!

As a group of residents, connected and involved in Kirk Hallam, the partnership feels it was the only way to go. Looking back members simply said “what else could we do?” Thus arose in the partnership a combination of methods. To reach everyone, you have to have a printed newsletter through every door about 4 times a year even if some don’t get read. To be accountable to residents you need face to face opportunities through being seen at others’ events and running your own. To share and discuss plans, you need to work with interested groups and bring the findings to a larger event. To keep a record, you need to see the web as both a live communications tool and an archive. As the chair said, “It’s all there from the very start.”

We had to make a difference from the very start.

For the partnership, it follows from the above that it could not wait until plan approval before making an impact but wanted to and needed to start even in a small way at the earliest opportunity. So within 4 months, it had agreed to apportion half of the Getting Started money (£10,000 out of the £20,000) to the community chest. This meant by June in that first year, funding was already going out to local groups and projects.

We have a story to tell.

The chair describes how the Big Local rep went on (and on) about telling the story, but when the partnership was just starting out, it was not clear what this meant or why it might be important. But Big Kirk Hallam did record and report openly on everything it did from the start through its website and then through other methods like newsletters, email, Twitter and Facebook and events. Looking back, the partnership is proud of its record and that what it has done is open to public scrutiny. It believes that its approach has reinforced success, celebrating what people have done and how Big Kirk Hallam has helped them do it. It hopes and believes that this in turn has been a positive example that others have followed, further building the community engagement at the heart of what Big Kirk Hallam stands for and is proud of.