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.