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.”