Category Archives: Progress reviews

Here you will find reviews of progress, including Bill’s blog on how things have been going from his perspective as the Big Local Rep.

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.


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:

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.

Doing the right thing right

How things are run in Big Kirk Hallam – Big Local rep, Bill Badham, reflects

Occasionally questions arise about how the Big Local resident-led programmed is managed and overseen. Residents on the local partnership put themselves forward to support the community, giving of their time and expertise. They do an amazing job in identifying and responding to its priorities. They can face many challenges, along with the rewards of helping make their area an even better place to live. They open themselves up to comment and, just occasionally, this can become quite personal and hurtful.This blog sets out how Big Local is run and the checks in place to make sure there is maximum benefit to residents, minimum bureaucracy and sound scrutiny to make sure things are run right.

Back in 2010, the National Lottery set up Big Local as a community-led programme to reach 150 areas in England, with at least £1m to spend over about 10 years. By 2012, all areas had got underway. Each area must follow a required pathway, including setting up a local residents’ group, choosing a local trusted organisation to be the legally accountable body, connecting with the wider community, researching local needs and building, implementing and reviewing a plan that responds to local priorities.

Local Trust ( manages the whole programme and holds and invests unspent money until needed. Return on that investment is distributed locally to add to the £1m for each area. Each area must have a Big Local rep to oversee progress and support the local area, also paid for centrally and managed through Local Trust.

Each Big Local area is run by a local partnership which must include at least five residents, making up at least 51% of the partnership with at least 51% of voting rights. The make-up and functioning of the partnership is reviewed annually to check that it is in good health and remains relevant and responsive to local needs, with clear policies and procedures to guide its work and respond to concerns and complaints.

The Local Trusted Organisation is chosen by the local partnership as one that can be accountable, support the partnership and keep to the vision and values of Big Local. It is vetted by Local Trust and must keep all relevant records, submit its accounts and be open to spot checks from Local Trust. It signs a legal contract with Local Trust to ensure it keeps to the ethical and financial requirements of Big Local. In this area, it is paid no more than 5% of local spend and this payment is paid centrally, not from local funds.

The partnership is responsible for the development of the local plan and to make sure it is delivered with partners working toward the shared vision and objectives. This plan is checked thoroughly by Local Trust before approval. Subsequent spend is reviewed every six months by the partnership and Local Trust. There are Service Level Agreements between the Local Trusted Organisation and partner organisations to monitor progress. Reports from delivery partners need approval from the partnership before funding is released. The Big Local rep also submits a quarterly report to Local Trust on progress, successes and any areas of concern locally.

Each area is part of the wider Big Local community. Support, learning and sharing opportunities are available to make the most of Big Local as a powerful, resident-led, community focused programme to help make the 150 areas even better places to live.

Bill Badham

Big Local Rep

September 2018

Big Local Rep’s quarterly report

April – June 2018

As your Big Local Rep, about 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’s next plan to run from the summer of 2018 to the summer of 2020 has been approved by Local Trust. This was after a thorough review of current activity and submission and assessment of the new plan.

The assessment by Margaret Jackson commented that the partnership is “a welcoming group of residents who are dedicated to making a difference and achieving the Big Local outcomes within their area. They have made substantial progress to date in running projects which reach to all sectors of their community…. They [see] that relationships are key [and] have learnt that the best projects are those delivered by local people and organisations who are committed to the community in Kirk Hallam…. This plan should help the partnership move towards their legacy aims of residents with improved aspirations and a more confident community.”

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. Financial recording and reporting are sound, giving the partnership a secure basis for its decision making. The partnership is in good shape and running things well, with vision, energy and application. Representatives took part in Big Local Connects in London at the end of June and partnership members are completing the partnership survey.

Doing things

Activity remains vibrant and focused on the needs and priorities of residents across the ages, as illustrated by a number of recent what’s changed stories and in the latest ‎May newsletter sent to all residents.

Knit and natter continues to grow: “Coming to the group has made me feel great and I have 3 or 4 projects already planned for the next few months. I like the company and look forward to coming each week. The sense of achievement is amazing.” Monkey trouble toddler groupis also making a positive difference. The children get to play together and the parents get to take a breather and get to know other local parents. The social aspect of the group is huge with new friends being made all the time. Community chest continues to thrive as a way of reaching a wide range of local groups and projects.

Stay and Play continues successfully in its aim to have regular stay and play sessions on a weekly basis in the school holidays to meet, share, play, cook and provide lunch bags, reducing isolation and offering practical support to families. “It’s brilliant – it helps that it is free because money is tight and you can spend a fortune keeping the kids entertained.” (Parent)


Looking ahead

Big Kirk Hallam is set to conclude this second year of its current plan and to launch the next two year plan to run through to summer 2020. With the current Local Trusted Organisation now merging with the Academy group, NOVA, processes are in place to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities. The plan co-ordinator has met the new lead who is delighted at the opportunity to continue to support residents through being the trusted organisation for Big Kirk Hallam.