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.

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 (http://www.localtrust.org.uk/) 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

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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.

Rep’s quarterly review Jan-Mar18

January – March 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

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. The focus these last few months has been on taking stock and reviewing progress, leading to submitting a plan review to Local Trust which was strongly commended. This then led onto building the new plan for summer 2018-20 and included a valuable community consultation in March. The plan will be submitted in May, followed by a visit to the partnership by Local Trust and, if approved, a launch in the summer.

Doing things

There has been much activity these last months, with more and more groups getting established and run from the Community Centre, including the launch of the community café after a pilot phase. Stay and play continues to be a great success in partnership with Fareshare and Derbyshire County Council, helping to respond to family needs in the holidays. More immediate and smaller grants continue to make a big difference through the community chest. Difficulties with managing the youth club over a significant length of time, including how it attracted significant young people not from Kirk Hallam, has led to the partnership regretfully looking to end the agreement to run this and to build other ways to offer activities for Kirk Hallam young people in the holidays.

Looking ahead

Big Kirk Hallam will finalise and submit its next plan over the coming weeks and looks forward to a visit from Local Trust as part of the review and approval process. It will then look to launch the new plan in the summer which seeks to continue with activity of proven benefit to residents and respond to new challenges and opportunities identified. The partnership approaches the coming year with vision and purpose, sound leadership and excellent co-ordination.

Bill Badham

Big Local Rep

How’s it going? Big Local rep’s quarterly review

July – September 2017

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. 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. It gets a good balance between checking on how current community priorities in the plan are going with looking head and scoping new ideas. In the summer for example, all recent activity reports were checked before payment was released and follow up was undertaken where concerns about performance were raised. An overview was given by the plan co-ordinator of projects and funding, with direction for the coming year approved by the partnership. Service Level Agreements for new projects have been put in place. The partnership also took the opportunity to review and confirm its terms of reference including what is expected of resident members.

Doing things

The use of the Community Centre grows and plans advance for launching the community café. A number of groups regularly meet at the centre, with more interest and new bookings coming in. A complaint from a neighbour about noise after a specific event was responded to warmly with practical actions agreed. The plan co-ordinator continues to be on the community centre management committee also giving support to the community development worker.

Good links with another Big Local area in Chesterfield and through partnership with Fareshare and Derbyshire County Council helped progress the holiday play and stay scheme over the summer. The project went extremely well with between 40 and 50 children accessing the project. The feedback obtained by DCC from parents and children was very positive. The partnership approved the continuation of the scheme. The last round of the community chest saw grants made to the Brownies, Pop up café, Warm Welcome Club and AFC Kirk Hallam who showed how big achievements can come from small grants, saying “Thank you for everything you and your team have done, it’s helped us massively.”

A range of successful projects also continue through the two primary schools, including staying safe awareness raising as well as the Big Kirk Hallam camp out.

Looking ahead

Three people from Kirk Hallam will take part in the national event in October in Derby on young people at the heart of Big Local, co-chairing and presenting examples of how children and young people have contributed so much since the very start of Big Kirk Hallam. Looking ahead to December, plans are in place for combining the AGM with Big Kirk Hallam/s first community awards called the Big Kirk Hallam Thank you. The Annual report will be distributed to all residents.

Bill Badham

November 2017

Big Local Rep quarterly report April to June 2017

April – June 2017

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.

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. Financial recording and reporting are sound, giving the partnership a secure basis for its decision making.

Big Kirk Hallam is in a good place with the new partnership bedded down and working very well through the chair, Tracy Thorpe, the two vice-chairs Rev Christine French and Matt Betesta, the refreshed partnership group, the plan co-ordinator Jsan Shepherd and the Academy as Local Trusted Organisation through Vice Principal Aidan Smith. One new resident member, Alex Harris, joined the partnership recently, bringing bags of experience as resident activist and community nurse, with knowledge and passion for the local area.

Big Kirk Hallam now has an office based at the Big Kirk Hallam community centre and is enjoying the growing partnership with its management committee and new development worker, Alisya Hill.

The exciting growing use of the community centre has raised some concerns from immediate local residents and Jsan and Alisya have met with them to seek a resolution acceptable all round.

Doing things

The big event in June was the grand opening of the Big Kirk Hallam community centre. This was planned to coincide with the day of the Great Get Together, events organised across the country in remembrance of Jo Cox and the work she did to bring commentaries together. There was a good crowd and an exciting range of activities for all ages running between 12 and 4pm. With the sadness and anxiety caused by Derbyshire County Council withdrawing from running the sure start and children’s centre, the opening indicated the start of a new era with volunteers, local groups and centre staff organising toddler groups, exercise classes and other activities not seen on the estate for some time.

Big Kirk Hallam’s 10th newsletter was published and distributed to every household in June, remembering with great sadness the life of Hazel Cooper. It also contained valuable updates on the community centre and what residents said in response to a survey about future use, including wanting a range of activities with a community focus and support for those needing particular help to get by.

Recent stories of what’s changed on the website are an inspiring read covering a wide range of activities across the ages. Debra Ward shared her joy about attending the grandparent’s lunch at Dallimore Primary School. Students at Ladywood Primary School wrote to share how funding from Big Kirk Hallam had supported drumming sessions, dinner with grandparents, promoting junior leaders and reading buddies. Other recent stories include the E-cadets scheme to promote online safety, Ladywood savings club, the Passport scheme, the kinship project supporting a number of families in need, the Warm Welcome Club for older residents and support to young carers where Action for Children is now working regularly in all 3 schools and young carers are being identified and referred to the service for 1:1 support, group work and some social activities.

Looking ahead

The next round of the community chest is now open and working to a simpler and regular pattern of application and closing dates. In August, the next round of activity reports will be read and reviewed by the partnership, bringing to a close this funding year. Plans are being put in place for a round of visits to partners to share progress and build toward the next AGM in December. In October, some young people and adults are contributing to the national event in Allenton, Derby on involving young people in Big Local.

Working well

Many of the activities are going extremely well. One innovative project was praised by Mel Lawson, head at Ladywood. She described the e-Cadets as a scheme to help promote online safety which trains and empowers children within the school to teach others about how to keep safe online. The e-Cadets feel proud of their role and empowered to be able to teach their classes. It has put greater emphasis on the importance of Online Safety within the school and is already making learners reflect on how they conduct themselves online and how they can keep themselves safe.