First of all some breaking GOOD news! Local Trust has just approved the new Big Kirk Hallam plan. Congratulations to all the partnership and all the many residents who contributed.
These last three months of reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic have had a huge impact on our neighbourhoods and communities. We have been faced with questions and concerns we could not have even imagined and we approach the summer with many uncertainties ahead. Yet, people’s warmth and compassion, understanding and action in responding to such unprecedented need are the lasting tribute to the community’s compassion and resilience. Thank you all.
Local Trust continues to support the 150 areas through help with online networking and events and is holding Big Local Connects online from 9-11 July. Any likely Covid-19 related funding is flagged up, such as the Emerging Futures Fund. We share local issues and action to influence wider policy, stressing how Big Local succeeds through strong local relationships, responding to community need, open communication with residents, collaboration and partnership.
Priorities and achievements looking back: running things well, responding to the Covid-19 crisis and submitting and having approved the new plan starting in July.
The partnership meets monthly – online for the time being. 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.
Paul Bragman, the Local Trust plan assessor, met with the partnership online in June and was extremely impressed with Big Kirk Hallam: how things are run and what you are doing and achieving. He said to me how you are his go-to example of good governance. Paul concluded that “It is an exciting plan and I wish the Partnership every success going forward with their delivery over the next two years.”
The partnership continues to operate effectively, reviewing partners’ quarterly reports and ensuring payment, with some adaptations and adjustments due to the changing nature of delivery during lockdown. The next round of the Community Chest has got underway. Some activity, such as the community summer events, has had to be cancelled. The Newsletter had been written and circulated on line and via social media. 500 copies have been printed. Around 150 had been delivered with the Everyone Eats charity with their packs delivered in Kirk Hallam. They have also being given out at the community shop
Big Kirk Hallam continues to support the community centre, valuing how Stay and Play, Craft and Chat and the Community shop have adapted and responded. Let’s Sing and slimming world are operating virtual meetings. The café has had to be closed for the time being.
Key priorities looking ahead
With its new two year plan approved, Big Kirk Hallam is able to approach the continuing uncertainties with clear vision, dedicated resources and firm priorities. The partnership’s strength is it knows its direction of travel and is able to adjust its course to get there, responding to the contrary climate. Citizens Advice Bureau sessions are to be kept on due to the worsening impact of poverty through the pandemic. Work with young carers will continue. Other community activity will continue to be funded but with flexibility as to when they will be able to occur, for example the Big Camp Out, the Streetgames project, Freedom’s support to vulnerable people, with telephone support, guidance and signposting where needed, concerned at the rising levels of domestic abuse. EPEC parenting course will be doing a catch up session over the summer term.
Key achievements, success factors and insights into what has worked well
Responding to community need in the Covid-19 crisis thanks to an established network which has arisen thanks to Big Local investment over the last ten years, as well as dynamic and committed people.