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.

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

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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.

Big Local Rep’s quarterly report January – March 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 New Year saw new members settling in to the partnership after the successful AGM meeting on Saturday 10 December. At the January meeting, Tracy Thorpe was elected as Chair and the Vice Chairs, Matt Betesta and Rev Christine French, were re-elected. The new vitality in the partnership brings opportunity to support existing projects and bring new ideas and creativity in helping lead Big Kirk Hallam forward.

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.

It was with deep sadness that the Big Kirk Hallam community learnt of the sudden and unexpected death of Hazel Cooper. As shared on the website, “Hazel was passionate about the area she lived in and dedicated a lot of her time to the community and making a difference. She was a central figure in the development of Big Kirk Hallam, playing an active role and giving inspiration, advice and support to all she came in to contact with. Kirk Hallam has lost one of its leading lights today. Our hearts go out to the family and especially her beloved husband Brian at such a sad and unexpected time.”

Doing things

The big development this last three months has been the transition toward an extended community hall run through the independent management committee and owned by All Saints Church, as Sure Start and the Children’s Centre services have been withdrawn by Derbyshire County Council. Surveys have been conducted and two jobs are being recruited to in order to maintain and develop the expanded facilities. Big Kirk Hallam has seen and embraced the opportunity of working closely with the management committee to help secure the hall’s future and enable a range of activity in its current plan to take shape and hopefully take off.

The youth club has now moved to the hall premises with a fresh start and optimistic future.

The March 2017 newsletter brought the latest developments to every household, including news of the AGM and new Partnership Group members, Big Kirk Hallam Community Centre, Community school lunches, Warm welcome lunch club and the Big Kirk Hallam camp out.

Looking ahead

The partnership with the community hall and the two new posts means a number of resident priorities in the Big Kirk Hallam plan could see a big boost these coming three months, including the community café and the hungry holidays’ scheme. Partnership members are taking a lead in an event in June to draw people into the centre and see what is taking shape right at the heart of their community.

Rep’s review October – December 2016

October – December 2016

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

This has been the AGM season – some partnership members and Jsan as the plan co-ordinator going out to the two primary schools, the youth club and the Academy to meet with residents on their terms to share how things have been going this last year and to encourage nominations for the partnership board. This led up to the AGM meeting itself on Saturday 10 December with four new members standing. It was also a chance to thank and pay tribute to three long serving members standing down. Linda Frudd, Hazel Cooper and Brian Cooper (former chair) have helped build Big Kirk Hallam from the earliest days in January 2013. Hazel and Linda have also been on the community chest panel through eight rounds of grant giving to local groups.

Running things also involves the plan co-ordinator and partnership members in ensuring projects and activities are going according to plan and in brokering discussion and finding solutions when things are not. The Youth Club run by the Enthusiasm Trust had got off to a storming start but dipped with the loss of a sterling volunteer in the autumn. Matt Betesta from the partnership has been an active and effective champion in helping it get back to winning ways.

The partnership continues to meet monthly and partner agreements, reports on activities, minutes of meetings and stories of action and change are all posted on the website.

Doing things

The annual report is a glowing tribute to the vision and dedication of many residents and partner organisations in taking action to help make Kirk Hallam an even better place to live.

The opening of the Skatepark in October highlighted the achievement of residents in campaigning for this facility over many years and of a core group facilitated by Erewash Borough Council to see the project through to completion. Some teething problems have been resolved and the site remains well used by a broad age range of children and young people.

Other highlights include the second primary school campout under the stars, the Fli Mobile Skate Park and the Big Kirk Hallam Passport making accessible a range of opportunities to children under such titles as Big Outdoors, Big Activity, Big Party, Big Help, Big Read and Big Noise.

Looking ahead

January 2017 sees the new members of the partnership joining the Board, with the opportunity to support existing projects and bring new ideas and creativity in helping lead Big Kirk Hallam forward. Some specific challenges include the future sustainability of the Social Club and All Saints Church taking over the Children Centre rooms connected to the community hall. Some areas needing a boost are the community garden initiative, the youth shelters and welcome signs, Art in the Heart and supporting people with dementia.

Big Local Rep’s quarterly review

July – September 2016

Every quarter, I am asked to report on Big Local area progress to Local Trust and Renaisi who manage the Big Local national programme. It gives me the chance to reflect on how things are going and to look at any challenges ahead. This blog is based on that report and I hope you find it useful. It picks up some of the highlights over the last three months.

Looking back

Running things

The second plan was approval and got underway in August. Tracy Thorp continues as interim chair until the autumn AGM season. The partnership meets monthly with all meetings open to residents. Partnership minutes are posted on line.

A review of partnership and Local Trusted Organisation arrangements was undertaken and helped strengthen governance, relationship, reporting and robust internal controls.

Doing things

The perceptions of what’s changing in Kirk Hallam were reported in the Survey results of residents including many responses from the two primary schools. The Video format made the findings easy to share; they are broadly encouraging across Big Kirk Hallam main themes and priorities.

The summer has seen much consultation, building activity and opening of the wheeled sports area – or skatepark. It is already being used extensively by a wide age range of girls and boys. Some difficulties have arisen which are being responded to as they arise by Erewash Borough Council. The second primary school campout has also taken place and the partnership is excited to hear it went extremely well. Girls Can is just one of the recent groups to receive Community Chest funding

Reports received and approved by the partnership and soon to go online include that from the Mobile skate park, Dallimore university visit, and the primary schools’ passport, community lunch and savings club schemes.

Summer events included the church fete, Lakes and Meadows with over 1000 people coming and about 40 stalls and Harvest Moon Festival. Partnership members took part and shared information about Big Kirk Hallam.

Looking ahead

The skatepark has an official opening in October to look forward to and the partnership is undertaking a series of meetings through schools and local groups to share success and refresh and build the partnership.

Big Kirk Hallam takes part in community engagement research

Big Kirk Hallam is one of 150 areas in England which is part of the Big Local programme, supporting residents in control. As a partnership we gain a lot from other areas and want to share our own journey for others to gain from.

Local Trust asked NCVO to look into community engagement within Big Local areas – what makes it work, what are the challenges and what are the practical ways to overcome these. Big Kirk Hallam took part in the research and was pleased to share our experiences, our hopes and successes, our challenges and frustrations.

The Big Kirk Hallam case study is here along with others:

· http://localtrust.org.uk/library/case-studies/

There is also the overall report and blog here:

· http://localtrust.org.uk/library/research-and-evaluation/community-engagement/

· http://localtrust.org.uk/news/blogs/getting-people-involved-in-big-local

“To reach everyone, you have to have a printed newsletter through every door about four times a year even if some don’t get read. To be accountable to residents you need face-to-face opportunities through being seen at others’ events and running your own. To share and discuss plans, you need to work with interested groups and bring the findings to a larger event. To keep a record, you need to see the web as both a live communications tool and an archive.”

Kirk Hallam engagement case study (Final .pdf

Big Local Rep’s quarterly review

April – June 2016

Every quarter, I am asked to report on Big Local area progress to Local Trust and Renaisi who manage the Big Local national programme. It gives me the chance to reflect on how things are going and to look at any challenges ahead. This blog is based on that report and I hope you find it useful. It picks up some of the highlights over the last three months.

Looking back

This has been another busy and productive three months for Big Kirk Hallam, focusing on submitting the new plan and its successful review.

Running things

Big Kirk Hallam submitted its second plan in May and had this assessed and approved by Local Trust in June. This included a visit by the assessor to Kirk Hallam and a tour round the area with Tracy Thorp and Jsan Shepherd meeting residents and partners, followed by a presentation and questions and answers with the partnership. Cerys Thomas shared this summary with Big Kirk Hallam.

After three years of helping build the first steering group and partnership, guiding the group along the pathway to submitting and delivering its first plan, Brian Cooper Big Kirk Hallam’s first chair, stepped down. The partnership and other residents have been very grateful for Brian’s leadership and are delighted that he is remaining on the partnership board. Vice chair Tracy Thorp is now acting chair until the annual review, celebration and AGM in October. The partnership also welcomes its youngest partnership member to the Board, Matthew Betesta.

The partnership continues in good shape meeting monthly with al meetings open to residents. Partnership minutes are posted on line.

Doing things

All progress reports from those receiving funding from Big Kirk Hallam are posted online here. In the last quarter these include those from the youth club, the two primary schools and the Arts @ the Heart of Wellbeing project. The passport project continues as a great success for primary school children to access a wide range of opportunities.

Onsite developments of the wheeled park area continue well and work is on schedule. Matthew Betesta has been very active in cultivating interest among young people through its own website and through Big Kirk Hallam channels. The grand opening should be in late summer.

The 8th newsletter full of stories of action and change was posted through every letter box for residents to see the effect of their £1m.

Looking ahead

The partnership has submitted its second two year plan in May and the assessment process from Local Trust has approved this in ample time to set up the new budget and end the first plan. This will help a smooth transition to the new plan as the Academy and Local Trusted Organisation breaks for the summer. The partnership is building towards its annual review in September or October.

Working well

The partnership remains strong and has benefited from the energy and insight of its newest member, Matthew Betesta. While sad to see Brian Cooper step down as chair, the partnership has managed this transition well, with Tracy Thorp acting as chair and ably steering the second plan into action, working closely with Jsan Shepherd, the plan co-ordinator.