Rep’s report for October – December 2019

October – December 2019

Every three months, as your Big Local Rep 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.

Big Local is half way through. An excellent report charting challenges and achievements is well worth a scan. There are also loads of small film clips from residents about the impact you are making. A more catchy way of capturing the Big Local magic is to listen in to these lyrics written at Big Local Connects 2019. Locally and nationally, to quote Local Trust CEO, “We are telling out story more proudly and it seems to be having an effect.”

Priorities and achievements looking back: running things well and building the partnership, the AGM, community engagement and celebration

Running things

The Big Thank You celebration awards and AGM in November were very well received by residents. 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. Partner quarterly reports were considered and approved by the sub-committee in November. The partnership review was submitted and commended in October. The young people’s forum (#BigKHYP Team) has met and is exploring its role and contribution to the running of Big Kirk Hallam. The deep dive review into resident views about the area and about Big Kirk Hallam is complete and the headlines are a ringing endorsement of the partnership’s focus, funding priorities and ways of working.

Doing things

The plan is on track across all themes and priorities and new initiatives such as that with Street Games are being explored. The autumn round of Community Chest took place successfully in October. This year’s Christmas event was very well attended, organised by the Big Kirk Hallam Community Centre, with crafts and stalls, Santa’s grotto and choir.

Key priorities looking ahead

In January, the partnership starts building the new plan by first reviewing progress and resident priorities, drawing on the profile review done by Guidemark Publishing. In February and March, early drafts and further community consultation will take place to affirm priorities and principle activities.

Key achievements

The partnership has worked hard this last year to reflect on progress and to build on its strengths. New members have joined bringing fresh ideas and knowledge. The young people’s forum is now in place. More partnership members are taking an active part in sub groups such as for monitoring partner reports and taking on specific tasks such as reviewing the finances and communications. The Local Trusted Organisation lead, Mark Watts’s praise is well deserved. He highlighted the progress in the partnership over the last year. “I commend you all”, he said, highlighting improvements in running things including the quality of the quarterly reports, the efficient reviewing of the plan, engagement with stakeholders, tightening procedures for the sub groups including resolving conflict of interests and budget management.

Rep’s report July – September 2019

I have noticed gaps in my quarterly report posts and so I am plugging them!

July – September 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 is helping to make the area an even better place to live by its community leadership, its funded vision and its collaboration with residents and partners organisations. Over the summer, at the end of its first year of its third plan, the partnership took stock of progress. First, it reviewed the plan and found most activities were running well and having a wider impact. Second, from the independent feedback gained from residents it heard there was a great deal of satisfaction and praise for the range and quality of activities supported by Big Kirk Hallam. Third, reviewing how the partnership is working, it found many positives linked to the drive and passion of resident members, the quality and diligence of the plan co-ordinator and the effective delivery of many of its partners. The partnership is concerned to strengthen its ways of working especially with the community centre and has agreed an action plan to help with this.

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. 19 quarterly reports were considered and approved by the sub-committee on 19 July.

The chair and vice chair both took part in the Big Local Connects event in Nottingham, sharing expertise and experience and learning from other Big Local areas.

Doing things

The partnership funded a number of community activities over the summer, including Lakes and Meadows, the church garden party and an event at the community centre. Service Level Agreements have been put in place for holiday provision and support to young carers and are being developed relating to combating isolation and raising awareness and tackling debt. A further round of the community chest was held and local groups and projects funded. Combating isolation is being led by Erewash Borough Council, having received £30,000 to cover 25 hours a week over an 18 month period. This is a good example of how Big Kirk Hallam has brought in additional funding and resource to the area through partnership working.

Looking ahead

The partnership is planning the annual celebration awards and AGM in November and the Big Kirk Hallam Christmas event in December. Both have become local institutions, generating much energy and community spirit. At the AGM, the partnership loses two of its resident members, Sylvie Humphreys and Matt Betesta. Both have been and will continue to be shining examples of community and youth leadership.

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.

Reps’ report January – March 2019

I’ve just spotted some gaps in my quarterly report posts, so I am plugging them for the record!

January – March 2019

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

Big Kirk Hallam is running well. It has been tightening some of its ways of working, supported by the Local Trusted Organisation. This includes improved ways of tracking progress, called Plan Scrutiny, clearer agreements on how subgroups work, managing relations with the community centre and on financial tracking and reporting. These may not sound very exciting things, but they are very important aspects of governance to ensure transparency and accountability for all investment to help make Kirk Hallam an even better place to live.

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 partnership is also currently exploring a mid-programme deeper dive resident conversation to refresh the background profile that underpins the vision, priorities and activities of each plan.

Doing things

The Community Centre goes from strength to strength, with the recent relaunch of the café by new café manager, Jade Lockley, looking like a very positive move. Some groups such as the Warm Welcome Club, TLC and Knit and Natter and Monkey Trouble Playgroup are building their capacity to run themselves through volunteer members which is also good news in looking to their longer term sustainability.

The areas of concern within the ambitions of the plan link to lack of delivery capacity in the area, linked to prolonged cuts in children and family and youth work services. But the plan co-ordinator, Jsan Shepherd, is still researching and scoping ways the partnership can support responses to concerns about domestic violence, debt, the pressures on young carers and supporting young people at risk and in difficulty.

Looking ahead

The partnership hopes that the coming months will see young people involved in decision making about a programme of summer holiday activities and that some young people will also be part of a forum to help influence the wider running of Big Kirk Hallam. It also looks like the Dallimore Garden Project and the Get Growing Community Garden involving the schools will get underway.

As the first year of this third two year plan is completed this June, there is much to celebrate in bringing the community together and extending the opportunities for them to have things to do and places to go. Challenges ahead include the community centre building its self-sustainability and Big Kirk Hallam finding willing partners with relevant expertise to respond to some of the complex and challenging person issues some residents face.