All posts by ABL

Rep’s Report April – June 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

The partnership meets monthly and the minutes are posted on the website as are good news stories of local action and change and the latest newsletter

After the rewarding but hard work of submitting and gaining approval for the next and final three year plan, this last quarter focused on recruiting a new plan co-ordinator and comms lead, putting in place new Service Level Agreements with each key delivery partner and ensuring there is a seamless process across the last and new plan. The partnership is delighted at the recruitment of Paul Brookhouse taking on both functions, living in and committed to the local area. Paul’s focus in these early months is to ensure contractual arrangements are up to date and in place and to improve the content and look of communications, including her website. The partnership also welcomes back Nicola Camp as a resident member of the board. 

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:

“Massive thanks to you for providing such a warm welcome to us all when we visited. It was inspiring to see quite how much you’ve managed to achieve, not least through your support for the community hall which has helped enable something very special to happen.  And it was great to get a real feel for the enthusiasm of your partners, both for your work and the potential legacy you are creating.

It’s clear that you’ve still got some challenges to tackle, not least bringing the next generation of local activists and change makers onto your partnership and helping them learn from your own experience, as part of the “people” legacy of your work. But you’ve achieved a huge amount so far which you can all feel rightly proud of as you move towards the launch of your new plan.”

Doing things

Service Level Agreements are being met by partners, with the partnership confirming progress through reviewing recent reports. Great work continues in improving the life skills of children and families, young people’s life skills  and those of adult residents through the work club. Panda Media’s excellent 20 minute film plots the journey of building and launching St Martin’s Community Hall. 

Looking ahead

With Paul Brookhouse in post, progress is being made on updating service level agreements and on communications. A new piece of work is due to be launched in the summer through Derby Adult Learning over four weeks of the summer holidays with 12 places per sessions using arts and crafts to promote health and wellbeing.

Plan Review endorsed by Local Trust

Local Trust gives the thumbs up to our review of the current plan ending in April

Local Trust looks at how we’ve reviewed our existing plan before we can submit and have accepted our latest one due to start in April. Comments were very positive. Local Trust said of our review process:  
What we liked about your plan review:
  1.   This is a really good review. It is thorough and uses a number of different methods to evaluate the projects and activities you are funding. 
  2. You have collected and included different types of information to help you demonstrate the difference you are making, such as open data from Local Insight and survey responses from people in your community.
  3. You clearly demonstrate that you are doing lots of great things in Allenton Big Local and continually ensuring that what you’re doing is what the community wants. 
The full report is attached here. Plan review feedback Allenton
We have also now had the assessment for the new plan due to start in April and we await news from Local Trust as to whether we have the green light.

Relaunch of St Martins Church & Community Centre

Launch Video is Released

Following several years of planning and consultation, followed by eighteen months of building work – on Friday 1st February 2019 we were incredibly happy to support the relaunch of St Martins Church and Community Centre on Flint Street. Please watch our video which highlights the days activities.

St Martins Church and Community Centre 18 Hour Marathon Big Launch

Rep Report August 2018

How things are run in Big Local – 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
August 2018

Further 3 year Plan Approved by Local Trust

We are pleased to announce the our new plan has has been approved by the Big Local Trust, below is the positive feedback received.

“The plan is largely a continuation of work from the previous plan, based on very careful consideration of whether this is still relevant and wanted by the local community, and building on what works. The plan contains great detail, demonstrating the amount of thought and work that has gone into it, together with the in-depth and broad consultation with the Allenton community documented in the Profile Review. The vision and intended outcomes fit closely with the overall Big Local outcomes, and partnership members showed their commitment to bringing about positive change in Allenton, from children and young people upwards. The delivery model runs smoothly, but is dependent on the ability and capacity of the plan co-ordinator and partnership members. The LTO-partnership relationship is strong, and the LTO is trusted, based on work to date with Allenton Big Local and with its other funders;  The partnership have made a clear decision to focus the remainder of their investment in this three year period, intending to ensure delivery is effective. They recognise that ABL’s legacy will come in many forms, and they are encouraging their delivery partners to think about sustainability beyond the Big Local funding.”

Plan approval letter

Reviewing the Allenton Big Local profile

As part of the process for putting together the next Allenton Big Local Plan, a profile review consultation has recently been carried out, drawing on the experiences, knowledge and needs of local residents. The feedback received featured some recurring comments and shared concerns and ideas for making things better for the community.

To find out more, you can:

Overall, the feedback from the discussions, focus groups, surveys, interviews and other resident feedback endorsed Allenton Big Local’s three existing priorities and supported the kind of activities being delivered. When asked about the current priorities and activities, residents said that they felt they were still valid and relevant, were addressing the priorities, and having an impact. Those who had engaged or benefited directly from ABL activities said that being involved had made a positive difference and they were satisfied with what had been delivered.

The online survey, which was completed by 131 people, asked the question: What do YOU think Allenton Big Local’s priorities for action should be? Respondents were asked to select THREE choices from eight options. The survey results were: Continue reading Reviewing the Allenton Big Local profile

Our partnership members

JoinUs (2)We are holding our annual community event/AGM at St Martin’s Church and Community Centre on Flint Street on 12th February, time to be confirmed.

You are welcome to come along to find out the latest from Allenton Big Local, hear about the plans for 2019 onwards and discuss opportunities to join the partnership.

Free refreshments will be served.

As part of the event, we will be voting on the proposed membership of the Allenton Big Local partnership, which currently includes the following people: Continue reading Our partnership members

Thanks for sharing your views


MakeAWishAt the Christmas event at St Martin’s Church and Community Centre on 15 December, we asked people to Make a Wish for Allenton. We were speaking to local residents to find out what they’d like to see in Allenton in 2019 as part of the Profile Review for Allenton Big Local. One of the Make A Wish cards was selected at random to win a £50 shopping voucher. The prize draw winner has been notified and the voucher is on its way to them – just in time for Christmas.


Over the last three months we have been consulting widely with residents to get their views and find out whether they think that the Allenton Big Local priorities and activities are still the right ones for the local area.

We have spoken to people through:

  • an online survey
  • face-to-face discussions with local retailers, business owners and market stall holders
  • a series of focus groups
  • one-to-one interviews with local people
  • talking to older residents at a coffee morning and Christmas lunch
  • talking to families at the annual Christmas event

Overall, the feedback we’ve received has endorsed the three existing priorities and supports the kind of activities the Allenton Big Local project has delivered so far. Residents agree that the current priorities for action are still relevant, successfully address the priorities, and are having an impact. People who have engaged directly in the activities say that being involved has made a positive difference and they are satisfied with what has been delivered.

There have also been some recurring comments and ideas emerging from the discussions, focus groups, interviews and resident feedback. These are summarised in the initial report to Allenton Big Local partnership. The consultation has identified some activity gaps which the partnership will address as they formulate the next Big Local plan for Allenton.

The online survey will remain open until 31 December and, in early January, all of the feedback will be analysed and reported on in full. We will share the full Profile Review Report in a future post here on the Allenton Big Local website.

Work Club gets the thumbs up from Kay

Job Search ConceptAs part of the Allenton Big Local Profile Review, we’ve been talking to people who have used the Work Club at Allen Park to find out what they think about the service on offer.

The Work Club is funded by Allenton Big Local and delivered by Derby Adult Learning. It is held every Monday (except bank holidays) between 10am and 3.30pm at the Allen Park Centre.

Someone who has used the Work Club successfully in the past is Allenton Big Local’s very own Kay Kennedy. Kay is a local resident and, since April 2018, she has also worked as the Plan Co-ordinator for the Allenton Big Local project.

Kay said: “Yes, I was a member of the Allen Park Work Club. I used to go along on Monday mornings and have a look on the computer to find out what jobs were available. The club helped me with my CV, job searches and getting my life organised around getting work.

“Because I have family commitments, I couldn’t work full-time and all the jobs I was coming across were for hours that I wasn’t able to do. I applied for a few of the jobs anyway but, when I was offered an interview and I explained about my availability, the employers told me that those hours wouldn’t work for them.

“Chris Walker at the Work Club knew about my time constraints and what hours I was able to work. It was Chris who pointed out the Allenton Big Local vacancy to me. He said: ‘This job would be perfect for you, Kay. You should apply.’ So I did! The Work Club gave me advice on how I should carry myself out at the interview and that helped me feel less nervous.”

“The advisors at the Work Club are really friendly and helpful. They put you at ease and give you confidence in yourself. In fact, everyone who uses the Work Club is helpful and friendly. They talk to each other, encourage each other, and support each other with things like IT.

“Being part of the Work Club worked out well for me and I’d definitely recommend it to others.”

We asked Kay what difference working for Allenton Big Local had made to her life. She said: “I now have an outside focus that isn’t just about my children or inside my house. I get to spend time around other adults, which is what I needed. The job gives me a sense of well-being and satisfaction. I love my job. I really do.”

And Kay is not the only person who has endorsed the benefits of the Work Club. Take a look at these comments from other residents who have used the service:
“I have attended an ECDL computing course here in Allenton, which was arranged through the Work Club. This was a really convenient venue because it meant that I didn’t have to spend money on bus fares getting to a course in town.”
“The Work Club in Allenton makes finding and applying for jobs much easier and there is always lots of information available. Using the computers here is a lot better than having to use my phone.”
If you’re looking for a job or want to improve your career prospects, visit the Work Club at the Allen Park Centre (next to Allenton Library) on Mondays between 10am and 3.30pm.

Share your views on Allenton


Have your say in the Allenton Big Local Profile Review

The 10-year Allenton Big Local project has reached its half way point and we’re now planning for the next stage of the project.

We need to know what is important to the Allenton Big Local community. If you live or work in the area, please take a couple of minutes to tell us your views. We will then use your feedback to help us decide how to invest Big Local funding in Allenton.


Reps Reports

Allenton Big Local Rep Report

39917937_1880468518701257_8882727417420972032_oYoung people enjoying the summer on a trip out with Enthusiasm

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

Running Things

The partnership meets monthly and the minutes are posted on the website. It welcomes a new resident member to the partnership and is pleased to have filled the communications post with a current resident partnership member. It is time once again to renew partnership members’ DBS checks, which is being undertaken by Enthusiasm, the Local Trusted Organisation.

The partnership is committed to an in depth review of the stats and stories that are behind the needs and priorities of the community and this begun in September. The next phase being led by Jane Bettany uses a survey and focus groups to hear the stories behind these stats.

Doing Things
Service Level Agreements are in place for the current year and the July to September management reports will be posted soon. These in turn contribute to good news stories and newsletters.

St Martin’s community hall #allentonbigbuild progresses, with funds recently secured from other sources for outside works. The café and other facilities are gradually re-opening in this wonderfully developed and improved community facility. The centre’s management committee will be re-booted shortly in order to help develop opportunity, usage and income.

The partnership also supported the Oscar Tracks BMX Event at Cotton Lane, a partnership with Enthusiasm Trust, Derby Homes and Derby City Council, providing free refreshments, inflatables, bmx challenges and fun for all the community. A hugely successful Senior Citizens Afternoon Tea also took place on 15th September 2018.

Looking Ahead
The coming three months will see the results of the review of the background profile emerging and informing the drafting of the new plan, due to start in April 2019. Continuing community consultation will include the AGM and annual celebration in the New Year.


Allenton Big Local Rep Report Apr – Jun 2018

Allenton-Big-Local-Report-Jan to Mar-2018

Allenton Under 12s take part in the Manchester Cup

aufcAllenton United Under 12s have received £1,000 of support from the Allenton Big Local Community Chest fund. They put the money towards a trip to Manchester with 15 young people to take part in the Manchester Cup.

The football tournament took place over the Easter weekend and we’re pleased to report that the Allenton United Under 12s team did Allenton proud and came runners up in the cup.

Ash Delaney from Allenton United FC said: “Well what a weekend! Thank you to Allenton Big Local for giving us the opportunity to play in the Manchester Cup. We did our very best against teams from around the world and we came runners up. Continue reading Allenton Under 12s take part in the Manchester Cup

Help us to tell the Allenton Big Local story

Tell Us Your Story

If you have been able to make great changes in your own life through the support of one of the many projects funded by Allenton Big Local, we’d love to hear from you.


Maybe you got a new job after attending the Work Club at Derby Adult Learning, or perhaps your parenting skills development meant you were able to go and support other parents in your community. There are so many great stories to tell and we’d love to share your success so that we can help inspire more people in Allenton… if you want us so share your story pop a quick email to and we’ll be in touch very soon



Outreach sessions for young people

skatingDuring the refurbishment of St Martin’s Community Centre, the Enthusiasm Trust delivered youth sessions in October, November and December at alternative outreach venues within the Allenton Big Local area.

This included theatre trips, workshops, and a visit to the ice-skating rink in Derby. 

Their aim was to engage local young people in street based sports and games such as football, basketball, invasion games and a Christmas treasure hunt. The activities were designed to continue to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour and risk-taking activities and ensure their continued engagement and communication with youth mentors in anticipation of the youth club re-opening at St Martin’s. As well as sports and games, young people had the chance to take part in: 

Hard work, commitment and energy!

Allenton Big Local funds street dance training for young people from the Allenton area – an activity that is delivered by the Enthusiasm Trust in partnership with Trinity Warriors. Trinity Warriors is a Derby based dance academy which became famous when they reached the semi-finals of Sky One’s ‘Got to Dance’ show in 2011. Continue reading Hard work, commitment and energy!

Interview success for Work Club members

1934839The Work Club continues to offer support to an average of 12 people every Monday at Allen Park. The club is funded by Allenton Big Local and delivered by Derby Adult Learning and offers a range of support to job seekers and those looking to improve their career prospects.

Chris, who runs the Work Club, said: “Most of the people drop in and stay for around an hour. They take part in a mixture of self-directed job search, mediated help to apply for jobs and information and guidance.”

During the last quarter of 2017, some of the longer term job seekers managed to find employment, including a gentleman who had suffered anxiety and lack of confidence for some time. With help and perseverance he has managed to secure a permanent position at Derby County’s Pride Park Stadium.   Continue reading Interview success for Work Club members

Family cooking during half term activity session

Allenton Big Local continues to fund cookery courses delivered by Nacro Osmaston Family Project. The courses help parents to increase their knowledge of food and the health benefits of cooking simple meals that cost very little. The sessions increase parental confidence and healthy eating and encourage families to try new foods. The course also gives them the know-how to adapt recipes to suit their own family’s tastes.

At the end of the course each parent receives a booklet that has been put together with some of the recipes from the course and some handy tips on cooking and staying healthy. Continue reading Family cooking during half term activity session

Helping families to set goals

AdobeStock_136223569Allenton Big Local funds support for local families which is delivered by the Nacro Osmaston Family Project. You can read their latest update report here on our website.

The last quarter of the year is traditionally very busy for the team at Nacro, particularly in the run up to Christmas, which can be a very stressful time for families. It can be an especially difficult time for families with children where the parents have separated. Continue reading Helping families to set goals

How our Bursary Scheme is helping local residents

BursarySchemeWebImageThe Allenton Big Local Bursary Scheme was launched in August 2015 and, since then, we have approved 37 funding applications. The scheme offers up to £500 of support for course fees for people over the age of 16 who live in the Allenton Big Local area. For those who need support with childcare or other caring costs as a direct result of attending their course, there is also up to £500 of additional funding available. Continue reading How our Bursary Scheme is helping local residents

2018 Community Event and AGM

AGMAllenton Big Local held its annual community event and AGM at St Martin’s Community Centre on 9 January. The event was well attended by local residents, delivery partners, St Martin’s Church members, and representatives from local groups and organisations.

Allenton Big Local Chair, Edith Lang, presented an overview of the Big Local funded activities that had been running in Allenton in 2017. Attendees to the event received a copy of the latest Allenton Big Local newsletter and an update on how much of the £1m Big Lottery money has been spent so far and the partnership members for 2018. Continue reading 2018 Community Event and AGM

2017 survey results

SurveyResults2017We completed our annual survey during 2017 and, this year, managed to speak to 135 people to get their views on Allenton and how they feel about the area. We have now published the results of the survey alongside the feedback from 2016 and 2015.

You can download a PDF of the results using this link.

The number of people who said that they were either ‘very happy’ or ‘happy’ living in the Allenton Big Local area was 71%. Whilst this is a very pleasing result, the figure is down a little from 2016 (when the figure was 79%), 2015 (77%) and 2014 (76%). Does this mean that people are less happy living in the area? Possibly, but there are other factors that may have influenced this change. Continue reading 2017 survey results

Great to see Santa back at Allenton Market

SmallSanta (2)Santa visited Allenton Market again on 16 December 2017 and spoke to 448 children at the annual Allenton Big Local Christmas event, which was organised by Nacro and volunteers from Allenton Community Support parents’ group.

The event was also supported by Derby Homes and members of the Allenton Big Local partnership group. Continue reading Great to see Santa back at Allenton Market

Would you like to join our partnership group?

JoinUsSmallAt the community event that will take place on 9 January at St Martin’s Community Centre, we will be hold our AGM and confirm the Allenton Big Local partnership for 2018.

If you are a resident of Allenton Big Local and you are interested in joining our partnership group, we would love to hear from you. 

You don’t need any qualifications or special skills to be a member of the partnership group. All we ask is that you  live in the Allenton Big Local area and are passionate about improving your neighbourhood. Continue reading Would you like to join our partnership group?

Come along to our community event for 2018

ABLAGMPostcardPrintReadyAllenton Big Local is holding a community event at St Martin’s Community Centre on Flint Street in Allenton on 9 January 2018 at 6.30pm.

Residents and friends of the Allenton Big Local area are welcome to attend the event, which will include free food, an opportunity to share your views and ideas on local issues and an update on Allenton Big Local activities over the last year.

Attending the event will also give you a chance to learn more about what’s been happening at St Martin’s Church over the last few months. The community centre is currently being transformed by St Martins Church & Community Centre Charity Makeover in partnership with local organisations including Derby Homes, Derby City Council and Allenton Big Local. Come along and get a sneak peek of what will be on offer at the Community Centre once the work is completed.

We hope to see you on 9 January. Everyone is welcome.

Santa and his reindeers are on their way!

MarketThe popular Allenton Big Local Christmas event will be back at Allenton Market again this year, on Saturday 16 December between 10am and 2pm. 500 tickets will be available to the free event, which will host Santa and his reindeers in the grotto on the market.

As usual there will be free hot drinks and cookies, photo opportunities, Christmas songs, plus a free gift for the children who see Santa Claus. Entry to the grotto is by ticket only and the tickets can be collected at the following times:

Monday 4 December - 3.15pm to 3.45pm at Allenton Community Primary School.

Tuesday 5 December  – 3pm to 3.30pm at Landau Forte Academy Moorhead

Wednesday 6 December  – 10am to 12noon at Nacro, 28-30 Varley Street

Thursday 7 December  – 2pm to 4pm at Nacro, 28-30 Varley Street

Saturday 9 December - 10am to 12noon at Allenton Market

We hope to see you there. Merry Christmas from Allenton Big Local!