Local Rep Report – January – March 2022
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.
The big picture
Sometimes horrendous international events can feel very close to home; the invasion of Ukraine has left many shocked and deeply concerned for its citizens under fire and for relatives affected here. Perhaps our anxieties and sympathies are all the more pronounced because of Covid-19’s continuing impact on our lives. The wave of compassion and practical action across our communities has been amazing.
With the Big Local programme well over half way, much learning is emerging about what makes community-led investment make a lasting difference. The role of resident partnership, supportive organisations, community volunteering and values-led workers all are shown to be vital. And it looks like Big Local Connects 2022 will again be on our doorstep, bringing close to home the chance to share and learn from far afield.
It’s all been happening! The partnership review led to three new resident members joining, welcomed for their energy, insight and knowledge of Big Local and of Allenton. Carlos Deabreu has been closely linked to mentoring young people for years. Kay Kennedy used to be the plan co-ordinator. And Rebecca Manship also used to be on the partnership and brings a particular interest in legacy and what lies beyond Big Local.
In early January, Allenton Big Local submitted its plan review. This was well received by Local Trust research team, commenting on the impressive numbers of volunteers involved with St Martin’s and other projects, the care taken in gaining the views of a wide range of residents and being able to demonstrate the link between activities funded and wider community change.
In late February, the partnership submitted its final plan and this has been assessed independently by Sian Jay. The partnership has just heard that Local Trust has approved the plan. The plan focuses on sustainability, tapering activity and ending things well in a year’s time. All residents received a copy of the latest newsletter outlining containing the headlines.
And in March, Rachel Rowney, Local Trust Chief Operating Officer made a flying visit, saying, “It was really generous of both Mairi and Heather to spend time with us, catching me up on how Allenton Big Local has supported the development of St Martin’s along with the great work done by Enthusiasm.”
By early April, the partnership will start to implement the new plan, signing up partners to new Service Level Agreements. It will then look at its last year’s communications and newsletters, seeing what stories are still to be captured and shared. It is also looking again at what opportunity there may be for sharing its experience and working together in the future locally and across the country. The partnership and the Local Trusted Organisation, Enthusiasm are also going to put in place a Memorandum of Understanding to agree what needs to be done and by when in closing down the Big Local programme in Allenton. A range of events will be scheduled to share learning and celebrate success.