Local Rep Report – January – March 2023
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
After ten years of resident led investment and change based on local needs and priorities, we are coming to the final stages of this ground breaking programme. News about the Community Wealth Fund does suggest funding will come to other areas but whether residents will be at the heart of decision making remains to be seen.
A few areas have now finished their Big Local journey, with evidence of having made a sizeable difference to both what has been done and how it has been done. Vital to success is that residents are in charge, willingly supported by a trusted organisation and a paid worker. The role of the local authority as enabler and trusted partner has helped add considerable value to the investment in some areas. Building community capacity for long term sustainability is one of the biggest legacies. Improving community buildings has also been important where these have been developed in harmony with local aspirations and are based on realistic plans for a financially stable future.
As areas finish, they can continue to draw upon the Make it Happen offer, covering:
- Community engagement and volunteer management
- Securing a community asset
- Becoming a legal body
- Mastering communications and storytelling
- Climate proofing the BL plan
- Funding and income generation
- Engaging diverse groups of people
- Measuring Change
And the next and final Big Local Connects event is confirmed for the end of October in Nottingham.
Allenton Big Local’s final plan has now completed its main three areas of funded activity, with St Martin’s work with children and families, Enthusiasm’s support to young people Derby Adult Learning’s work on adult education and training. Focus is on finishing things well, with a series of newsletters each leading on reviewing a major strand over the decade and with planning well underway for the final celebration event at St Martin’s on 13 May.
The Project Lockdown book by young people sharing their story during Covid is still available to order here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/191460198X.
The partnership has only three months left to run. It regularly reviews progress on closing down well and is looking forward to welcoming a whole range of residents and partners on 13 May to share in the final celebration of Allenton Big Local, what it has helped achieve and how it has worked so well to do so.