Here is an update from our Big Local rep, Bill Badham, on the latest developments in Allenton Big Local.
The autumn has been a busy and very productive spell for Allenton Big Local, in both running the partnership and doing a great deal to deliver on the ambitious plan.
The partnership continues in good shape and was pleased to welcome back Keith who has been unable to join the group in recent months. Ties are strengthening with St Martin’s with agreement that two ABL members will join the community hub management group and that they will look to join ABL as best they can.
The partnership is passionate about knowing what difference ABL is making and joined up with two other Big Local areas for a workshop on evaluating change. The partnership agreed as a result to scrutinise all reports from those receiving funding, to agree where follow up and visits may be necessary, to continue with the annual perceptions survey and to create an evaluation budget in the next plan to make available additional resource to dig deeper when needed.
The partnership has also started building the second plan which needs to be in place for April 2017. An interactive workshop highlighted what has been going well and not so well, what needed to be retained in the next plan and what needed to be taken out or added. A draft has been shared with the partnership and the headlines are online. A second draft is being presented to the partnership in January
A number of what’s changed stories have been posted showing the range and extent of impact Allenton Big Local is continuing to have through its funding of local activity.
Santa’s Grotto in December was a massive success, with 500 presents wrapped by local mums and given out by Santa to local families, along with seeing the reindeer, joining in the fun and getting free refreshments. Residents tweeted and posted to Facebook, adding connections and contacts across the Allenton Big Local network.
The Work Club continues to support individuals in developing skills for employment and the feedback shows the success of the project. Dancing in the streets tells the story of young people’s live street performance which developed their confidence and skills and boosted community spirit.
And with the signing of an initial agreement with St Martin’s, the green light has been given to develop fuller architect’s drawings to get this exciting community hub development underway.
The partnership is focusing on building its new plan over the coming three months. In January it is looking at a further draft and then developing the budget. It looks to build on successes and bring in new ideas to continue to meet the vision and priorities.
As one partnership members said: “The very demands of the last three months have helped to strengthen the group, in how it runs things and, with Santa’s Christmas event, in bringing people together through a shared community activity.” The plan co-ordinator is supporting the development of the new plan to make this a smooth and constructive process with no gaps in services to the local community.