Reviewing progress – July to Sept 2014
by Bill Badham, Big Local Rep
The summer has been a successful period for Allenton Big Local, continuing to do things to deliver on the plan and to run the partnership effectively.
ABL has made progress on the plan, sustaining previously started activity and progressing new strands. The work with children and families through NACRO continues to make a substantial difference to the lives and opportunities of some of those struggling with difficult circumstances. The work with young people through Enthusiasm is now up and running.
Exciting progress has been made through partnership with Derby Homes and St Martin’s Church on exploring the potential for a community hub. This is a substantial piece of work and offers a long term sustainable benefit for the wider community.
A strength of Allenton Big Local is its ability to align aspects of governance (running things) with core benefits for the community, rather than them being add-on costs of time and money. First, ABL communications links to skills development among young reporters and this work progresses strongly, with the first newsletter being a triumph. The website and use of social media are becoming good communication tools and the stories of listen – action – change are coming in. A fine example is that from Merrill Academy’s trip to Dimmingsdale, fully and colourfully reported, spiced with quotes from the young people throughout. Second, the AGM was held in a field as a core part of the first ABL sponsored community event. The approach was very successful, sharing information, attracting new interest and sharing about those wishing to stand for the partnership board.
The group has continued to pay attention to matters of governance and accountability. Here are some examples.
- Service Level Agreements are now placed on the website for transparency.
- The partnership decided all board members will have Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and a short training session will be put on by the Local Trusted Organisation.
- In preparing for the first AGM, the partnership group reviewed and updated the partnership constitution to make it more effective and put in place a robust process for standing for election.
- The Parternship Group recently attended a workshop on recording and reporting, drawing on the national Big Local evaluation team.
As this quarter closed, Kim Bell, the plan co-ordinator alerted the group that she is moving on. She will be badly missed, but the group has taken prompt and effective action to secure her replacement.
The focus of the coming months is to progress the partnership for the community hub, launch round two of the community chest, affirm progress on existing SLAs and secure the appointment of the new plan co-ordinator.
Three encouraging stories show up this last quarter: the approach to communications, drawing on a very able local partner and working with young reporters in the Academy; building the AGM into a large community celebration and fun day; exploring and progressing a community hub through the leadership of the local Housing Provider and commitment for an outward-looking community emphasis from the local church.
I congratulate all residents and workers – and especially the partnership and plan co-ordinator – for a fantastic few months and I look forward to the action and activity over the coming months to help make your vision a reality in Allenton.