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Local Rep Report July – Sept 2020

July – September 2020

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.

A strong and committed partnership

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world – indeed it’s the only thing that ever has”, said Margaret Mead. And thoughtful and committed are two words that well describe your partnership. The energy and dedication to enact local solutions continues. National research shows Big Local partnerships are doing incredibly well, proving a vibrant and positive force locally as Doers, Connectors and Collaborators. Local Trust nationally is getting that message out to policy makers and funders: that resident-led change is vital to community resilience and recovery. But the personal cost can be high. Look after yourselves as well. These difficult times are set to continue. Remember folks to “put on your own oxygen mask first” – that is to say take care of yourselves amidst the urgency of caring for loved ones and the wider community.

Across the country, partnerships are mainly meeting online and decisions rest with the Local Trusted Organisation and partnership in responding to national laws and guidelines and local conditions. Some similar community challenges are being faced across Big Local, included digital inclusion, mental health and the widening economic divide.

Some popular online conferencing support continues including:

 Priorities and achievements looking back: running things well and responding to Covid-19 through close working with partners, collaboration and shared working, support to key families and young people.

 Running things

The partnership remains well connected and is working effectively. Plan delivery is going well during the pandemic. The recent report to Local Trust shows some areas of underspend, but with most activities running according to the plan, albeit in ways responding to Covid-19 requirements. The partnership meets monthly via online conferencing to review plan progress and finances. Minutes are posted on the website. Quarterly management reports are reviewed and these and the service level agreements are posted on the website along with good news stories of local action and change and newsletters. Short videos from partners were posted to social media to increase contact.

 Doing things

Allenton Big Local continues to support local families with food, cleaning products and toiletries, as well as personal support to combat isolation. Partners continue to adapt in seeking ways to respond to resident need.

  • Enthusiasm has continued its support to young people over the summer through outdoor events, mentoring, regular phone calls and virtual online activities. Work on renovating the Multi Use Games Area is underway, joint funded with Sports England.
  • St Martin’s took the lead alongside Chatter Box Café in responding to holiday hunger with referrals and support from Enthusiasm and Nacro.
  • 3 Community Chests were awarded: Allenton United for under 7s equipment, Alvaston Churches Together for Debt Advice and Merrill PFTA for a residential.

Local Rep Report Apr – Jun 2020

April – June 2020

These last three months of reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic have had a huge impact on our neighbourhoods and communities. We have been faced with questions and concerns we could not have even imagined and we approach the summer with many uncertainties ahead. Yet, people’s warmth and compassion, understanding and action in responding to such unprecedented need are the lasting tribute to the community’s compassion and resilience. Thank you all.

Local Trust continues to support the 150 areas through help with online networking and events and is holding Big Local Connects online from 9-11 July. Any likely Covid-19 related funding is flagged up such as the Emerging Futures Fund. We share local issues and action to influence wider policy, stressing how Big Local succeeds through strong local relationships, responding to community need, open communication with residents, collaboration and partnership.

 Priorities and achievements looking back: running things well and responding to Covid-19 through close working with partners, support to key families and moving to partnership meetings online.

 Running things

Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, plan delivery is going well, with successful completion of the first year of the three year plan in March. The partnership meets monthly via online conferencing to review plan progress and finances. Minutes are posted on the website. In February, quarterly management reports were approved and these and the service level agreements are posted on the website along with good news stories of local action and change and newsletters. In addition, short videos from partners are being posted to social media to increase contact. The partnership has put on hold planning for ways of shared working and collaboration after Big Local ends.

 Doing things

Allenton Big Local supports deliveries to 36 families each week. The content of the parcels rotates between food, cleaning products and toiletries. Two young volunteers help put the packs together. There has been very positive feedback; it has proved a valuable opportunity for workers to check how families and young people they support have been managing.

Partners are adapting to circumstances and need. Enthusiasm, for example, has highlighted young people struggling with mental health and wellbeing, coping with complex, difficult and dangerous home circumstances such as domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse, being at a higher risk of exploitation by local criminals due to being out of school for such a long period, being at increased risk of online grooming. They are continuing their support through regular phone calls, virtual youth activities, such as virtual FIFA tournaments, and responsive online mentoring, advice and support. More recently some face to face work has been able to resume.

St Martin’s community centre has had to remain closed except for food bank activities and nursery type activities. Recently, Steps has reopened its support to young adults with additional learning needs.

Key priorities looking ahead: keeping on supporting local families, opening up further support services as social distancing allows, continuing to run things smoothly in the partnership and being ready to bounce back once the worst is passed, including exploring future options regarding sustainability.

 Key achievements: the partnership continues to meet online and remains well connected with local action to support vulnerable people in the community. Partner organisations represented in the partnership have adapted services successfully and have plans in place to open up further as guidance allows.

Rep’s Report Oct – Dec 19

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.

Big Local is half way through. An excellent report charting challenges and achievements is well worth a scan. There are also loads of small film clips from residents about the impact you are making. A more catchy way of capturing the Big Local magic is to listen in to these lyrics written at Big Local Connects 2019. Locally and nationally, to quote Local Trust CEO, “We are telling out story more proudly and it seems to be having an effect.”

Priorities and achievements looking back: running things well, accountability and transparency, reviewing the partnership and building sustainability

Running things

The partnership and plan delivery are working well. The partnership meets monthly to review plan progress and finances. Minutes are posted on the website. In October, quarterly management reports were approved and these and the service level agreements are posted on the website along with good news stories of local action and change and newsletters. In November, the partnership review was submitted. In December, the partnership explored models of shared working and collaboration after Big Local ends.

Doing things

Another excellent Christmas event was held at St Martin’s, being run on a reduced budget that models a sustainable future for this much loved event. Along with established areas of work, Allenton Big Local has funded Derby Adult Learning to run half term and holiday activities at St Martin’s Community Hall. These have been very well received. The October programme ran over three days. 99 children took part, with some attending multiple days. The sessions covered music and poetry, creating a textile banner and Halloween crafts. “There were some excellent outcomes and some of these could form part of the ABL legacy. For example, the textile banner is to be displayed at St Martin’s Church and a moving poem, created by the children will be read out at the AGM.”

Key priorities looking ahead

The partnership is planning its AGM for February and as part of this its annual report will be produced and circulated. It will continue to explore ways in which Allenton Big Local could continue to work and benefit residents as an affiliation of partners, rather than as a new organisation.

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.

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Big Local Rep’s Update

January – March 2017

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 each month and residents are welcome. With a second plan approved and in place and running smoothly, the partnership has focused on community connection and one of its major partner projects these last three months.

In January Allenton Big Local held a resident and partners event and Annual General Meeting. Two new members were welcomed and a summary of activity and spend shared with those present. Progress was applauded and future plans warmly greeted. Continue reading Big Local Rep’s Update

Big Local Rep’s update

July – September 2016

Looking back

This has been a busy period for Allenton Big Local and the autumn starts with encouraging news about community hub developments and plans developing for the AGM in January. 

Running things

The partnership meets each month and residents are welcome. The new plan is embedded and progress and finances are reviewed regularly. The spendometer on the website front page shows exactly what has been spent and committed to date. Reports of activity funded are received, reviewed and approved by the partnership, such as this recent one on tasty food and healthy eating. One development is to track added value partners bring to the work being funded by Allenton Big Local and quarterly reports now ask for reflections on this. The work club for example has a six monthly budget of £6k and it brought added value of £4.7k. And while partnership costs are budgeted for at £500 for six months the added value is already over £1k. Gradually the partnership will be able to build a picture to show how much is contributed in resources and volunteer hours by residents and partners for every pound of the £1 Million spent. 

There has been interest from some residents and workers about attending and joining the partnership and these contacts are being followed up by the plan co-ordinator. Continue reading Big Local Rep’s update

The latest from our Big Local Rep

Big Local Rep’s Report for January – March 2016

Looking back

This has been a busy three months, reviewing and building the new plan and making progress on delivery, including toward the community hub.

Running things

Monthly meetings are well attended by the partnership and an excellent forum for sharing and reviewing progress and scoping new ideas. All residents are welcome to attend.

The plan review was undertaken by the partnership in January. This was a thorough process and one that brought learning from the first year in one place.

The second plan followed, with a strong mix of holding on to what had worked and adding new or revised elements that responded best to learning and new emerging needs.

The brilliant and very clear Spendometer shows spend to date and projected spend through the next three year plan. The partnership recognises this is an accelerated spending curve in line with need, opportunity and capacity which will need to be addressed in the final years of the ten year programme.

Doing things

Activity remains strong relating to all main priorities and all SLAs and reports are published on line for transparency and accountability. Those from NACRO for children and young people and Enthusiasm for young people led onto a new initiative of inviting and hearing from those who had benefited in a partnership meeting. This brought the stories into the room and gave direct evidence of activity and its impact.

The plan assessment was undertaken by Helen Fairweather who met with some of the partnership. In her report she wrote:

“Activities are already starting to show shifts in perceptions, and have a good mix between individual support for the most vulnerable, and developing community facilities and spirit, which should be a good basis for lasting change.”

Looking ahead

With the second plan approved, the partnership is looking forward to seeing a building up of activity with children and young people and their families. In addition, it is looking at community events for the year and looking to move from one big event to at least four smaller ones, based on community feedback and seeking greater reach and impact for money spent.

There is new hope for the St Martin’s proposed community hub gaining momentum after the appointment of a project lead with an excellent track record, skills and appetite. As a church member, she is also joining the Allenton Big Local partnership which will strengthen ties and improve shared effort.

Working well

The partnership remains strong and vibrant and keen to do the very best with and for residents. It is thorough in its working and committed to transparency and showing the impact Allenton Big Local is having. It was very disappointed in the poor quality of its experience of the national impact process led by R4C but this has not dampened its appetite to review its work in innovative ways such as working with young people from the youth club as reporters, using multi-media to tell the story.

Bill Badham – Allenton Big Local Rep