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:
- Monthly Big Local chairs/vice-chairs check-in.
- Big Local workers drop in, the next being on 13 October, 11.30-12.30
- Big Local areas and community hubs, to discuss current government guidance.
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.
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.
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.