We are supporting the Big Local initiative in four areas, North Shropshire, Wyre Forest, Telford and Cannock.

We are supporting the Big Local programme in three areas, in Wyre Forest, Telford and Cannock, and have completed work in a fourth, in North Shropshire

Acting as community representatives for this BIG Lottery funded programme liaising between the areas and the national partnership, Helen is covering three areas whilst Irene is concentrating on Cannock.

The programme has allocated over £1M over 10 years to each of 150 areas in England, for resident-led transformational change. Working as a mentor, critical friend and adviser Helen and Irene have supported and guided local residents and agencies to set up their partnership, identify local visions and develop a community plan for lasting change. Now plans are in place and partnerships established, starting to deliver their ten-year plans. 

Connecting local residents’ commitment and understanding of ‘how it works here’ with the ambitions of the national programme needs all our experience of working at different levels, from grass roots to strategic. This is a very unusual and exceptionally valuable programme of long term investment and support in lasting community change. We have helped get things moving and put the structures in place so that local people’s time and energy is spent effectively. Now we are supporting effective delivery and encouraging learning from the early stages. 

Key findings from an independent evaluation of the programme were published by local Trust in February 2015.  You can read about this on the Local Trust website http://localtrust.org.uk/, follow links to ‘Big Local Early Years Evaluation’

In May 2015 Irene Also attended two of the Spring Events, where residents from Big Local communities get together for the day to share their experiences, learn from one another, and get up-to-date information about the programme nationally. She sat in at three workshops at each event, using what she heard to write up case studies which are available as learning resources for everyone involved in Big Local.

http://localtrust.org.uk/news/blogs/car-sharing

http://localtrust.org.uk/news/blogs/supporting-and-funding-local-business

http://localtrust.org.uk/news/blogs/working-with-the-public-sector

We are also involved with assessing community plans, more info on this can be found here

Brereton’s Million – Big Local Rep for Brereton

Irene has been working with the community in Brereton (near Rugeley in Staffordshire) since 2012, supporting them to make the most of the opportunities offered through the Big Local programme, run by Local Trust with Lottery funding. As with the other 149 Big Local areas around England, Brereton has at least £1m to invest to make their area an even better place to live. Big Local is an resident led asset-based community development programme, and Brereton have taken this to heart, building on some real gems in their community including a large park and other open spaces dotted around the area, as well as their own community spirit and willingness to make things happen.

Irene’s role is one of guiding, advising, supporting and empowering local people. At this stage, the focus is on hearing from across the spectrum of the local community about what they like about Brereton now and what they think needs improving. With these multiple ‘visions’ in place, the interim Steering Group will work with others to produce a unified vision and a Big Local Plan which will outline the actions to be taken in the area. Irene’s goal is to help the community get to a point where they don’t much need her!

North Shropshire, Wyre (DY10) and Brookside

Helen has been working with the communities of Brookside (Telford), DY10 (Kidderminster) and 3 Parishes (near Oswestry, Shropshire)v supporting them to build their visions for the future and create the local partnership and area profile which will underpin their 10 year plan.

Helen’s first assignment in 3 Parishes Big Local area has been completed, as has the second which was supporting the group to move from creating the partnership to completing the 10 year plan. The strong community-development based approach is proving its worth, with large and active meetings of local residents and businesses who ‘get it’.

She continues to provide support in Brookside and DY10.

For more on the plan creation click here