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31 July 2012
Welcome Message from Debbie Ladds
Hello and a very warm welcome to the July newsletter.
In this newsletter we continue to highlight ideas of things that could be done in Big Local areas (we’re now up to 63). There is an interesting article about how residents of St Blazey, Par and Tywardreath have been involved in deciding which projects should be funded at their Big Giveaway event. Find out what they decided to fund, in the article later in the newsletter.
We can now announce further events for Big Local areas. Are you interested to find out more about: how to make sure that the projects you fund are set up to last; the impact of the environement on a community; or, the how websites and social media can be used in your local area? Then see the events section.
We also find out how: young people from Ramsey have been getting out and about visiting projects in other areas to help them think about what might work in Ramsey; Kingsbrook and Cauldwell have been using the area’s history to help them explore how they want their area to look in the future; Community Hubs will help people make their communities even better places to live and support people in measuring this change by using technology. You can also find out more about the Social Enterprise Mark.
I hope that you all enjoy the rest of the summer.
Debbie Ladds, chief executive, Local Trust
Big Local learning event: People, Place and Environment
Location: Near to Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent
Friday 7 September 2012
Organised and run by Capacity Global, this learning event is for people in Big Local areas who want to:
- learn more about how their area’s environment can make their community vision and plan come alive
- get people in their area excited about Big Local work by knowing more about how greener, cleaner and safer spaces can be good for health, jobs and pride in the community
- be motivated and inspired by examples of people who have brought communities together to make their environment better.
Big Local learning event: Setting things up to last
Site visit to community projects in Bristol, Wednesday 10 October – Thursday 11 October 2012
This visit and workshop is an opportunity in particular for residents who have become closely involved in setting-up their Big Local partnerships who want to:
- explore why some community-led projects last, and the lessons they can offer to Big Local partnerships
- share your own experience of setting up and leading projects, as well as learn from the experience of others
- try out some new approaches and tools in a safe and supportive environment
- identify sources of information and support to help your partnership develop its capability to identify and nurture projects that will last (where that is the appropriate goal).
Big Local action learning meetings
Using local websites and social media to get people involved
This is a new action learning group for people in Big Local areas who have taken on responsibility for a Big Local website, or have agreed to look after social media (like Facebook or Twitter) on behalf of their Big Local area. We think this will be especially useful for people who do not see themselves as technology experts.
The action learning group will cover a number of issues including:
- how to use websites and other online communication to get people involved in Big Local, and how areas can use online and offline methods together
- using a website or social media to help get more local people online and become more confident in using the internet
- what other Big Local areas have done, their successes and challenges
- practical issues of getting websites and social media up and running from scratch.
The meetings will take place every four to six weeks from October 2012 to February 2013. They will last four hours from 11am to 3pm. Provisional dates are Tuesday 23 October, Tuesday 4 December, Tuesday, 22 January, Tuesday, 26 February.
Full details for all of these events can be found on our website.
101 Big Local things to do, 63 ideas and counting!
Earlier in the year we posted a blog on our website which pulled together lots of great ideas and activities fresh from Big Local areas of ways to make your community an even better place to live. The ideas are still coming in, some of the latest are below.
- Sending out a flyer for a community event or fun day? Why not include a colouring competition on the back of the flyer? Kingsbrook and Cauldwell did for their Jubilee event this year and announced the winners on the day.
- Host a talent competition. Thurcroft is planning one as part of their Getting Started activities.
- Hold a kiddies disco!
- Have a family fun day or sports day or an Olympics party.
- Start a film/book/photography club.
- Get people sharing their local knowledge by creating a timeline describing your area’s history and how you might make it even better in the future. Kingsbrook and Cauldwell found it a really great way to bring local people together.
- In Thurnscoe, people locally are planning to use the local health bus to travel around the area and meet and talk with as many residents as possible.
- Get people involved in a green space audit – find where the green spaces are in your area, can they be utilised better or improved for the use of the community? Chell Heath and Fegg Hayes area in Stoke-on-Trent have plans to do this.
- Are there any nature trails or historical trails in your area? Do residents know about them? Hold a promotional day by running a walk and ending with a lunch or afternoon tea.
- Set up a knitting or craft circle.
- Link up with local artists and promote the creative work and experiences going on in your area.
- Get people to volunteer as ‘Big Local Champions’ to spread the word to their local contacts. William Morris Big Local are doing this and Whitleigh residents are also planning this as one of their range of activities.
You may be interested to read a recent blog by Mark and Zoe from Local Trust about ‘What’s going on?’ in Big Local areas. The blog takes a look at how areas are using Getting Started/ Getting People Involved funding, and has some more good ideas taken from proposals.
Young people’s fact-finding trips in Ramsey
Ramsey Big Local decided to organise some consultation trips for young people to look at projects in nearby areas, to help them visualise what might or might not work in Ramsey. The group was made up of pupils from local secondary school Abbey College who volunteered themselves following a presentation to each year group, as well as a group of young people identified by community contacts and youth workers. The projects visited included a skate park, an outdoor gym in a country park, a free outdoor water park and a youth café/ project base. Guest speakers at the projects provided an opportunity for the young people to ask questions about the costs, how the projects were maintained and whether there were any on-going issues.
The young people enjoyed being asked to participate and having the opportunity to put their views forward. Their first choice for what would work best in Ramsey was a youth cafe because it was a place for both boys and girls, they liked the friendly, relaxed atmosphere, they could get involved in other project work and learn skills if they wanted to, and liked that it was a supervised, safe place (safety being rated quite highly by the young people as some have experienced bullying or other issues in unsupervised environments). The trips helped raise awareness of sustainability and the cost of projects, and many of the young people want to stay involved with Big Local.
Chester Hobbs, Ramsey Big Local’s youngest partnership member at 18 years old said: ‘I feel it’s really important that young people are listened to and my main reason for getting involved with Big Local in Ramsey was to help others. I thought it could help as there isn’t much for them to do in this area and I wanted to put their point of view across. I thought it might help stop some of the street crime too. I want to make a difference and hope my ideas help.’
Using a historic timeline to look ahead
As part of Kingsbrook and Cauldwell’s Big Jubilee Picnic, the local area exhibited a 5 metre-long historic timeline which was marked with photos of people, the estate and key landmarks taken over the past 60 years. The timeline prompted discussions surrounding what the area and the community would look like in the future.
Public participatory budgeting
Residents of St Blazey, Par and Tywardreath in Par Bay Big Local were involved in deciding who should be funded to carry out projects locally at their Big Giveaway event on 28 July organised by the Par Bay Big Local partnership. Eight local groups presented their bids for projects to residents and answered questions. This was followed by a voting and scoring system where the four groups with the highest scores were awarded the full amounts they’d bid for. Projects included a newly-established club for the deaf and hard of hearing, a project for the creation of a new skateboard park and plans for a new sensory garden in the school grounds. The other four groups were also awarded part of their funding and were then involved in negotiating how best to divide and award what remained of the allocated £6000 funding for groups locally including a garden and tool sharing project.
‘We have known all along that there were some really worthwhile projects out there that needed just a little help. But the question was whether we could find a way to offer that help which gave the decision making directly to the people of the area, rather than leaving it to us. This is exactly what happened and I have no doubt that we will be repeating the exercise again soon. We already know of some other projects that will be looking for funding. And we hope that the success of last Saturday’s event will encourage others to come forward too.’
Doug Scrafton, Chairman of the Par Bay Local Partnership.
Get involved with your local Community Hub
In April this year, UK online centres launched their Community Hubs programme. The 31 Community Hubs, which are based throughout England, will work in their communities using technology to support community development. Each project is unique and will work with different types of communities in different ways. The hubs aim to help people to make their communities even better places to live and measure this change using technology.
Broadly, the projects will help to develop the skills, knowledge and capacity of local people and local organisations to engage and support their communities, identifying and responding to identified local needs. The projects are large scale, spanning whole communities, and all Community Hubs are keen to get involved with partners in their area to maximise the impact of the work they’re doing, and would welcome the engagement, support and expertise from people in Big Local areas.
Is your Big Local area working with or setting up a social enterprise?
Social enterprises plough the majority of their profits back into activities that benefit people and planet, rather than just lining shareholders pockets.
The Social Enterprise Mark is the only international certification for social enterprises. To get the Mark, social enterprises prove they are driven by social or environmental objectives against a set of qualification criteria, which is overseen by an independent Certification Panel to ensure fairness and consistency. Social enterprises that are certified with the Mark include: Big Issue, Eden Project, Locality and many others – see the map of them here.
If you are interested and would like to find out more please visit the website.
Keep in touch
020 7812 5456
Please send us your news about Big Local activities and if you have any questions either for us or for other areas please get in touch.
You can also email us to tell us about other people in your area who would like to receive this newsletter on a monthly basis.