We were recently given the good news that our community investment plan for 2019 to 2022 (Plan 2) has been endorsed by our funders (Local Trust), with a proviso that we can access the community kitchen funds should our business plan demonstrate need and value.
The beginning of the new plan is great because we can build community energy and support around it and increase our partnership numbers in the process. The Meet and Mingle in late November 2018 was our first celebration of this pivotal moment and was a chance to welcome interested people from the community, explain where we’re going and invite them to join us.
We are excited to say a number of local people joined the Partnership at (and just before) the Meet and Mingle event and we now have 26 members who will help to guide and support the Plan!
Our Plan 2 will focus on the following priorities:
Invest in health & well-being to improve quality of life
Poor health is an area of concern in our community especially obesity, diabetes and mental health, we believe by supporting projects that promote and enable healthy lifestyles we can make a positive impact.
We aim to provide funding towards a community kitchen and training space - we are working on developing a business plan to ensure the space is used and supported by the local community.
The impact this should have is a generational reduction in obesity and other health related issues and an increase in community engagement.
Invest in young people to become life, work & further education ready
This priority has developed from consultations, local statistics and following on from Plan 1.
Residents have identified the need to invest in our young people, we aim to focus on empowering them with a devolved budget and creating learning opportunities. Led by the recent youth consultation (Dec 2017) we are using the results and recommendations to inform the decisions we make regarding investing in youth provision.
We expect to allocate £23k per year for the next three years with specified, measurable goals written into the terms and conditions for the funding to be allocated.
The goals will include a successful anti-bulling strategy, an increase in what services are currently available and a re-evaluation of the young people needs and wants and the impact/improvement the funding has made. We will continue funding the devolved budget of £5k per year working closely with the youth panel, ensuring our young people have their say on how and where money should be spent. We will identify fundraising opportunities to ensure the project remains sustainable into the future of youth provision.
Invest in upskilling support for people, organisations and facilities to increase resilience
This Priority originates from Plan 1. Over the duration of the last plan it became apparent that community organisations face numerous challenges in order to continue and meet the changing needs of our communities.
We felt that some of the resources needed to be used in a way that provided organisations with the skills to raise funds, develop business plans, identify and adapt to the opportunities and needs within the community.
We are keen to develop long term resilience by making funds available annually to provide professional support (workshops/events) to grow these skills and plan for the future.
Our Dragons’ Den events have been incredibly successful in bringing together the community to celebrate the creativity and motivation of our community to make good things happen here. We want this to continue for as long as it’s useful and so will work towards making our Dragons’ Den event sustainable – finding funding partners and volunteers to help run and promote it.
We will also identify and provide funding towards training in preparing and cooking healthy food on a budget. We will aim towards making the project self-funding and an integrated part of the health and wellbeing hub that is developing in Radstock and Westfield.
Invest and raise funds to enhance the Radstock & Westfield CIC offer to the community
The £1million from Local Trust is not enough to fully address the needs/problems we have decided to focus on and this priority shows our commitment to deliver the plan, develop sustainability to continue beyond the 10-year lottery project, build on our capacity and embrace long-term partnerships.
The delivery of the plan will be carried out by the community workers and volunteers in accordance with Local Trust aims as well as Companies House regulations.
We will create a strategy to lever in outside funding using our understanding of the needs of our community. We will utilise match funding and complete funding applications in order to ensure good things continue to happen in our area beyond the Local Trust investment.