2010-2014 – Understanding the community's needs
From the earliest days this project has been about the people who live and work in our area. Residents and local organisations came together to become a steering group that sought to identify the community's needs. An incredible amount of work, effort and passion went into creating our first three year plan – we consulted with residents, carried out research and engaged with local organisations, not to mention wrote draft after draft of the plan until we were all happy. However, there was no time to stop and admire what we had done as we launched straight in to year one of plan delivery. Read more on the plan here.
We decided to use the funds to help organisations deliver new, innovative projects that meet the needs our our community. We aim to draw more money and support in to the area, turning the £1m into much much more.
2015 – Setting the foundations
It’s fair to say that time flew by. The steering group became a management committee that is still resident led. We’re proud that so much was accomplished behind the scenes; from developing our branding, website and social media presence to creating professional methods of practice and setting up the Big Fund process.
As we are a volunteer-led organisation we brought in help to assist us in getting started. Westfield Parish Council looked after our finances and Somer Valley FM led on our communications. Sarah Westell and Rob Wicke were employed part-time to help deliver the plan.
2016 – Building on our strengths and prioritising projects
This was our second year of plan delivery, operating with a wealth of experience and a great core team. We have developed strong partnerships with local residents, the councils and community organisations in order to deliver the following goals:
- Develop a local food strategy
- Develop a youth engagement and empowerment strategy
- Continue with the Big Fund – Funding Events and Small Maintenance Works
- Investigate options for social investment that brings returns
- Get people involved in Big Local and give them the skills to keep Big Local going
- Continue the Big Local Dragons' Den event - so far 40 projects have been funded to benefit the community
2017 - Our plans include:
Investigating how to improve cycle routes, create a community hub, refresh our knowledge of the area and resident’s needs (taking into account changes in the area such as population, Hope House moving, etc.)
We will work on the design of our second plan and will consult with the community to make sure it is what is needed.
Our first plan, that covers 2015-18, can be downloaded HERE