Radstock and Westfield

Radstock and Westfield

Welcome to the Radstock and Westfield 'Our Bigger Story' website. This is part of the multi media evaluation of 15 Big Local areas in England. The website is an opportunity to follow what is changing in Radstock and Westfield as a result of Big Local over a ten year period.
br/>The aim of the website is to share the learning from everything that is happening in Radstock and Westfield with other Big Local areas and highlight what works in communities with a wider audience of practitioners and policy makers.

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Timeline

  • September 25, 2019 Film

    Radstock and Westfield Big Local are in the process of commissioning services for young people. As part of this the Big Local is running a ‘Learning to Lead’ programme and involving young people themselves in the design and development of these services. This is the story of that commissioning process.

  • August 2, 2019 Photo

    In June 2019 Our Bigger Story hosted a 2 day event for all the case study areas. During this time, each of the OBS areas mapped their journey. Here are a few photos.

  • March 19, 2019 Photo

    The Norton Radstock Amateur Boxing Club were amongst the winners of our Dragons' Den 6, held by the community, for the community in April 2018. They gave a good pitch, asking for support towards re-flooring the club which would help them to make it a better and safer place for it's users. They recently got in touch to tell us why they're doing what they're doing and what the impact of the funding has been: Radstock and Westfield have a long proud history of amateur boxing which sadly declined from the late 1980’s, our Club wants to continue to build on the areas boxing history and give young people both male and female the chance to try boxing for themselves and hopefully represent the Club the area and possibly their country in the sport of Amateur boxing. The new flooring in our gym is a vast improvement on the previous flooring, not only making the gym look more professional but making activities safer with its extra cushioning and also the benefit of insulation for the winter months (gym does not have heating).

  • March 19, 2019 Photo

    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!

  • March 19, 2019 Photo

    We're pleased to have heard from Jaydean Dawkins, founder of the Confessions of the Youth Theatre Company, who let us know how they got on with the funding from our Dragons' Den 6. The young people who made an brilliant pitch were awarded £500 to write and perform a musical, involving the community. Here's what Jaydean had to say: The Theatre Company was founded in Radstock in 2014, the company was born out of my desire to provide free and affordable arts for all children and young people. I have been working with these children for the past 4 years and have fallen in love with their creativity and passion to make theatre. They thrive in the creative space and we have been able to work with 84 children in total so far and will be extending this in the new year. 24 Young people ages 4-15 were able to create a devised play called ‘Locked In'. During this process they were able to work creatively, collaboratively, build confidence, improve their writing and acting skills which would be performed at a theatre. For many of the children from the area it was their first time performing on a stage, I was able to take the children to a theatre where they experienced a backstage tour and had the use of dressing rooms and stage. They were able to experience the life of a performer. This project was open to all children and young people and the community was invited to come along and experience community theatre.

  • March 19, 2019 Photo

    Westfield Voices weren't always known by that name, in fact they won a grant at our Dragons' Den 6 to help them to re-brand (including new equipment) from Westfield Ladies Choir - a name that has been well known in the community for decades, but was beginning to restrict what they wanted to do going forward. They have recently been in touch with a report on how they've got on... The Dragons' Den pitch - Westfield Ladies Choir Relaunch as “Westfield Voices” - Modernise and rebrand Westfield Ladies Choir in order to allow us to reach out to a wider age range and involve more local residents and continue to support local groups, events, schools and charities: The project really took off at our relaunch concert on 28th July. Since then we have been able to use our new equipment in a number of venues which would otherwise have been difficult for us to attend. We absolutely loved our visit to Fosseway School. We were also delighted to perform at Trinity Primary School for the first time.

  • March 19, 2019 Photo

    We're very pleased to have contributed to the community spirit in Westfield by supporting the Westfield Parish Council's lights switch on, by running a free gift stall and also providing the star for the tree. Here's what the Westfield Parish Council had to say about the event they run for the community: The Christmas lights are just one of the ways in which the Parish Council is encouraging a sense of community in the newly formed Parish of Westfield and we have seen our Switch-on event grow steadily in numbers year on year which is testament to the community spirit which is growing with it. The tree topper is a welcome addition to our Christmas lights display and gives added distinction to our living Christmas tree which is the centre of our Christmas lights switch-on event. It makes the area look alive and loved and a place in which residents can feel proud to live.

  • October 13, 2018 Film

    Radstock and Westfield Big Local have been working with Hope House Surgery, Radstock, to identify the health and wellbeing needs of the local community. In this film, Hope House Surgery talk about the changing demographic of Radstock and increasing issues related to diabetes and childhood obesity. Ambitious plans are described in terms of tacking these issues with Big Local and other partners. In addition, Big Local has been using small grants, awarded through Dragons Den events, to groups promoting health and wellbeing in the area.

  • March 19, 2019 Photo

    Well done to Radstock Museum for raising the funds to restore the iconic clock tower so that the clock face functions and the bells chime. We're pleased to have been able to contribute to the process, providing funding towards engineering that ensure the chimes only go off during sociable hours! Here's what they told us: The project is needed because Radstock must regain pride in its heritage and the Market Hall clock and the strike is an integral part of this heritage. We have gone a long way to getting the clock and strike back into full function, the strike works again but because of complaints from a local resident it cannot be used. By providing a night silencing system we can have a strike that proudly chimes out the hours through the day but respects local residents during the silent hours.

  • March 19, 2019 Photo

    The Somer Valley Walking Festival gave a great pitch to the voting public at Dragons' Den 5 and were awarded funds towards promoting the festival to our community. They wrote in to let us know how it went: All the events ( opening talk, short walks , longer walks and family walk and art walk) introduced members of the public, locally and further afield .to the industrial heritage, attractive environment and walking opportunities in Radstock and Westfield. Three of the short walks (Radstock Town Centre, Haydon and Westfield) covered local points of interest; all the four longer walks and the art walk began in Radstock and their routes covered local features of historical interest.

  • March 19, 2019 Photo

    Well done to Writhlington Village Hall for finding a solution to the increasingly worrying parking issue around St Mary's Primary School which was causing a lot of risk to the children as they were dropped off / collected. The village hall wanted to open it's car park to the parents but it needed a proper durable surface put down first - so working with Radstock & Westfield Big Local, Radstock Town Council and The Ralph and Irma Sperring Charity, they raised the funds to this happen.

  • March 19, 2019 Photo

    Congratulations to Radstock Museum for making the most of the radio, media and print training funded by Radstock & Westfield Big Local - They now have a regular slot on the Somer Valley FM station!!! See the other organisations that have received funding to learn skills in radio, media and print - training provided by Somer Valley FM.

  • March 19, 2019 Photo

    Check out this write up in the MNR Journal about how SWALLOW Charity members are learning new skills in media, radio and press with Somer Valley FM. We're really pleased to have funded this course for SWALLOW, and have also provided funding to other organisations too, see here for other reports.

  • July 3, 2018 Photo

    One of ten winners at the 2018 Big Local Dragons' Den event, local resident Christopher Lewis-Smith used the funds to build a giant fish from plastic collected from the river running through Radstock. The final touches were applied to it at The Somer Valley Arts Festival in Radstock and it was displayed in all it's glory to raise awareness of the waste that clogs up our waterways when people litter.

  • July 3, 2018 Photo

    What an amazing community spirit showcased at this year's Radstock & Westfield Big Local Dragons' Den event... Thank you for all your effort and time ... together we really can make positive things happen! Well done to everyone who took part and big thanks to the audience/voters who numbered around 180!!!

  • July 3, 2018 Photo

    Our first fruit tree collaboration was with Radstock Town Council, creating a community orchard in the Church Street Recreation Ground (behind the library car park). In the coming years, the community will be able to benefit from these plums, pears and apple trees - to sit in tranquillity, to learn about fruit trees and to enjoy their fruit. We will be rolling out the Fruit Tree Project across the community, working with organisations to increase the number of fruit trees and their many benefits.

  • July 3, 2018 Photo

    Jim Gump spent 10 months running across the US, visiting schools along the way to inspire children to enjoy running and being active. Local residents voted for him to receive a grant at our fifth Dragons' Den in order to get that excitement and inspiration back home and to schools in our area. We're really pleased to report he has visited St Nicholas Primary School in Radstock and the children had an amazing time hearing about his journey. The school got in touch to give us this wonderful message: - We just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and to everyone at the Big Local. We welcomed Jim to our school last Friday (12th Jan). The children found him totally inspiring, they hung on every word during his assembly and especially enjoyed hearing about all the wildlife he has encountered on his many runs. Jim joined us for our weekly run around school and then spent time with each class so they could ask questions about his adventures. "Jim has inspired me to become more active and get outside more" said one year 6 student." - Well done Jim!

  • July 3, 2018 Photo

    Radstock Museum were one of the winners at our fifth Dragons' Den. Residents present at the event voted for them to receive £500 towards making the appearance of the museum even more stunning! Miranda Litchfield, the Development Programme Coordinator for Radstock Museum, has been in touch to let us know how the funds have made a positive difference in the local community. She said: "As a museum, we care hugely about and are extremely well connected to, our local community. Although the museum is situated in Radstock, we appreciate the importance of our supporters in Westfield, in conjunction with other nearby towns and villages. We felt as a museum that we could offer more visually, especially on the outside of the building. This was partially to attract a higher number of visitors by showcasing some of the subjects covered in the museum (Radstock’s history, coal mining and the railways) but also, by creating a more vibrant ‘front window’ for the hundreds if not thousands of commuters who pass through Radstock, every day. The project’s main aim was to illustrate the wealth of photographs and artifacts stored in the museum, by actively using a selection of these to decorate entire panes of glass, which face the centre of Radstock. We would like to remind residents, and tourists, of the incredibly rich heritage of Radstock and on a wider scale, of the former Somerset Coalfield. The financial help from Big Local, Radstock & Westfield has without a doubt, brightened the museum’s windows and therefore vastly helped to improve and modernise the museum’s general appearance, both inside and out. The impact on the local community has so far only been measured with visitor and volunteer comments. All comments however, have praised the dramatic change to the Tea Room and comments were also made on how warm the museum now appears from outside, with its added decoration in a historic theme. As a result we are considering how we can illuminate the windows during the hours of darkness whilst the Museum is closed, to gain maximum benefit from the impact of the new window displays. We are also considering a similar approach to improving the windows in our Victorian School classroom. We believe and hope that these images are nostalgic for some, whilst they provoke curiosity in others. This will in time create a more inquisitive, knowledgeable and proud local community in the Radstock and Westfield area."

  • July 3, 2018 Photo

    The Radstock Juniors Club were chosen by local people, at the 5th Radstock & Westfield Big Local Dragons' Den, to be funded to provide fun yet educational activities to their members. The Radstock Juniors Club draws members from Radstock, Westfield and the surrounding area. Children aged between 11 and 18 that are affected by a range of learning disabilities that live in the area use this club because it provides them with good social opportunities. The club offers parents and carers short but regular respite from the demands of caring 24/7 - an extremely valuable service. Amanda Leonard, fundraiser, told us "The project has given local children with learning disabilities the same opportunities as their peers. The project has helped the children to develop and use their skills, build confidence to enjoy and take part in new activities designed to broaden their horizons. The project has implemented a change for the better, now and in the future. The experiences the children has had will enable some of them to further develop the tools needed to become more self-sufficient as they grow up."

  • July 3, 2018 Photo

    SWAN Transport were one of the winners of the 5th Radstock and Westfield Big Local Dragons' Den, receiving £500 towards providing transport for local residents who are older, frail or disabled on low incomes. They told us that Swan "was first set up by a social worker 32 years ago who recognised the need for help and advice in the Radstock area. We are still located here as the need is still here. Our transport service sprang from a disability information project that Swan used to run about 16 years ago. The need has increased since then and the need for our transport service continues to grow with a 11% increase in journeys last financial year." They have shared the comments they received from people who used the service, we're sure you will agree that these highlight what a valuable asset it is to the community: I would not be able to get to Dr’s or hospital, without this transport. I am 80 years old and it makes me feel safe and confident. It gives me peace of mind, having regular friendly drivers when we need them. It’s so nice to be able to go from a-b with a nice driver. I can’t drive anymore owing to Macular Degeneration. Your drivers are competent, friendly, reliable, and thoughtful. I am less tired / less anxious / less breathless / in less pain / able to get to appointments / seeing family more regularly. It enables you to take advantage of health appointments easily which otherwise would be difficult to do. Also stops you being house bound for long periods of time and definitely improves my quality of life. I have no family to visit me. So going out meeting people, talking, catching up with their news etc. is lovely. I can’t leave home without such help. Trips to hospital are reliable and supportive If it wasn’t for SWAN I wouldn’t be able to get out and socialise. I feel cared for and can get about Wonderful service, helpful drivers. I don’t think you can improve on the service you provide. Thank you to all concerned. I would be completely lost if I were to lose this service – it’s a lifeline to me. Your service is very good – Thank you all for being there! Stars in their Cars – Great! Thank you for the service you provide, it’s so nice not having to worry about getting to places or appointments and I do appreciate the help of the office staff who run this service and the drivers who help people who would otherwise be helpless or unable to go anywhere, by giving their time. Many thanks. Keep up the good work – I can recommend Swan to my relatives and friends and know they will be pleased with the service.

  • July 3, 2018 Photo

    Local residents present at the 5th Radstock & Westfield Big Local Dragons' Den, chose to grant the Somer Valley Walking Festival £500 towards bringing interesting and engaging walks to our community. Councillor Jon Bull has been in touch to let us know how the festival went: "All the events ( opening talk, short walks , longer walks and family walk and art walk) introduced members of the public, locally and further afield to the industrial heritage, attractive environment and walking opportunities in Radstock and Westfield. Three of the short walks (Radstock Town Centre, Haydon and Westfield) covered local points of interest; all the four longer walks and the art walk began in Radstock and their routes covered local features of historical interest." This is the second time the Somer Valley Walking Festival has been successful in securing funding from the Radstock & Westfield Big Local, which indicates, alongside other funded projects such as the fossil hunt, there is an appetite from the local community for projects that embrace getting out and exploring the wonderful heritage of the area.

  • July 3, 2018 Photo

    Members of The Potting Shed gave a great pitch at our fifth Dragons' Den in April 2017, and were awarded £100 by the voting audience (residents of Radstock and Westfield). Jon Durrant reports from the ground level on the many things the Potting Shed accomplished with the grant: The members of the Potting Shed are residents of Radstock and Westfield and therefore it is vital that there are wellbeing groups in the community in which they live. Very often people who benefit from wellbeing groups like the Potting Shed cannot travel to attend such groups. Amongst other things, the grant from Big Local has allowed the Potting Shed to attend 3 local events; Round About Radstock, Midsomer Norton Arts Festival and WAGS (Westfield Allotment and Gardening Society) Open Day with "Cress Heads" - a free activity encouraging Children to sow cress seeds for fun. There have been many benefits of attending these events - we have worked with some great people/organisations, we have promoted The Potting Shed Project and wellbeing, we have connected with the wider community and we have had fun and a sense of achievement from doing it. The Potting Shed's involvement with Big Local has also initiated further collaborations with other great local organisations like SWALLOWS and Radstock Museum. Throughout the year, surplus produce from the Potting Shed has been donated to the SWALLOWS Cafe who have turned it into meals for sale. The money we were awarded was deliberately spent back into the local community to purchase what we needed - notably Thomsons Hardware - which has in turn lead to sponsorship from them and allowed us to distribute free wild flower seeds back to the community. http://www.bathmind.org.uk/greenlinks.asp https://www.facebook.com/ThePottingShedRadstock/

  • July 3, 2018 Photo

    The Radstock & Westfield Big Local are pleased to have been able to play a part in helping Radstock Museum bring fossil hunting to local residents. At the fifth Dragons' Den, held at Victoria Hall, the Radstock Museum successfully pitched for £500 towards preparing the site. With another £500 match funding from Simon Carpenter they were able to do the hard part; clearing the overgrowth and exposing rocks and stones ready for investigation. They recently organised an event to showcase the batch for fossil hunting and got in touch to let us know how this has had an impact on our local community - "The project has ensured that the batch is available for fossil hunting for many more years, both organised events such as run by the Museum and also individual fossil hunting by visitors to the batch. The event organised by Radstock Museum on the newly cleared site was a huge success attended by over 200 people, many of them children, in good weather and with many interesting finds. It brought together all sorts of local people of ages from 5 to over 80 who all benefited not just from the experience of finding fossils and learning about them from an expert who was on hand to advise, but also from the exercise of walking to and from the site!" So, a big well done to the team at Radstock Museum and their hard work in making our community a great place to live! www.radstockmuseum.co.uk

  • October 23, 2017 Photo

    Local children now have a place to learn about and grow vegetables in the Westfield allotment site! Thanks to the hard work of Westfield Allotment and Gardens Society and the funding from Big Local, they now have 2 more raised beds built.

  • October 23, 2017 Photo

    At our very first Dragons' Den the attending residents of Radstock and Westfield voted to support the Radstock Town Football Club to build new changing room facilities. They were awarded £500, which has gone some way to help get them started.

  • October 23, 2017 Photo

    Funding from Big Local has enabled the Young Actors Group to experience a wide range of theatre in order to build up their knowledge and skills in the Arts.

  • October 23, 2017 Photo

    Due to our hard work we have been nominated the lead community for the B&NES Sugar Smart Campaign! We launched it in Radstock at the Roundabout Radstock event and will be working with Virgin Care and B&NES to promote sugar awareness in the community.

  • October 23, 2017 Photo

    Radstock & Westfield Big Local help local people to make their community an even better place to live in their 5th Dragons’ Dens style event. The Victoria Hall was was awash with excited energy with 100 people in attendance.

  • October 23, 2017 Photo

    Musicians South West, led by Jackie Bevan, successfully applied to the Radstock & Westfield Big Local Big Fund. Our management supported the initiative to bring an innovative event to the area providing a learning experience to local residents

  • October 23, 2017 Photo

    The Somer Valley Walking Festival were successful applicants to our Big Fund pot in 2016. With the grant from us and match funding from others they were able to organise two guided walks in our area and link in with a talk at Radstock Museum.

  • October 23, 2017 Photo

    Funding from Big Local helped community hall purchase lights - "With additional lighting, more companies/performers are willing to come here and we have therefore been able to offer the local community a better selection of entertainment."

  • October 23, 2017 Photo

    Radstock&Westfield Big Local Vice Chair, Marlene Morley, along with keen helper Emma, drew the winning entries at the Radstock Museum Christmas Fayre. The winners each get a £20 shopping voucher (donated by Radstock and Westfield Big Local) to be spent i

  • October 23, 2017 Photo

    We were heavily involved in helping to bring people together to make the Radstock Town Council Xmas Lights Switch On a fun-filled community event. We are happy to have funded Radstock Museum to open to the public for free that day.

  • November 15, 2016 Film

    In this film partners, staff and Dragon’s Den award winners talk about the difference small grants from the Big Local are making: for the local museum, adults with a learning disability and involving young people in the Westfield Allotments Group.

  • October 20, 2016 Film

    Almost 50 years after the closure of the last pits, people in Radstock and Westfield still talk about the influence of the mining industry. This film, from Huntley Film Archives, provides useful background to the current economy of the area...

  • October 23, 2017 Photo

    At a local community event, we funded a Radstock passport and seeds of change stall, both were crowd favourites and got a wide range of people to try things they might not usually, teaching new skills and giving new opportunities to Radstock.

  • May 17, 2016 Photo

    The Radstock and Westfield Big Local Partnership meeting, held on 1st March at Radstock Working Mens Club, was an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the successes and learning of year 1 and usher in the new dawn of year 2.

  • May 17, 2016 Photo

    We are the proud owners of the new tiered seating in Victoria Hall, purchased in partnership with Sue Hill Dance Ltd. Big Local is helping to enhance the Radstock and Westfield area, making it a better place to live, visit and enjoy.

  • May 17, 2016 Photo

    The Radstock and Westfield Big Local Partnership meeting, held on 1st March at Radstock Working Mens Club, was an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the successes and learning of year 1 and usher in the new dawn of year 2.

  • January 1, 2016 Film

    In this short film Sarah Westell and Rob Wicke explain how Radstock and Westfield Big Local are involving young people in decision making in the Big Local area.

  • January 21, 2016 Photo

    A special community event where residents choose the small grants projects to fund. Applicants give a 90 sec pitch to the audience, the local celeb Dragons ask helpful questions, the residents vote on their favourite projects. Winners receive £500.

  • March 30, 2016 Photo

    An amazing and revitalising day for members of the partnership - Our professional facilitator was Shila Brown, she helped us to focus on priorities, our skills, identify barriers and ways to overcome them.

  • June 6, 2016 Audio

    Local community projects in Radstock and Westfield describe the difference that small grants awarded at the Radstock and Westfield Big Local’s Dragon’s Den event in February 2015 are making.

  • Responsive Design
    May 23, 2016 Text

    The Radstock and Westfield Big Local Plan was approved in February 2015. This covers the period from 2014 to 2017 and lays out the partnerships goals in improving transport links, developing local businesses,life-long learning opportunities.

  • June 6, 2016 Audio

    With the support of a small grant from Radstock and Westfield’s ‘Dragon’s Den small grants scheme, set up Dial and Smile – a befriending service for isolated older people in the community.

  • February 1, 2015 Film

    Radstock and Westfield take a slightly different approach to awarding Big Local small grants. In this short film partnership members and local residents explain how the second Dragon’s Den event works.