Welcome to the Growing Together '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 Growing Together as a result of Big Local over a ten year period.
The aim of the website is to share the learning from everything that is happening in Growing Together with other Big Local areas and highlight what works in communities with a wider audience of practitioners and policy makers.
This workshop brought together people from the community of all ages and from different agencies. They discussed how Big Local has worked, what has been achieved, some of the challenges and identified learning for future programmes and projects. The report is attached here - it also includes a list of all projects supported by Growing Together since the start; there is also a short film from the event.
Local residents, young people’s groups, Big Local partnership members, a local councillor, the LTO and other officers from the public and voluntary sectors met together to review Growing Together’s progress since 2013. This film highlights some of the contributions and key messages for Big Local and other programmes.
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.
Growing Together Big Local has used its resources to respond to local people's aspirations for themselves and their area. With just one big project left to complete, (to improve the environment around three local lakes), this film illustrates some examples of what has been achieved so far.
Growing Together Big Local has supported the development of community activity through its small grants scheme. One project they have supported was a Saturday morning drama club. This has now grown into an independent performing arts group which has a base in the local shopping centre. This film illustrates how it works and its value, as identified by the young members.
The group was started up by the head teacher, Leigh Wolmarans, in 2013 at the local primary school in the Growing Together area. They acquired funding from Growing Together and support from the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Intermission Theatre and the University of Northampton. It has been very successful, they have now had to move to larger premises in the local Weston Favell shopping centre. The youngsters attend sessions before and after school and at the weekends. Ages range from six years old to teenagers. This is one of the sessions, this group is working on West Side Story.
Growing Together Big Local works across five distinct areas. In 2017, they opened the Brookside Community Hub and a community gardening club has developed. The increased activity at the hub and the improvement to the physical environment around the hub have improved residents feelings about where they live. This short film tells the story of the community garden.
The community Hub, after consultation with the local parents, decided to add some more equipment to the existing ones. Funded by Growing Together they acquired a slide and a see saw.
Goldings play area was installed after consultation with the local community. Unfortunately the slide was destroyed within a few weeks. Several people in the area decided they would get together and replace the slide in readiness for Spring.
Shirley will explain how it started and what they are doing, hot meals are provided on Wednesdays and Christmas day, exercises, bingo and many other activities. All elderly people living in the area and looking after each other.
A quick look at some of the activities in the Growing Together area in Northampton
After consultation with many local people it was decided that a place where people could go for a coffee and a chat would be very useful. The Hub now has two rooms in the local community centre, one for socializing and one for private consultations.
Foxcovert Wood is one of many new play areas for different age groups installed along with gym equipment and youth shelters throughout the Growing together area. An opening day was held and attended by many of the local youngsters and residents.
A discussion between partnership members about they work together, what's been achieved so far, how they are making a difference, how they manage their own and others' expectations, and their thoughts about the future.
A full review of the programme drew upon a Partnership Review questionnaire and widespread consultation in 2015 and was concluded at a dedicated Partnership awayday in October 2015. The Plan runs from April 2016 to March 2018.
Young people describe the difference Change of Scene, a project supported by Growing Together, has made to their lives.
Volunteers from the community and Big Local volunteers came along for a walk through, participating in a big clean up. Free refreshments were also provided for the helpers and volunteers.