As your Big Local Rep, every three months or so, I share my thoughts on local area progress with you as residents and with the central team managing the national programme. Your comments and thoughts are always welcome.
Just as I review the last three months, we’ve gone into another national lockdown. Once again family, friends and neighbours will be facing increased social, emotional, financial and practical difficulties. But our experience to date gives renewed hope through the resilience of residents and the connections in our in communities offering so much kindness and support; together you will see this through. If you have a moment, take a look at the message from Matt Leach and what he has seen of the solidarity and strength shown by Big Local communities in the face of the crisis. This is backed by the COVID-19 research project, summarised in Rob Macmillan’s blog.
Meanwhile, Local Trust continues to look to support your area as best it can in these harsh circumstances, mainly through online support groups:
- Loneliness across the life cycle: stories and lessons from Big Local areas on Thursday 28th January 2021 between 10:00-12:00
- Community responses to mental health on Wednesday 20th January at 9:30am
- Community sports and activity. The first workshop is split into two parts and being held on Tuesday 19th January 10:00-12:00 and Tuesday 26th January 10:00-12:00
- Promoting Digital Inclusion on the Wednesday 10th February at 9:30.
Priorities and achievements looking back: running things well during Covid-19, responding to local need, connecting and collaborating with partners and building the case for possibly taking on the Methodist Church in Warsop.
The partnership met online every fortnight , keen to be as responsive as possible to changing local need. Partner agreements, reports on activities, minutes of meetings and stories of action and change are posted on the website. Monthly financial updates are provided by the Local Trusted Organisation, Mansfield CVS. The partnership legacy sub-group submitted to Local Trust its case to seek to buy at auction the Methodist Church in Market Warsop as a centre for community groups and activities and a home for Vibrant.
Big Warsop, Vibrant and key partners have continued to respond to changing local need, recognising especially the mental health impact of the pandemic along with financial insecurity. It has been said repeatedly that many simple acts of kindness and thoughtfulness have had a huge impact in people feeling remembered and cared for. Among these are the hampers, fish and chips vouchers, children’s activity packs, Christmas gifts and Santa Lollies and the 12 Days of Christmas on-line event.
By 23 December, CAR Warsop had delivered over 715 hampers within the Parish, feeding 1059 Adults and 944 children. Demand has eased somewhat, as with the Plough Food Bank. This is good news as it is an indication that people are now managing better, though this may yet change again. The Freedom project continues to receive referrals from Warsop Parish for financial support.
The December edition of the Warsop and District News included some of these highlights.
Key priorities looking ahead
The partnership will continue to contribute to action seeking to support some of the most vulnerable residents in the parish. It awaits the outcome of the survey on the Methodist Church and of the assessment of its plan by Local Trust to determine its stance come the auction which may have to wait until the end of lockdown. Big Warsop remains connected to the strategic responses to Covid-19 and roll out of vaccines through Mansfield CVS. Vibrant is following up on its findings from its survey on the impact of Covid-19 on them personally and on their activities, groups and organisations.
Key achievements, success factors and insights into what has worked well
There have been many innovative and creative responses and activities in support of community connection and wellbeing, including the 12 Days of Christmas On Line event. It was hosted on social media, and the Vibrant Warsop Website. Each day there was a virtual event which included quizzes, recipes, music and contributions from many local groups in the Parish.