April – June 2014: A report from Big Warsop’s Local Rep
One of the impressive things in the first Big Warsop plan is how it combines practical action of immediate benefit to residents with bigger ambition for a sustainable community hub. Things like funding the Warsop Carnival, small grants funding through the Community Chest in partnership with the Rotary and looking to fund local education and training courses – these are all great examples of quick responses to community need on priorities identified in the community consultation phase.
At the same time as these ideas and funding streams were being put in place, serious thinking over this last year was going on to realise the vision for the Aspire Centre as a multi-purpose location for groups and activities for years to come – and way beyond the 10 years of Big Local. It’s impossible to do justice in a few words to the work that has gone in from many people. Just some of important milestones include the initial feasibility study that gave the nod to the potential of the project which allowed Big Warsop to build this in the plan last summer. Next was setting up the partnership with Warsop Youth Club which agreed to take on the building from the Eastwoods Foundation and be the accountable body for the project’s future. Next was the creation of a full business plan for Warsop Youth Club to work out in more detail the planning, development, funding, governance and running of the Aspire Centre. And now, with the freehold in place and plans and funding approved, the vision of a Warsop community hub is a huge step nearer to becoming a reality.
The carnival happens this weekend and the next round of community chest is underway over the summer.
The chair has sensibly and creatively helped the partnership to distinguish in an action plan those aspects which are dormant, those which are active and those described as upstream, meaning the responsibility for the action is taken care of. Active areas include horticulture, work club, comms strategy and a plan for adult learning activity.
The community hub is an inspiring vision and remains the centre piece of Big Warsop’s aspiration and a model of how it looks to do things through partnership and drawing in additional capacity through volunteers, donations and partners.
There remains the need for the Local Trusted Organisation to achieve more in relation to its service level agreement with the partnership on strategic input and operational management. The chair has reviewed the situation and is seeking for greater clarity of task and accountability.
There is a sizeable task for Warsop Youth Club in taking on the governance and running of the Aspire Centre. The chair of Big Warsop has reiterated Big Warsop support through funding and ideas, but not through involvement in WYC decision making. The partnership recently affirmed a draw down on running costs of up to £25k to enable WYC to build the future business.
Other activity in the plan is proving difficult to move forward and the chair has been proactive in developing an action plan that distinguishes between things that can wait and things that need action now. Second he has sought approval from the partnership and Local Trust to amend the timeframe of the first delivery plan through to February 2015 to help things take root and to align with the annual general meeting cycle – both helpful and enabling steps.
Big Warsop Big Local Rep