Connects19: in Nottingham

I’m in Nottingham, at the second annual Big Local Connects gathering. It’s kind of a conference, but its more of a chance to bump into lots of other people from Big Local initiatives like ours. There’s not much ‘conferring’, but lots of chatting. Connecting. That’s the point of it all.

I am here for 24 hours, and in that time I will be bumping into lots of people from all over England, all from Big Locals like Villages Together in Puriton and Woolavington. I already have. People whose Big Local funding has been almost all distributed, people who are still just getting going, a bit like us in Puriton and Woolavington, some who are making big strides and full of enthusiasm, some who are a bit overwhelmed by it all.

One thing I have already noted is that we all want to share. Each Big Local is different. Each has its own programme of work. But each wants to make a difference to their locality. It’s not only villages, of course. There are people from towns and large residential neighbourhoods as well as villages like ours.

A word ties us all together: local. A small word with a big legacy. Local: we know where we’re from, and sometimes that can make us think that we are the only ones to be doing anything. But the Big Local Connects19 is here for everyone’s local to be shared and encourage us all.

And this is only the first four hours… looking forward to tomorrow and more ‘chats’.