The Villages Together Big Local is overseen by our Partnership, which comprises eleven residents. Our Locally Trusted Organisation, which is responsible to Local Trust for financial management, is SHAL – a community-based provider of social housing with 742 homes across Somerset.
To date, the Villages Together Partnership has worked hard to understand the needs and opportunities in the area, which have been included in two previous plans submitted in 2015 and 2018. In that time, we have supported a range of projects which:
- Tackle loneliness.
- Support young people – including Dreamscheme and the skate park.
- Helped improve community facilities.
- Allocated a range of community grants.
- Ran a number of communities events.
Building on our work to date, over the past four months we have focused our attention on developing our current plan, which also includes a costed vision and legacy statement. We have undertaken surveys of residents and we ran a number of workshops – held via Zoom – to enlist the support of partners, to think about our legacy, and to examine our new big local programme. We consider that our original vision is still appropriate:
“Puriton and Woolavington will become two thriving Polden villages, where people are happy to live in an environment that meets the needs of everyone from new-born babies to the oldest residents.”
Our current plan captures the views of the residents and a new way of working with partners across five main priorities:
- Improving local facilities.
- Environmental and accessibility improvements.
- Community activities.
- Supporting families; young people and older people.
- Making projects happen.
The projected spend over the period of our current plan – of £522,000 – will be delivered through working with partners and making the most of what already exists to maximise our impact and visibility. We are particularly keen to build local capacity and to kick start or enhance activities which can become sustainable. We also want to be more pro-active to deliver our priorities and to this end we have recruited two new workers: a Community Project Lead and an Administrator.
More information about our next stage of delivery is detailed in the Villages Together Action Plan Appendix 1 – Our ‘plan on a page’!
If you live in either Puriton or Woolavington and would like to find out how you can contribute to making our Big Local happen, please drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org