As your Big Local Rep, every three months 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.

Running things

The partnership continues to meet monthly with the strong support of the Local Trusted Organisation, Age UK Boston and South Holland. Jody Raggo has moved from being a voting resident to non-voting advisor on the partnership because he did not want his paid work to be seen to unduly influence his participation. Jody, thankfully, continues to support the community chest panel in its excellent work.

The partnership is working well together and enjoying seeing the work that went into the new plan bearing fruit. There continue to be good relations with partner organisations funded to deliver on resident priorities.

Doing things

The latest newsletter was produced and distributed widely to share recent activity and successes. Of particular note was a second year success for the Boston Marathon, growing in numbers, extending its reputation and building ambition. This year a separate 3 mile/5 kilometre Fun Run was also organised to cater for the younger and casual runners from the area. This took place alongside the marathon but as a sub-event with separate sponsorship.

It is likely the Marathon will be financially self-sustaining within two more years and there are hopes that it will be the centre piece to a wider Boston town weekend of festivities and celebration given the number of runners who stay overnight and enjoy taking the opportunity to explore the town.

Accessible financial advice for people who live in the Boston Big Local area is delivered by Citizens Advice Mid Lincolnshire (CAML). In their latest report, CAML gives examples of recent case studies to demonstrate some of the ways they are helping residents of Boston.

Boston Bike Night was a huge success this year. The volunteer-led event attracts around 5,000 visitors to Boston town centre to enjoy the spectacle of up to 2,000 visiting motorbikes.

Chair, Richard Tory, said: “Boston Big Local agreed to help fund this event as it is such an important part of the town’s social calendar, drawing in thousands of people from all backgrounds to experience a unique gathering of machines and their riders, in an atmosphere of openness and inclusivity.

The sheer creativity and range of activities undertaken by the Memory Lane group members continues to impress. Members of the group have tried an array of art forms, including printing with vegetables, sculpting, drawing, printing, weaving, collage making and working with clay. The report is beautifully presented.

Looking ahead

The first quarter’s activity reports across the four themes of the plan were received from funded groups and organisations for July’s partnership meeting and these were read and largely approved by the partnership. In August there is the much anticipated, bigger and better beach event in the park which draws in many local families. In the autumn, thinking turns to how to run a number of pop-up cafes or similar ideas to attract residents more widely to hear and share about Boston Big Local.

Working well

Working with partner organisations is a real strength of Boston Big Local. In the May Big Local spring event in Sheffield, colleagues led a workshop on environmental action and partnership working with Boston Borough Council. An excellent blog post was written by Barbara Arrandale, Big Local ambassador and resident of Grassland Hasmoor Big Local. She wrote: “When I heard about the Boston in Bloom scheme at a presentation at a Big Local Spring Event this year, it highlighted for me the great work that can be achieved when different groups, some statutory some voluntary, work together, without prejudice for the common good. Boston in Bloom is not a new competition and the local council has always aimed to work closely with their community to deliver it. But it was clear to see that both these groups had received fresh inspiration from Boston Big Local’s work to support and promote the project.