Every three months or so, I share my thoughts on local area progress with you as residents as your Big Local Rep and with the central team managing the national programme. Your comments and thoughts are always welcome.

The big picture

Sometimes horrendous international events can feel very close to home; the invasion of Ukraine has left many shocked and deeply concerned for its citizens under fire and for relatives affected here. Perhaps our anxieties and sympathies are all the more pronounced because of Covid-19’s continuing impact on our lives. The wave of compassion and practical action across our communities has been amazing.

With the Big Local programme well over half way, much learning is emerging about what makes community-led investment make a lasting difference. The role of resident partnership, supportive organisations, community volunteering and values-led workers all are shown to be key components in recent research. And it looks like Big Local Connects 2022 will again be on our doorstep, bringing close to home the chance to share and learn from far afield.

Looking back

Running things

The recent partnership review showed the group is strong and working well to the benefit of Boston residents. This was endorsed by a Local Trust visit of Rachel Rowney, Chief Operating Officer, and Jayne Entwistle, Head of Area Support. Rachel said in her feedback,

“I was struck by so many things, including the breadth and scope of the work, the range of partnerships that you’ve developed, but also the way in which you’ve developed clear priorities and focus but with a level flexibility baked in to ensure that you’re able to respond to opportunities and need as they arise. The partnership meeting was a great opportunity to see how you all work together, and we both enjoyed being a part of a rich, positive and fruitful discussion about Big Local.”

Doing things

A scan of recent Twitter and Facebook posts shows the partnership’s range and depth of activity: Broadfield Lane Green Space, the Community River Clean, the Boston Stitchers, Arts for Dementia, Headway Lincolnshire, Boston Samaritans, Citizens Advice support to 45 local residents, Fydell House and the launch of the Friendly Bench. And the value to local groups of the Monopoly initiative is summed up in a message from Liz Hopkins, Chief Executive of Centrepoint: “Not only will Boston Monopoly help to raise the profile of the town and celebrate the wonderful buildings we have, but it has also helped us to support some of the town’s most vulnerable residents.”

Many of these stories have been captured in the latest newsletter delivered to every resident in the Boston Big Local area. The group is quick to respond to fast emerging need, including through further funding for Boston Community transport and the Restore Pantry.