This has been a period of review and consolidation, leading to assessment and approval of the second year of the two year plan.
The partnership continues to meet monthly with the strong support of the Locally Trusted Organisation, Age UK Boston and South Holland. Partnership meetings are attended by a core group and supported by others on the partnership wishing to be involved but who can’t make the monthly meetings.
Some notable strengths of the partnership were picked up in the plan assessment undertaken by Tom Fyson:
- There is strong evidence of being very well organised.
- The website shows transparency and accountability and having a great story to tell.
- Publishing the SLAs and reports shows the partnership is really on top of things.
- It is refreshing to see the council so involved, not forcing the agenda but responding to the local needs and priorities.
The plan delivery progresses strongly, with monthly monitoring of progress, reviews of reported activity and agreement in the partnership about who should chase up what. Recent successes stories include the Bears Coaching community chest award, Keeping fit with gym and swim, helping create a more attractive environment through litter collection, supporting people with dementia through the Memory Lane project and building community cohesion through multi-cultural events such as the Lithuanian pancake day celebrations.
April will see the launch of the second year of the plan and also the first ever Boston UK Marathon (which has now happened and was a huge success). The partnership is building toward its 1 year on celebration and AGM in May and looking forward to a busy second year of delivery with new activities complementing proven successes such as the summer beach event.
Boston Big Local fame is spreading. A theatre company has come to meet with the chair and plan co-ordinator to develop a series of plays. And one researcher listened in to find out how events help foster community spirit through Boston Big Local.
While the review of the plan as a process caused frustration because online forms needed completing for work already approved, the assessment itself was gratifying to the partnership. In Tom Fyson’s plan assessment, he said:
“You thoroughly answered the nine review questions. The links provided to your website and Twitter pages contained extra information that added depth and perspective to your review. The ‘what’s changed’ section provided excellent examples of your activities. It’s great to hear that you collect information about your activities and reflect on your progress regularly. You are already thinking about and collecting information to record and determine the impact of Big Local in the community over the long-term. The inclusion of individual comments from partnership members provided further insight into the review process.”