Archive for November, 2011

03/11/2011

October Report

What’s happened this month?

Coopers Den was held on 8th October and the community turned out in strong numbers to support all the brave local souls who pitched to our business savvy dragons. It was a fantastic event and five ideas are now being supported and all will have a lasting positive impact for the community. The process has energised a number of new residents and new relationships and social enterprise partnerships have been forged. On-going use of the community hub remains at the heart of our activities and local events have been oversubscribed and our small base is struggling to contain the numbers wanting to be involved. Half term events were highly successful and we have succeeded with some external funding for development of youth engagement activities.

The first group of residents who were involved in the school bid which started an amazing four years ago now were treated to a tour of the school building. It was great to see so much hard work taking shape, and to see how the community facilities have been integrated so well. It’s no substitute for the proper community centre the developers are required to build, but it will be a start. The covered outside space is amazing and we hope to have many happy events there in years to come.

We have stated to see an increase footfall at the community centre. We had over 200 people in the community centre in the last 6 days of the month, which for a community of only 500 houses is amazing!

What have you learnt this month?

The power of communicating through social media remains pivotal and website improvements have been beneficial. Building relationships at a grass-roots level takes time and patience and for our group to grow we need to sustain the high bar that has been set for communicating with the community.

Due to some new reporting processes we are now seeing a more accurate picture of how and why the community centre is being used (see example figures above). This will allow us to plan better in the future and look at how we get the best out of this resource.

What’s been challenging this month?

People are overstretched and many are also facing up to the personal impact that economic recession causes. Keeping people engaged and committed is a constant challenge and local activists are having to juggle and dig very deep to meet targets that neighbourhood challenge has brought. As the programme year-end is in sight an exit with some sustainability is a key objective and pressing. Expectations in the community have been raised and flat ending the challenge year will have a negative and possibly lasting detrimental impact . That said we have been successful with some small funding applications and a number of volunteers have started fund-raising activities.

We have introduced a number of new processes this month (more accurate footfall reporting and improved centre booking processes) in order to try to streamline our operation and make the most effective use of our community workers time while giving the trustees the information they need to make effective decisions. While some processes are bedding in well others will take some time and may not bear fruit for a number of months, this can be frustrating at times and often seems like a paper pushing exercise but will be very useful in the future.

What are you proud of this month?

The success of Coopers Den and all the fantastic ideas and projects generated to now be taken forward by local people with a real passion and dedication for the community.  Were also very proud of the stay and play team – they were our first group of volunteers to set up an activity and they organised the first ever Halloween Party this month – it was a total sell out
and had the community centre at full capacity.  It is great to see more people using the centre in general and also the school has just opened up the multi use game
area for hire so it is beginning to feel like Coopers Edge has some resources of its own. There are some more great events being planned for November has well so exciting times are ahead.