Archive for April, 2012

18/04/2012

The end of the Neighbourhood Challenge Year

The Neighbourhood Challenge year is now drawing to a close. Coopers Edge was extremely honoured last year to be chosen to be one of just 17 projects in the whole county to take part in this exciting project to help build on the fledgling community in Coopers Edge and the trustees feel so proud of the community for all it as achieved in just twelve short months.

This time last year there were no regular activities on offer in Coopers Edge, and if you did not have access to a car it could be a pretty isolation place to live. Now there is Family Time, Stay and Play, the Football Club, Cricket Club, Pilates, Zumba, Circuits, Youth Club and many other one off activities. All these activities have been taking part in our Temporary Community Centre, which has for the last twelve months given a heart to our community. Whilst we have loved it, it is only temporary, it does get a bit cold in the winter, quite warm in the summer and with Carters moving on we would lose our electricity and water supply, so it’s going off to a new home at the Butterfly Garden, supporting a fantastic charity who provide gardening activities for disabled children and we can celebrate the opening of the new school.

Over the next couple of years (whilst there is spare capacity in the school) we will be able to run our community activities from here, we have a great community room, a hall for hire as well as a dance studio, our fab village square where activities including the community shop/farmers market are already being planned by one of our Coopers Den projects and we are also looking forward to the Big Jubilee Lunch, our first community party in the facility.

There is one sad note with the end of the Neighbourhood Challenge funding and that is that we no longer have the funding to enable us to continue to employ our Community Organiser. Bill has done a great job over the last year, as a ambassador for Coopers Edge, beginning the fight for the S106 facilities that the developers are behind on, building partnerships with the surrounding communities and running holiday activities. Obviously it will be sad to see Bill go in May, but as I am sure you all understand without funds to pay him it is not possible to continue the contract.

However, the great thing is that the Neighbourhood Challenge has given us a springboard as a community, we now have more people than ever volunteering and helping make a difference in Coopers Edge. The recent Easter Egg hunt, bunting making workshop and Clean Up days have been completely organised by volunteers and I am sure you will all agree they were great successes. Now that we have so many people involved, we are sure that as a community we can continue the good work that the trustees and Bill have started and continue to help do many positive things in Coopers Edge.

We also have great partnerships with the parish councils, and have recently started working in partnership with Brockworth Community Project so all the good work of the trust and community group will continue. We are also working on a number of funding applications at the moment and if we are successful in any of those hope to be able to employ someone at least in a part time capacity to support all our wonderful volunteers with admin. As ever if anyone has any funding ideas please do come forward and let us know. Obviously as everyone who will be running events from May will be volunteers and may have jobs as well please be patient, but so long as we as residents continue to work together, and with neighbouring communities, Coopers Edge will go from strength to strength. This is a great community, well done on a great year, and here is to an even better one next year.