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Sheffield Spring Event

Saturday 6 May 10:30am - 3:30pm

Inox Dine, Sheffield University Students Union, S10 2TG

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Book now by contacting us on 020 3588 0578 or email

About this event

We’re really excited about our fresh line-up of workshops for Spring Events 2017. You'll leave feeling energised and ready to continue your Big Local journey!

  • Explore topics that are relevant to your area, through a wide range of workshops.
  • Learn about opportunities that could help you achieve your ambitions for your area.
  • Enjoy inspiring conversations, good food and creative activities.
  • Share your experience and meet others involved in Big Local, including our new chief executive Matt Leach.

See what's on at Sheffield Spring Event below, or click to download the agenda as a PDF.

Agenda Sheffield

Time Description

Arrival, hot drinks and breakfast


Welcome, get to know each other activity and update on Big Local


Choice of workshops

  • Bringing super-fast broadband to a rural village: Whilst most of this Big Local area had optical fibre connectivity, the village of Elmton did not. BT quoted £30k to install it – and residents would have to foot the bill. The community decided this was a non-starter, so set out to find an innovative, lower cost solution. And now? It works, it's fast, it's reliable, and was implemented in weeks. Join this session to find out more! (Elmton, Creswell and Hodthorpe Big Local)
  • Communities managing land: Communities across the country are increasingly taking responsibility for managing local parks and woodlands, and regenerating derelict land. This session explores community-led management of land: how to go about it and what the possibilities are. (Shared Assets)
  • Using digital tools matter for community engagement: Whatever your aims for community engagement, the value of including online tools in your approach is now hard to ignore. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be painful; can help reach more people; will highlight the needs of new audiences; and give you valuable data-driven insights. Discover how in this interactive session. (Commonplace)
  • Engaging communities: learning from research and real-life: Big Local research into community engagement shows the importance of 'breadth' (reaching as many people as possible) as well as 'depth' (reaching a core of people willing to get deeply involved). This takes time - and happens through conversations, transparency, and visible action. This session links the research findings to the real-life experience of one Big Local area featured in the research. (National Council for Voluntary Organisations — NCVO and Rastrick Big Local)



Choice of workshops

  • Building momentum: working with partners on a big project; Find out how Warsop Big Local has attracted interest and built momentum by working with community members and partners on a large scale project. The journey started when they were offered a huge empty building for community use back in 2013, and the project has grown in scale and ambition. But it has not been easy and the road ahead holds many more challenges! (Warsop Parish Big Local)
  • The changing face of housing associations: Housing associations came close to being privatised by the last government. Now they are off the ‘naughty step’, what does the future hold for them, their tenants and their partners? We’ll explore how associations can do more, work better with stakeholders, add real value to community development and improve people’s lives. We’ll also look at the best way of partnering with them. (South Yorkshire Housing Association)
  • Creating affordable homes: Find out how this area is tackling long-term empty properties by buying and fixing them up. The first house which had run down for years is now refurbished and occupied! The renovations involve local partners who offer training, apprenticeships, skills and employment to young people, improving the environment and boosting the local economy. (Goldthorpe and Bolton on Dearne Big Local)
  • Balloon orchestra workshop: Be ready to explore and try new things and join the balloon orchestra! In a short space of time you’ll work together using balloons as a source of sound (and fun!) and use your imagination to create short rhythms and compositions. (Sergio Lopez Figueroa) 

Choice of workshops

  • Bloomin’ Boston: Boston in Bloom gardening competition has transformed the face of the town and brought residents together in the process. Using Big Local funds and initial support from the council, the project is now volunteer-led. Environmental concerns and poor publicity about the town were the catalysts; they’ve gone on to be awarded two gold Royal Horticultural Society awards. (Central Boston Big Local)
  • Working with health agencies: Find out how residents and health agencies can work together to tackle health and wellbeing in the community. Review learning from research on this topic that involved Big Local areas, and discuss the findings in relation to your own experiences and ideas. Take away tried and tested tools to support your own work with health agencies. (Institute for Voluntary Action Research — IVAR)
  • Sport can change lives: Lincolnshire Sport is part of a national network of County Sports Partnerships (CSP) which are committed to improving lives by growing grassroots sport and physical activity. Hear examples of how sport can improve wellbeing and build local community cohesion, and explore the opportunities for working with a CSP in your area. (Lincolnshire Sport)
  • Meeting community members on their doorsteps: Keighley Big Local engage local residents by meeting them on their doorsteps. See the photographs and scrapbooks of their journey so far. Hear about their next project: partnership members using their mobile phones to build up a library of mini-films that can evidence local need, show Big Local activity and share community celebrations. (Keighley Valley Big Local)

What next?

Closing words from Matt Leach, chief executive, Local Trust



More about this event

Places are free and lunch and refreshments are included. Plus, we take the hassle out of getting there. We can book and pay for travel and care costs in advance for residents. And if you have a long journey and would struggle to make it on time, we can even arrange and pay for your accommodation. Just ask when booking.

All residents involved in Big Local are welcome, from those just starting to volunteer, to seasoned partnership members. Others involved in Big Local, like workers, can also attend but we encourage them to come together with some residents from their area.

To make sure all the Big Local areas get a chance to come, we can welcome up to five people from each Big Local area.

To book, get in touch with Mohamed: call 020 3588 0578 or email

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2 Jan 2019: Our office is open but our phones are not working. Please email us at while we fix them and we will respond to messages as soon as we can.

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