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The power of resident action

A year in the life of North Ormesby Big Local

November 2015

By Debbie Ladds, chief executive, Local Trust

North Ormesby Big Local is less than a mile from the centre of Middlesbrough and I recently attended their first AGM, which marked the end of their first year of delivering their Big Local plan. 


The headline from the evening I spent with them is about the amazing power of resident and volunteer action. Their match funding goal was to raise £19,750 but they'd actually raised £92,000 in cash plus lots of in kind support. This Big Local partnership is serious about (re)building their community for all who live there and have thrown their heart and soul into it. 

The year one budget from their Big Local funding was £173,000 and so far they have spent £17,048. The low spend so far hides just how much consultation, planning and action has happened in the past year including:

  • street facelifts
  • planning for setting up a new community land trust in order to buy houses in the future
  • dog fouling awareness project
  • plans to install 22 new CCTV cameras next year, linked to the bus station monitoring system – working with the police and council
  • footpath links and walkways
  • green and gorgeous environment projects
  • new youth club with over 25 young people attending on a regular basis - up from about 3 or 4 regulars to the previous youth group
  • small grants to youth and to community groups
  • 'mini kicks' sports club with Middlesbrough football foundation
  • farm animals visiting on a bus
  • fun days attracting 500 people.

Middlesbrough’s elected mayor Dave Budd and the local councillor Lewis Young attended the AGM. Dave said Big Local is unique because it has time and a depth of connection that many others dream of. He said he would collaborate with and support Big Local, and transfer learning to other activities and communities.

Rev'd Dominic Black, chair of the North Ormesby Big Local partnership said, “It has taken a little while to start spending as we wanted to make sure that our plan was based on solid research first.” 

“What we have managed to do is build strong collaborations with many voluntary sector and statutory partners, acting as a focus for a more coordinated approach to tackling some of the deep seated problems in what is one of the most challenged wards in England.”

The Big Local partnership can be proud of their achievements and the groundwork they have done to embed Big Local in their community. I am sure there is more to come, and I look forward to hearing and seeing more in the future.

More details of North Ormesby's activities can be found on their website.


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