Locally trusted organisation
How Rastrick Big Local is working with their local cricket club
Rastrick Big Local felt strongly from the start that it wanted Big Local to be locally owned. So when residents were thinking about who could support them as the locally trusted organisation, it was important that any candidates had strong roots in the area and shared the Big Local values. Rastrick Big Local chose to work with their local cricket club, which has turned out to be far more than just a bank account!
In this case study we look at the process Rastrick went through to choose their locally trusted organisation, and the value added.
Choosing the locally trusted organisation
About 30 people from the Rastrick community came together to select the locally trusted organisation. The group included residents, a residents’ association, a councillor, a representative from the council and the Big Local rep.
When the group was scoping out its locally trusted organisation, it was looking for one which was financially sound, which it could trust, that was established in the community, and which had the resources to commit to manage the money. Rastrick Cricket Club met all these requirements and was selected by the group. The cricket club is a not-for-profit organisation and is run by volunteers. It has been in the area for 150 years, has over 220 members, attracts people of all ages and is busy most evenings and weekends.
Jason Middleton is now chair of the Big Local partnership and is also on the management committee of the cricket club. Before the locally trusted organisation was chosen and before Jason was elected as chair, he had recommended to the cricket club that it should be a resource to Big Local in whatever way it could. He feels that organisations locally, especially those interested in receiving Big Local funding, should be committed to supporting Big Local too. When the cricket club was chosen and the Big Local group was choosing a partnership chair, Jason put himself forward and was selected by the group.
The Big Local steering group likes that Jason is involved in the cricket club as it provides a close link between it and its locally trusted organisation.
How the locally trusted organisation supports the partnership
Rastrick Cricket Club does not charge any money for fulfilling its role as a locally trusted organisation. The cricket club is much more than a bank account to Rastrick Big Local and it supports the partnership in any way it can. The club provides free meeting space in the clubhouse and members of the cricket club volunteer for Big Local activities, such as distributing leaflets or helping out with big events. The cricket club holds the money and the partnership decides on the work and activities of Big Local. With the responsibility of looking after a large sum of money comes scrutiny from the wider community and as a locally trusted organisation the cricket club has to shoulder this.
Jason marries his involvement in the cricket club with his role as Big Local partnership chair very effectively. The cricket club has a large membership, all living locally, and these people now receive Big Local information and news through the club.
In August 2013, Rastrick Big Local put on its biggest community event to date attracting 1,000 people. The event featured 15 community teams who took part in a fun day of ‘It’s a knock out’ – a TV comedy game show. The event was funded by £5k awarded to Rastrick Big Local by the NHS. The funding was to be used within the area for community wellbeing. The event required a huge amount of work and was organised by a management committee which included volunteers from both Big Local and the cricket club, who also helped with the logistics.
The added value of working with a locally trusted organisation
The locally trusted organisation has played a really valuable role in reaching out to many of the groups and organisations in the area and getting them talking to and supporting each other. Using Big Local funding they set up a community projects fund, which meant they were able to make contact with groups and organisations in the area, offer them support for their activities and ideas, and at the same time spread the word about Big Local. It helped to stir up a lot of interest from groups and organisations. Jason said:
“What’s really interesting is that all these different groups are now speaking to each other”.
Rastrick Cricket Club has helped to put different groups in contact. As a result, the groups are starting to help each other out by connecting volunteers, who share resources and give each other advice. Organisations have got much-needed additional support from the cricket club and other organisations to improve their applications and get them the funding they require. Jason is positive:
“It can be a good thing when an application’s not successful, it helps us to learn’.
Who else the partnership works with
Rastrick Big Local has the support of Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council. Mags Bryson works for the council and is a member of the Rastrick Big Local partnership. She shares her knowledge and offers advice on a range of issues, including legal advice, and administrative support. The local council is also happy to help where it can, for example providing reduced-cost leaflet printing.
The partnership also works with the Together Housing Group, a co-operative of housing companies in the north of England. Rastrick Big Local makes use of Together Housing’s properties for meetings, and the co-operative has put the partnership in touch with other areas and communities who are working on similar or interesting topics.
In addition to this, as mentioned above, Rastrick Big Local worked closely with the NHS on their recent event and received extra support in organising the event.