Your Big Local rep
Every area is allocated a Big Local rep, who also represents Local Trust. Your area will work with this rep until you have an endorsed Big Local partnership, when you will have the option to choose your rep from our pool.
The rep's role is to help you achieve your vision for your Big Local area through support, advice and appropriate challenge. The rep reports back to us and our partners, to ensure we use the experiences of people locally to improve the programme.
The reps support the progress of Big Local in each area but are not directly involved in delivery. They have two assignments. The first is to take you from the moment Big Local starts in your area to the moment when we endorse your plan. This includes running activities to engage your community, forming a Big Local partnership, and drafting and developing a plan. The second assignment is to support you while you deliver the plan. This includes help with putting it into action, as well as reviewing and monitoring the plan and the partnership.
We fund the reps in addition to the £1 million to your area. The reps are contracted to Local Trust, and are managed on our behalf by Renaisi. As reps are not Big Local employees, many areas also get support from people employed by their locally trusted organisation.
You can find guidance on Big Local in the guidance section of our website, such as information on how to access funding, and our criteria for Big Local partnerships. The website also offers a library of resources; news to provide inspiration and share learning; and ‘how to’ ideas to help you make Big Local a success.
Social investment advice
We know that low levels of financial literacy, unmanageable debt and illegal money-lending are problems in many Big Local areas. Some are working with credit unions and community development finance institutions (CDFIs) to provide financial services to people and businesses locally.
There are case studies and guidance on social investment on our website. We can also provide you with direct support through Small Change to give advice to Big Local areas, credit unions and CDFIs that are interested in working together locally. For more information please speak to your rep or contact us.
Learning and networking events
We support learning and networking through our programme of countrywide events, organised by the National Association for Neighbourhood Management (NANM), including special topics, annual spring events, learning teams, and networking visits in which areas can buddy up. Big Local reps also organise a programme of learning and networking events.
We also offer courses for people in Big Local areas. The aim is to enable you to learn new skills and refresh old ones so you are better placed to make Big Local happen in your area.
We devised this programme in response to feedback about the skills people felt they needed to deliver Big Local. So each course is fun and interactive, uses a range of different styles, and is practical and hands-on. The courses are run by the Directory of Social Change (DSC), Northern College and Talk Action.
Our learning and networking events and training courses are free for anyone who lives or works in a Big Local area. We also offer financial support for expenses and childcare or carer costs for residents in Big Local areas. You can find details of our events and courses on our website here.
Locally trusted organisations
Big Local areas each choose a locally trusted organisation(s) to work with and to receive their funding. Once we have endorsed your funding proposal, we set up a grant agreement with the locally trusted organisation in line with your proposal and the funding requested. Your locally trusted organisation(s) reports to your Big Local partnership and to us on expenditure and monitoring. Many locally trusted organisations offer additional support to Big Local areas and are a valuable resource to each Big Local partnership.
For more information please see our guidance on locally trusted organisations.