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Session materials


In place of a thousand words: advice on photography

Speaker: David Severn

Get support and technical tips on taking photographs and learn how to use photography to tell your stories through imagery.

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Voices of Big Local

Speaker: Suzie Harris (Hamlett Films)

Suzie will be on hand to talk about the creative storytelling mentoring that is available for individuals working with a support partner or attending a learning cluster.

Read more about Voices of Big Local

DIY toolkit

Speakers: Steve Skinner, Bill Badham (Big Local reps)

Advice and guidance on free exercises that can be run with your partnership, to help generate new approaches, plan-ahead, map power and maximise your Big Local’s impact.

Download the tools:

Mapping power
Planning for measuring change
Understanding roles
Tackling a problem
Understanding power

The power of sport

Speaker: Paul Kendall (StreetGames)

Sport changes communities. Healthy, active communities are safer, stronger communities. Speak to StreetGames about how sport could help with the biggest challenges in your community.

Read more about StreetGames

Solving problems with your local transport

Speaker: Andrew Allen (Campaign for Better Transport)

Can’t get where you want to go? Poor transport makes places difficult to live in. Come and discuss what’s wrong with your buses, bike lanes and roads, and how to make them better.

Read more about Campaign for Better Transport

Starting/scaling a land-based community initiative

Speakers: Oladayo Ayorinde & Mark Walton (Shared Assets)

Have you identified land locally or have ideas but don’t know where to start? Have you started an initiative but are facing challenges? Get inspiration and discuss your ideas with Shared Assets.

Read more about Shared Assets

Communications health-check

Speaker: Oliver Hickson (Media Trust)

Want to tell your story in the best way possible? Learn your communications strengths and if you’ve got areas to improve on. Have a think about how confident you are at using story-telling techniques, social content, partners or free media and learn more from Media Trust.

Read more about Media Trust

I am an activist

Speakers: Joeli Brearley, Kay Johnson, Karen Keates & Jenny Westwood

Hear inspirational stories of journeys from ‘ordinary to activist’. Joeli launched Pregnant then Screwed after her own experience of pregnancy discrimination. Kay started The Larder, a social enterprise in Preston, to promote food that’s healthy, local, seasonal and waste-free. Jenny and Karen founded IntraQuest out of a passion to increase self-awareness to support positive long-term change and life fulfilment.

Download session slides from: Keates & Jenny Westwood / Joeli Brearley   / Kay Johnson

2020 Vision – work, welfare & living standards into the next decade

Speaker: Steve Toft (Writer)

Explore the fundamental changes that have taken place across Britain over the last 50 years: living standards, the labour market, inter-generational inequalities and an ageing population. We will discuss how to create a brighter future for the next decade.

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Great Big Local Get Together

Speakers: Siobhan Harley & Eleanor Harrison (The Jo Cox Foundation)

A fun interactive session that will allow you to make new connections by discovering the surprising things that you have in common with one another.

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Doing meetings differently

Speaker: Helen Garforth (Just Ideas)

Struggling to retain or attract new partnership members? Engaging people is a challenge for Big Local partnerships but to drive change, people need to get together to make decisions. This session will look at creative ways of meeting to maximise engagement and enjoyment!

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Look after your wellbeing

Speaker: Mark Bishop

Informal discussion with tips on how to combat stress, anxiety and low mood problems and to help build resilience. Designed for everyone who wants to learn some practical tips for wellbeing.

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Local Trust Trustee Q&A

Speakers: Jeannette Lichner, David Warner & Rich Wilson

An opportunity to get to know some of the Local Trust Trustees. Hear about their reflections on the past year, future plans and get your questions answered.

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GoodGym – using exercise to connect communities

Speaker: Alexander Kenmure (GoodGym)

Learn about GoodGym; a unique and innovative project that uses both physical activity and technology to help people feel more engaged in their communities and support isolated older neighbours.

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Active collage with active threads

Speaker: Mandi Knight (Northfleet North Big Local)

This session will draw on experiences and learnings of being part of a resident-led programme to create lasting change. Make banners using creative collage with unwanted magazines and simple traditional sewing techniques. We will be sending out thoughts of positivity, celebrating our achievements and reinforcing our commitments.

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Beyond the foodbank – cook tasty food on a budget

Speakers: Sue Morris & Clare Hackney-Ring (Community Stuff CIC & Devonshire West Big Local)

Discuss food poverty, healthy eating, budgeting and the cookbook Community Stuff have developed for foodbanks. Make some food to share, proving homemade is healthier, cheaper, easy and fun.

Each Big Local area was given a copy of the cookbook at Connects. If your area was not represented at Connects and you would like a copy of the book, please email with your address and one will be sent in the post.

Download recipes

Download a cookery book order form

If you have any questions, please contact or 07576 847038.

Laughter yoga

Speakers: Feelgood Communities

Download: Session slides / Leaflet on Feelgood Communities  / Make your own community laughter champion certificate

Mental health and Big Local

Speaker: Ros Brunwin

This session will explore the barriers people experiencing poor mental health face in being involved and included in our communities, and in Big Local, and ways these can be overcome.

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Big Local Legacy – what have we learnt?

Speakers: Clubmoor Big Local, Barrow Island Big Local, Podsmead Big Local, National Association for Neighbourhood Management & Local Trust

Have you thought about your Big Local legacy? This is an opportunity to hear how three areas have defined their legacy, and what difference they hope to make beyond the ten years.

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What does it mean to be coastal?

Speakers: Rodger Read (Withernsea Big Local), Ian Brocklebank (Cleethorpes Big Local), Becky Doran (Revoe Big Local), Sacha Bedding (Dyke House Big Local)

Is your Big Local part of England’s coastline? Share what that means for you and learn what these Big Locals think of the unique opportunities and challenges of being by the sea. Help unite the coastline!

Download session slides from: Withernsea Big Local / Revoe Big Local / Dyke House Big Local


How can community hubs be financially viable?

Speaker: Lisa-Marie Giquel (Local Trust)

Most Big Local areas have a community “hub” and see this as an important part of their legacy. This workshop will look at what can help to make these spaces financially viable and sustainable, drawing on research and inviting areas to share their knowledge and experience.

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Meet the media

Speakers: Louise Tickle, our journalist-at-large & Anna Bradley-Dorman (Ramsey Million Big Local)

How do you work with the press? What do they need from you to develop a story? What would you look to achieve by doing so? What are the risks? Get the answers to these questions and more to help you manage media interest in your Big Local.

Meet the media (Louise Tickle and Ramsay BL)

Pom-bombing – combat loneliness and isolation

Speakers: Shona Gilsenan, David Roberts & Neil Langford (East Coseley Big Local)

Find out about the unconventional way one Big Local is addressing loneliness and isolation by harnessing the power of craft creativity and social media.

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Listening to young people at risk

Speakers: Joshua Imuere (Art Against Knives), Julia Hines & James Masters (Grange Big Local)

Youth exploitation and crime is a common problem and it affects everyone in an area. Talk about how to create safe spaces, activities that engage and how to involve the whole community.

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The day after tomorrow

Speakers: Bill Chatt and Roy Blenkin (Barrowcliff Big Local), Ralph Rudden (Sale West Big Local), Waqas Arshad (Bradley Big Local)

Wondering what might happen after the Big Local programme ends? Come and explore the idea of a post 2026 entity to act as a Locally Trusted Organisation for Big Local areas, raised by these Chairs and Vice Chairs of Big Locals.

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Managing conflict

Speakers: Mary Austin, Jackie Jones, Mike Chapman (AFTA Thought)

Learn how to improve relationships and reduce the risk of conflict escalation in this interactive, engaging session. See the impact of conflict resolution strategies and share best practice with others.

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Intergenerational work: connections and perceptions

Speakers: Iona Lawrence, Lauren Banks & Jess Dyson Houghton (The Cares Family)

Loneliness doesn’t discriminate. Hear about the creative ways old and young are coming together to tackle disconnection and build community in Liverpool, Manchester and London.

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Building a strong relationship with your local authority

Speakers: Chris Thomas (Church Hill Big Local), Carl Kroon (Arches Big Local), Adam Lent (New Local Government Network)

Hear how Big Locals can build strong and constructive relationships with their local authorities, including a briefing from the New Local Government Network on how local government is changing and the opportunities and challenges this presents.

Download session slides from: Arches Big Local / Church Hill Big Local

Working with sports teams in your Big Local

Speakers: Val Taylor (Bermondsey Big Local), Stephen Perez (Arches Big Local), Wayne Smith (Olympia Boxing)

Sports teams and groups can create a fun and energising space for bringing a diverse community together. Come and hear how Big Locals have worked with sports teams to deliver on their plans.

Download session slides from: Olympia Boxing / Arches Big Local

Big Local, Little Voices – a formula for change

Speakers: Chloe Adams, Nicholas Rushton & Lewis Jones (Grace Mary to Lion Farm Big Local)

Hear how this youth partnership are looking to make positive change in their area by early intervention and educating younger peers of the dangers around drugs and knife crime.

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Becoming your own Locally Trusted Organisation – is it right for you?

Speaker: Jane Lewis (Tang Hall Big Local)

Thinking of managing funding yourselves, rather than via a Locally Trusted Organisation? Hear from a Big Local area that has chosen to and explore the advantages and disadvantages. Is it a good idea? What’s involved? What will come up along the way?

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Learning from failure

Speaker: Leila Jancovich (University of Leeds)

Leila Jancovich, Associate Professor in Cultural Policy and Participation at the University of Leeds, believes evaluations that only celebrate success minimise change and can cause past errors to be repeated. This how-to workshop introduces tools to help you learn from failure.

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Improving the local economy part one: panel discussion

Speakers: Fran Jones (Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) & Eddie Steingiel (Birchwood Big Local)

Hear about some of the exciting economic development work taking place across Big Local, including firsthand accounts from partnership members, and research findings from CLES. This is a double length session to allow you to explore the topic in-depth. Part 2 is at 2:45pm with an open discussion led by Niamh Goggin on how to kick off a successful community-led economic project in your area.

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Creating greener spaces

Speaker: Rachel Summerscales (Hulme Community Garden Centre)

People grow here as much as plants. In this session, Hulme Community Garden Centre will provide insight into their community-led inner-city horticultural project with big plans and an ambitious model.

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START the heart of your community

Speakers: Alister Shaw (Big Local rep) & April Ellis (Westfield Big Local)

People are the most important and valuable part of any community. Learn how you can successfully engage the people in your community on their terms using the START method.

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The difference you make – deciding what to measure

Speaker: Richard Usher (Just Ideas)

Your Big Local knows it’s making a difference in your area, but how do you decide what you will measure and get people involved? Share your experience and engage with fresh ideas from other areas.

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Telling stronger Big Local stories for funding and support

Speaker: Will Hill (Stronger Stories)

Telling a strong story about your community group is the biggest thing you can do to win the support you need. Learn how to build a story for funders and turn it into communications materials.

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Setting up a youth market

Speaker: Denny Cornuaud (Plaistow South Big Local)

Be inspired and learn from Plaistow Youth Market, an engaging project showcasing the talents of young people living in Plaistow and teaching real skills around how to run a successful business.

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#Makingourspace – building strong resident support

Speakers: Nicola Thompson & Joanna Scott (Selby Big Local)

Developing the community’s voice is vital to the success and legacy of Selby Big Local’s new sustainable space for residents. Ensuring it is ‘us’ from the beginning and creating strong foundations is key. Join this session to hear their story so far.

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Leading from the front: supporting women in community leadership

Speaker: Wendy Davies (Organisation and Social Development Consultants)

Fewer women than men rise to leadership positions because of visible, and invisible, obstacles, but how can your community support and benefit from the leadership of women and girls? Explore how Big Local communities can become places of balanced leadership and opportunity no matter what your gender is.

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School engagement – practical strategies

Speaker: Alan Fraser (Cranford Community College & Heston West Big Local)

It is vital that Big Local areas engage and involve young people. Schools provide a route to that engagement, so why is it so difficult? What can be done to be improve engagement? Come and find out from Alan Fraser and hear his experience of working with Heston West Big Local.

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