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Connects might be finished, but its not too late to catch up with all the fantastic sessions we hosted over the three days.

For three days from 9 – 11 July, we hosted a range of online discussions, workshops and activities for 150 Big Local areas to learn, network and share.

In the spirit of Big Local Connects, the sessions covered a wide selection of topics including universal basic income, wellbeing, climate and community and storytelling. There were also fun activities for the whole family, including a Big Local quiz and creativity pack.

If you missed any of the sessions, most of them are available to watch back on the dedicated Connects at Home page on Workplace. Share your ideas and feedback about the sessions in the comment section below each video – the event may be over but the discussion is just getting started!

You’ll need a Workplace profile to access the sessions – details of how to set one up can be found below.

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Creativity Connects

Created by Rebecca Davis, The Portland Inn Project

To celebrate Connects at Home, Creative Civic Change areas are sharing some of the brilliant activities they have been doing with their communities during lockdown. We would love Big Local areas to share this pack with their residents, complete the activities and let us know what you come up with! All photos can be shared on the Connects at Home Workplace page or using #CreativeCivicChange on social media.

Download here

The Great Big Local Quiz

A quiz on all things Big Local – from the famous faces associated with different areas to the number of babies born since the programme began.


Dip in and out of Connects at Home when it works best for you. Take a break and check out videos on a variety of topics developed exclusively for Connects at Home to get you thinking and discussing – feel free to post your thoughts and ideas on the videos and start a conversation!

The role of Big Local in fostering inclusive communities by Mary Austin Associates

Watch here

Exploring community innovation by Sylvia Cheuy, Tamarack Institute

Watch here 

The Community Wealth Fund: what is it and would it improve my local area? by Jane Ide, NAVCA

Watch here 


Welcome to Connects at Home

Presenters Matt Leach, Local Trust & Members of the APLE Collective

Bring something from your area, it could be an item, photo, food, or a person for example, and you can share why it’s important to your Big Local area.

Get a run down of the highlights across Big Local from the past year and what we have coming up for you at Connects At Home.
Hear from the APLE Collective on their thoughts around the strength of ensuring the voice of lived experience is in all of our work. And, there will be time for you to meet other event attendees – just like you would if you were grabbing a coffee between sessions.

Ensuring the Voices of Lived Experience remain at the heart of Community Action

We are the APLE Collective – a national collective of individuals and organisations who have experienced or are experiencing poverty. Our aim is to create a sustainable, grassroots network across the UK to raise awareness of poverty, reduce stigma and work together with others to eradicate it. We will introduce the aims and values of the Collective, discuss our campaigns and reflect on the importance of ensuring that the voices of lived experience remain at the heart of community action. Please have a piece of paper and your favorite coloured pen, pencil or felt tip to hand as this will be a participatory reflection. @aplecollective

Watch here


Take control of your own wellbeing

Speakers Dean and Aesha Francis, Urban Mindfulness Foundation

After brilliant feedback at Connects 2019, The Urban Mindfulness Foundation is back for Connects at Home. Take some time for yourself and learn about mindfulness in a social context. Be introduced to a coherent breathing technique to help calm your nervous system and support your wellbeing.

Watch here


What does "the economy" mean to you right now?

Speaker Cahal Moran, Fellow at the London School of Economics

How does the government measure the economy? What does this mean for people in reality, and is there a better way of thinking about the impact on people? You’ll discuss these questions and hear from other Big Local areas about what they feel makes a ‘good economy’ and their ideas on how they can build that in their area.

Watch here


Universal Basic Income

Speaker Michael Pugh, Basic Income Conversation

Learn about the campaign for a Universal Basic Income from Michael Pugh, Director and Co-Founder of Basic Income Conversation. Understand what a Basic Income might involve and how it might address some of the major challenges that the post COVID-19 world could throw at us. There will be an opportunity for you to become part of the national conversation on a Basic Income, voicing your experience of living and working in communities across the UK to frame the wider discussion on this innovative proposal.

Watch here


Community action on climate - why and how

Speakers Luke Murphy, IPPR and Environmental Justice Commission; Lucy Stone, Our Common Climate; Farhana Yamin, Think and Do Camden; Madeleine Howe and Lisa Meaney, Marsh and Micklefield Big Local

Understand the climate crisis and how it affects local communities, learn why community action is important in responding and what you can do to help at a local level.

Watch here


Telling the Big Local story

Speaker Ryan Herman

Hear from Ryan Herman, Local Trust’s journalist-at-large about his experience of talking to Big Local residents across the country. Ryan will explore what makes the Big Local story so interesting and what Big Local areas can learn from this to tell their own stories in the best way possible.

Watch here


The Connects at Home Radio Show

DJ Chris Allen with guests

Tune in for our first ever radio show! Ease yourself into the final day of Connects at Home by listening to four Big Local areas as they reflect on the best things they’ve seen in their community as a result of COVID-19. No better way to start your Saturday!

Listen here


Developing and distributing leadership in Big Local areas

Speaker Leila Lawal, Aberfeldy Big Local; Ned Younger, Koreo; Isabel Young, Young Foundation; Jane Garnham, Koreo

Hear from a participant and coach from the Community Leadership Academy talk about their experiences of working together through coaching, and how the participant has built self-awareness and leadership in communities. Learn how their techniques could help you build leadership skills in your Big Local area.

Watch here


Reflect, celebrate, sing and win prizes

Presenters Matt Leach, Local Trust; Maff Potts, Camerados; Vicki Kennedy, 3 Together Big Local

Join us for a round up of Connects at Home! We’ll be hearing from Matt Leach about his highlights from the three days. We’ll also be welcoming a very special guest – Maff Potts from Camerados who will talk about what he sees as being the strength of community from the work he does through getting people to look out for each other and setting up public living rooms to get strangers chatting. Then our final farewell will see us join together for a singalong to our very own Big Local song, an announcement of our prize winners from the quiz, and a big reveal of some very exciting news for next year…

Watch here