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Organising and deciding

Tools for stronger partnerships

Tried and tested tools to support your Big Local

Whilst no two Big Local areas are the same, there are undoubted similarities, particularly in the challenges they face. Luckily there are many free resources designed to help groups to deliver better results, like Nesta’s DIY toolkit, which brings together 30 of the best resources used in community development around the world. But could these group activity ‘tools’ help Big Local partnerships? To find out, we asked five Reps to work with their Big Local partnerships to test out resources and create new tools, supported by partners The Small Axe and Act Build Change.  They found out that these tools really can help their partnership get unstuck and see problems in a new way…

Using group activity tools to strengthen your partnership

We have brought the tried and tested results together into five instruction sheets, to help work through common problems, find them under helpful resources.

Tackling a problem: tested by HAVA Big Local in Leeds, this quick activity can help your partnership to understand a particular problem you might be facing, explore different solutions and find consensus around a solution.

Mapping power: Greenmoor Big Local in Bradford used this tool to understand how they could work constructively with a local organisation they felt were taking too much control.

Understanding roles: Boston Big Local used this tool in the early days to help them understand the different roles and responsibilities within their partnership. They say the clarity they got from this helped the partnership to take action.

Understanding power: Gauntless Gateway Big Local held a series of workshops on the issues identified by the Civil Society Futures set of practices and questions (PACT). They looked at shifting power, being accountable, making deeper connections and building trust, this tool helped them in one of their workshops.

Planning for measuring change: This guidance sets out a workshop that could be delivered with your partnership, to get people to think about how to measure and share the impact of your Big local plan in a way that matters to you. But you don’t need to do it on your own, Local Trust have support partners and training events, to help with measuring change.

How do I run the activities with my Big Local partnership?

If you have skills in facilitation and running group activities, the tools can be downloaded and printed out. All you will need to do is familiarise yourself with the instructions, arrange a time with your partnership and go for it.

If you are less confident in facilitating but would like to run the activity, talk to your Big Local Rep and see if they can support you, or find you support. We have also created a guide on getting started with facilitation, which covers basic facilitation principles and where to find training (it’s a valuable skill!).

To feedback on the tools, or for more information on using the tools or learning about facilitation, please contact Georgie: