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Community spirit

We’re Big Local! Creating Lasting Change

This short film is based on a poem, Tony Walsh aka Longfella crowd-sourced and performed at Big Local Connects 2018. Read the full poem below.

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change

We need to learn from the past so we have a brighter future

We were fed up of the negatives so we work to make them positives

We saw the politics so… we ignored them and wove our own path through

We want to be different so we’re building an ice rink in July!

We started a knit and natter. So… we don’t do much knitting but the nattering gets things sorted!

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change


We know what we want for our community so we will make it happen

We believe in our community so we bring our residents together to build community spirit and growth

We support the youth to talk to the establishment so we can prepare a better future for their children

We recognise the reduction in statutory services so we are developing our local infrastructure

We needed to lift their spirits and open their eyes. So we did!

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change


We were lacking youth engagement so we support the local youth club

We need more community involvement so we’re generating more inspiration to attract people

We needed to carry on with the Big Local vision so we formed a CIO

We see that we’re too insular so we learn from other places

We wanted to empower our young people so we give them £8000 a year to create and fund their own project

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change


We saw too much child obesity so we built an outdoor gym

We see the need for change so we harness local skills and share

We needed statistical information so we got in touch with analytical volunteers

We needed a legacy so we leased the local boating lake at the park

We are gonna move to the needs of our children so we can give them a brighter future and a chance to live their lives

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change


We had a riot in Broad Green so we got Big Locally!

We saw there was a need for a local schools Friends Group so we formed one ourselves

We saw that people in our community needed new skills and opportunities (no more pits!) so we organised and funded a range of training courses

We wanted a beach! So we built one! In our central park!

We had a village divided by old and new houses so we set up a marquee on the green and met in the middle

We needed to be included with the town plan so we gave them a reason to come to our area by improving the environment

We wanted answers so we asked the people that matter

We had our challenges so we found our secret power (we all have one, at least!)

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change


We know the future will be better so we will work together

We must stand together and be strong so we can stay healthy and be happy. It’s a marathon, this life!

We saw a need for help so we just did it!

We wanted to regenerate our local park so we believed and we worked and we created and we opened a new space for residents to enjoy

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change


We know that a community hub will be a stretch – so we’ll never give up trying

We saw an overcomplicated local plan so we took it to pieces, simplified it and made it more accessible

We worked hard so we now have a vibrant community hub with a café, garden and activities. Run by the community, for the community.

We found that our council were about to give away our community centre. So we stopped them!

We saw that our council were closing our adventure playground so we took the building over through asset transfer. WE DID IT! WE BLOODY DID IT!

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change

We have hopes for our young people to have their dreams come true so we’ll never give in

We saw that professional face painters were expensive so we got trained and we do it ourselves.

We saw that local children needed sport activities so we set up after school clubs.

We saw bored kids in the 6 weeks holidays so we set up free sports events

We believe our community deserves the best so we are providing quality projects

We will never forget the blood sweat and tears of volunteers at St Georges so St Georges will be our lasting legacy

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change


We wanted to help those with mental health needs so that’s what we do

We wanted to do intergenerational work so we worked with 3 primary schools and 3 residential homes then brought them together

We wanted a better relationship with our Parish Council so we recruited 2 of their members on to the partnership

We were feeling sad everything was always bad, so we came together stood our ground and we’re no longer being pushed around

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change


We wanted bigger and better community trips which we didn’t think was possible but we did it!

We were told there is nothing for the kids so we started a youth club and half term holiday camps

We know our community and our decisions may not always be good so we tell ourselves something good everyday

We are who we are so we won’t take it lying down!

We saw loneliness and isolation in our older generation, eyes down, so we set up an over 50s club – bingo invites people and we welcomed them into our… House! Now everyone’s a winner!

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change


We saw our roof has holes in it so we made the whole thing bigger

We lost social services provisions for children so now we are trying to create more through community interest companies, charities, Big Local and more

We needed better parks so we now have a cycle track and zipwire  – not for the faint of heart!

We wanted a cinema so we created one

We had long term unemployment so we looked for where there were skills shortages and now we’re training people to be HGV drivers

We all love shopping so we sent our elderly ladies to Bury Market

We wanted children to gain confidence so we started a team and now we have 200 children playing football each week. “Come on you greens!”

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change


We felt like giving up, so we found the motivation – together – that spurred us on

We recognise the importance of humour.  If we don’t laugh we cry.  So we keep smiling. Through pain there is gain.

We, us, them, me, myself and I – we want to change what’s not good into something amazing

We were taught to think small so we cut the bars from our boxes

We saw that we could rise above the expectations of those in charge so we set our gaze high

We saw that our neighbourhood needed love so we gathered together to bring it light. Let here be light!

We started a LGBT youth group so we are there for them to stand up with pride

We saw a broken community so we opened the doors to welcome, acceptance and fun

We saw children on the street so we opened the doors and called them in

We heard older people were lonely so we started lunch clubs – now they are running 5 groups

We lost our voice so now we’re fighting for it back again

We seek so we source

We listened so we achieved

We are proud of our community so we want to tell people about it

We do it because someone needs to. My son says “why do you do it, Mum, when hardly anyone turns up. I say “I live in hope. I live in hope. People need hope”

We don’t fear the future. We see challenges yes, but untapped opportunities too

We want you to join us so we can all survive and thrive

We are all brothers and sisters so we stick together

We will be on the agenda not on the menu!

We want power so we get organised

We’re Big Local – creating lasting change

I said: we’re Big Local – creating lasting change

I said: we’re Big Local – creating lasting change

Created by Tony Walsh of Longfella Ltd including contributions from conference delegates in response to a creative prompt set by Tony Walsh

Collation, editing and additional material by Tony Walsh                         

Performed by Tony Walsh

© Longfella Ltd 2019