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The community power podcast: Series two

31 Oct 2022

We're back for a second series - exploring what happens when you give local people the money, the power and the resources to create lasting change in their communities.

We’re back for a second series – exploring what happens when you give local people the money, the power and the resources to create lasting change in their communities.

When we launched the first series of The community power podcast, we’d just emerged from the third national lockdown and many Big Local partnerships were still preoccupied with delivering emergency support to their communities in the face of a global pandemic.

Now, as we launch our second series, community groups are faced with responding to the cost of living crisis – once again stepping up and in to provide emergency food, fuel and mental health support.

In his blog, ‘Regenerative resilience and the role of communities’, our director of partnerships and learning James Goodman suggested that we are in ‘an age of permanent crisis’ and only have ‘a window of opportunity to build the resilience of communities’ if we have any hope of navigating it.

We hope that series two of The community power podcast will highlight what communities can do when you build that resilience by handing over the money, the power and the resources local residents need to create lasting change where they live.

Keep scrolling to listen to series two of The community power podcast – we will be adding new episodes every week.

Episode 1: Building community resilience in ‘an age of permanent crisis’

The first episode of our brand-new series was recorded at our annual Big Local conference Connects and highlights how community organisations are navigating the cost of living crisis, plus a reflection from our director of partnerships and learning, James Goodman, on the pressing need to build community resilience.

Episode 2: Leading climate conversations in Greater Manchester

In this episode of The community power podcast, we spoke to Freda Eyden and Ralph Rudden, co-chairs of Our Sale West – a Big Local based in Greater Manchester. They share their experience of setting up and running a schools climate crisis conference and how they are using their experience of Covid-19 to respond to the cost of living crisis.

Episode 3: Regenerating the riverside in Gateshead

In this episode, we talk to Lawrence O’Halleron, Big Local chair, and Chris Folwell, Big Local worker, from Gateshead Big Local about their local cycling club, Teams Wheelers – and how it’s opened up some opportunities for them to be part of an upcoming riverside regeneration scheme.

Episode 4: Celebrating Creative Civic Change in the Midlands

In this episode, we chat to George Hill from Creative Kingswood and Hazel Leys and Anna Francis from the Portland Inn Project – about their experience of being part of our sister programme, Creative Civic Change.

Episode 5: Changing gears in North London

In this episode of The community power podcast, Laurie White from Noel Park Big Local shares how they’ve transformed a shipping container into a training hub that’s already getting local young people into employment.

Episode 6: Transforming family relationships in Southampton

In this epsiode, we are joined by SO18 Big Local chair Kim Ayling and Michelle McCarthy from the organisation NVR South. They share with us their personal experience of having challenging relationships with their children and how NVR training has dramatically helped them rebuild those relationships – a training programme they are now rolling out locally.

Episode 7: Resident-led leadership in Kent

In this episode, Northfleet Big Local resident and partnership member Peter Scollard shares how his ability to talk to people and think in a resident-led way has enabled him to become a different type of local leader. From working the fruit and veg markets as a child, to being elected the Mayor of Gravesham, his journey is definitely worth a listen!

Episode 8: Innovative community spaces in Eastern Sheppey

In this episode of The community power podcast, we chat to Daniel Perriam and Emma Dunnicliffe from Eastern Sheppey Big Local about their Big Local journeys and the adventure journey they’ve had transforming an old police station into an invaluable community asset.

Episode 9: The power of pom-poms in East Coseley

In this episode, we explore the unexpected power of pom poms with Dave Roberts and Shona Gilsenan, who are both workers at East Coseley Big Local. They tell us all about their simple and creative project Pom-Poms 4 Loneliness. On a mission to end loneliness, this project is creating impressive and far-reaching ripple effects – including an increasing amount of social prescribing referrals from local GPs.

Episode 10: Empowering local writers in Firs & Bromford

John went from writing fairy stories for his daughter, to being given homework at the age of 76 as part of a local writing group. Now, he’s one of several locally published authors who’ve come through the Firs and Bromford Big Local writing group. In this episode, we chat to John, author of ‘It’s been reported’, and fellow author and leader of the writing club Phil, about sparking imaginations, the power of good friendships, and how simple it really is to make art accessible to everyone.

Episode 11: Transforming community wellbeing in Brereton

When Sue Merriman, worker at Brereton Million Big Local, first took their idea of a wellbeing campaign to the district council they laughed them out of the door. Two years later, they’ve worked together to launch a free health and wellbeing app which takes users through eight aspects of wellbeing and points them towards local providers that can support them. In this episode, Sue talks us through how the app came, as well as the more specific and dedicated work she’s provided to support the wellbeing of young people in the community after losing local youth services.

Episode 12: Outstanding service to the community with Karen Trainer MBE

For the last episode of series two of The community power podcast, we talk to the chair of Scotlands Bushbury Hill Big Local who was awarded an MBE last year for her outstanding service in and to the community. Karen chats to Chris about her 11-year Big Local journey, including the difference between what she imagined she and her community would be able to achieve when they started compared to where they are today.

Listen to series one