Our story

Submitted by webmaster on Sun, 15/05/2016 - 00:42

Timeline

Date Activity
August 2017 Ingrid Morris formerly Assistant Development Worker begins her new role as Project Manager and Vic Pooley a local Distington resident, begins work as Big local's Project Assistant. 
August 2017 Alan Lowe who has been Development Manager since December 2014 leaves his post as he moves away from the area. During Alan's time working on behalf of the Board, Big local has seen many developments
June 2017  Consultations continue on development of former British Legion Land in preparation for engaging the local community in decisions on the future of the site.
February 25th 2017 Distington Big Local approved as competent to manage the Big Lottery funds (previously managed on our behalf by Cumbria CVS). Plans for 2017-18 also approved.
January 2017 The Big Local Board submit a proposal for the work they wish to do from April 2017 - April 2018. The Board have also applied to become more independant and handle their own finances (but will still need to keep submitting plans for approval before any funding is released)
December 2016 Distington Big Local completes purchase of the 1.8 acre site accessed via Church Road and formerly owned by the Royal British Legion.
November 2016 The Village Maintenance Project is extended again. As of December 2016 residents will be able to request minor repairs which do not require a tradesman and which our handyman Ronnie Hewer feels confident to undertake. Charges as follows - 1/4 hour £4: 1/2 hour £8; per hour £15. These charges cover our costs only and allow for the fact that 'no job is too small'
September 16th 2016 Local Trust who administer the Lottery Funding Big Local receives agree to release the funds required for pursuing purchase of the former British Legion Land on Church Road Distington (see April 29th entry below)
September 16th 2016

The second Annual Meeting of Distington Big Local. Well attended by 51 residents. 7 current Board members were re-elected, 2 continued their 2 year terms and 6 new Board members were elected. 2 other residents joined the Young people and Families Sub Group.

September 2016 Distington Big Local applies for Charitable status with the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales. (* The application was refused on certain technicalities. The Board deciding that this was not a high priority for now and will be reviewed in the future.)
June 2016 Distington Big Local Ltd is formed as a not for profit company registered with Companies House (no. 10257726). This will be the delivery arm of Big Local implementing the plans of the Partnership Board and in the future enabling us to manage our own funding.
May 26th 2016 Local trust approve our latest Plan for funding from June – December 2016
April 29th 2016 PUBLIC MEETING - A piece of land owned by The Royal Britsh Legion has come up for sale. The land on Church Road is the site of the former Britsh Legion Club. A public meeting attended by 66 residents was unanimous in mandating Big Local to seek to purchase the land for the village. A number of possibilities for development were also discussed. 
March 2016 Working with Arts Out West Big Local brings theatre to Distington with a performance of the nationally touring 'Chip Shop Chips' in the Community Centre. 
February 2016 Big Local grants 7,500 to Distington Parish Church of the Holy Spirit as 50% match funding for installation of toilet and kitchenette facilities. Church and community events held there will benefit from this necessary upgrade. 
November – December 2015 Great interest from the Whitehaven News and The Times and Star newspapers, both of whom did excellent 2 page spreads on the good work we are doing. Very encouraging for the project.
November 12th 2015 Annual Review Day held at Club for Young people. The general feeling was that a good start had been made and that the foundations were well set for future years. Local Trust subsequently accepted the findings of our review and therefore future release of funding was secured.
November 1st 2015  We welcome Ingrid Morris as our new Assistant Development Worker, working 25 hours per week for the project. Ingrid has good experience in community related work and we look forward to her becoming part of the team.

October 2015

Big Local awards Distington Community Centre £6000 as 100% costs of Solar panels Installation and gifts staff time to manage the project.
August 2015 AGM  After reviewing the years work a new Board was Elected for 2015-2016 as follows - 
Resigned during the year (and with thanks for their contributions) 
Mary Smart, Robert Gates, Reg Gallagher
 
Re-elected – Rhoda Robinson (subsequently elected Chair), Norma Pritt, Mike Pritt, Alison Boyd, Annette Whitehead, Kathleen Sharpe, Josephine Greggain, John Bowman, Christine Pattinson (all residents), Julia Powley (Parish Vicar), John Cass  (Homegroup)
 
New Elected Members - Pat Nelson, Carl Cooper both local residents
July 2015 Our first Big Local Summer Fun day with BBQ. Around 250-300 of Distington Residents brought together for a really enjoyable afternoon. Thanks given to all who helped make it such a good day.
June 2015 Big local supports the Rugby Club contributing to 4 players and a coach being able to tour Serbia and South Africa with the Lions and The British Amateur Rugby League Association respectively. Well done gents!
May 2015 Begin work on creating a healthy walk (1 mile) incorporating part of cycle track. (Project plans to include post markers, benches, nature trail, natural play park etc in the future).
May 2015 A local man employed as handyperson to spruce up the village. (Hoping to develop project further over the coming years).
April 2015 Started an Advice Session on Tuesday afternoons in The Community Centre.
March 2015 Funding allocated to Distington Club for Young People for a 2 year period to continue their good work.
February 2015 Big Local Community Chest Grant awarded to Distington Community Centre.
 
January 2015 Cumbria Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) appointed to oversee funding, employment etc. on our behalf.
  The Big Local Board decide in principal to become a charitable company. Consultation to happen soon and hopefully become incorporated by the end of 2016.
  A new 6 month Plan was agreed with Local Trust (Lottery Administrators)
December 2014 Farewell to Dave Smith our Development Worker during the initial consultations. Welcome to Alan Lowe who will take on the role as we turn plans in to action.
December 2014 Distington Big local Plan approved by The Local Trust (acting for the Big lottery).
August 2014 First AGM and election of Partnership Board.
June 2014 Appoint an Apprentice Administrator to assist in the work (local young woman).
Pre June 2014 SEE BELOW
Throughout 2013 Regular Steering Group meetings.
April - November Community Consultation undertaken (inc. Public meetings, newsletters etc).
September Opening of Community Cafe - Drop-in centre.
July - October Young Peoples consultation and related activities undertaken.
December Delivery of Village Profile & Vision and full results of community consultation.
December 13 / February 14 Development of Big Local Partnership: recruitment of members, development of constitution etc.
February / March 14 Recruitment of Local Trusted Organisation to be Responsible Financial Partner.
February 14 onwards Ensure local community is regularly updated (quarterly newsletters?) local meetings, community cafe etc.
February / April 14 Development of Big Local Plan, based on Community Consultation and, in turn, village profile & vision.
May 14 Big Local Plan agreed by community and partnership.
May 14 Big Local Plan agreed by Big Local Trust.
June 14 onwards Big Local actions: Projects identified via Big Local Plan, feasibility studies undertaken if required, match funding identified and secured. Projects delivered.
September onwards Hold regular community reviews of progress made – recruitment of ‘Community Challengers’?

Read more about what Big Local is all about. For more details about Local Trust, please visit their website here.