CREST is proud to have been chosen by local residents to be their local trusted organisation.
What is Big Local?
The St James Street area of Walthamstow has won a £1million grant from the Big Lottery Fund as part of the nationwide Big Local initiative. The aim of the fund is to enable local people to make big lasting changes to the neighbourhood over 10 years. Big Local will only release the £1million if enough local people get involved. So for St James Street to qualify, residents, groups and organisations must work together during 2015 to decide how to spend the cash, and make the area a better place to live.
What sort of things can they spend the money on?
In short, anything that makes the area a better place to live. The St James Big Local could give grants and loans to get projects up and running from 2015. These could include, for example, a community-run cafe, a neighbourhood watch scheme on an estate with many elderly people or a new sports club for young people. Residents themselves will draw up a Big Local Plan spelling out the sorts of things they want to achieve and how they will do
Who is in charge?
At the moment, 12 local people have formed a “steering group” to get things moving and arrange community events during 2015. Long term, the St James Big Local will be run by a Big Local Partnership, consisting of at least eight people – over half of whom must be from the St James Street area. This group is responsible for driving the project, agreeing a “vision” and getting a good cross-section of the community involved.
What’s coming up next?
- Following on from last year’s astounding success, Sunday 13th September has been earmarked for the second St James’ Street Jumble Trail in which local residents can register to sell whatever they like from their front gardens
- They are looking to run consultations and sessions with established community groups.
- Over the first half of 2015 they have been working on the structure and governance of St James Big Local so that it can continue its work over the next 10 years.
What is the Trusted Organisation?
In the initial stages of the Big Local process, it is unlikely that there is an established community group which is sufficiently established to have a bank account and audited finances. The emerging Partnership has chosen CREST to administer the enabling funds on behalf of the community and potentially offer payroll services if necessary.