The project journey so far has involved:

Getting People Involved Phase 1: Raising Awareness and Listening to Residents Views (January 2011 to September 2011);

  • Getting People Involved Phase 2: Formation of BIG Local Partnership & creating a Resident led Board (November 2011 to November 2012)
  • Community Planning: December 2012 to August 2013
  • Delivery of Community Plan: October 2013 onwards

Healthy Living was involved in both Phase 1 working with BEACH Partnership, a local community organisation and Community Planning working with Blackburn with Darwen Community & Voluntary Services providing assistance in developing a community plan for the ward.

The Community Plan Vision for the area is to create “A safe and clean place with a strong sense of community where residents can aspire and achieve for a better future for everyone.”

Big Local is resident led and Healthy Living were chosen to be as the main Local Trusted Organisation (LTO) in March 2013. Healthy Living’s role as LTO includes supporting the Big Local Partnership, contract management for commissioned services, community engagement, establishment & management of themed task groups, financial management and the development of partnership working.The Shadsworth with Whitebirk Big Local Plan was formally endorsed by the Big Local Trust in November 2013.

Key activities during the period April 2017 to March 2018 included:

  • Debt Aware in Schools: providing children in Primary Schools (Year 5 & 6) with advice around debt and money management
  • Language Courses: building confidence, self-esteem, learning creative skills, learn and encouraging residents to break down barriers caused by their lack of understanding of the English Language
  • Community Gardener
  • Youth provision: weekly youth club sessions
  • Summer 2017 Lunch Campaign: 1,317 lunches were provided in Shadsworth with Whitebirk during the summer holiday.

The Small Grants Programme managed by Blackburn with Darwen Community and Voluntary Services provides funding for up to £1,000 per Project and funding totalling £13,711.10 was awarded during Project Year 4 (October 2016 to September 2017).

The BIG Local community has agreed a 2-year plan for 2019-2020 focusing on the key themes of :

  • Prosperity
  • Stronger Communities
  • Youth Provision
  • Environment
  • Health

“I’ve lived in Shadsworth for over 50 years and care so much about this area and the people. I keep myself busy being the Chair of Big Local, Chair of Intack and Whitebirk Tenancy Residents’ Association and sit on the board of a tenants’ panel for Together Housing. I’m a big believer in working with others to make things happen! We’ve done so much since we set up Big Local. We’ve made real inroads into addressing social isolation, working with residents in sheltered accommodation. We run affordable trips out for families, some of whom had never been out of Blackburn before.

I’ve learnt a lot since joining the board of Big Local, listening to people and finding out what help is available. I’ve loved being part of a network of Big Local projects– we share what works well for our communities. I’m off to see Rastrick Festival to see how they run that and can’t wait.”