Tydd St Giles: 'The old school is derelict and doesn't look nice in the centre of the village'

November has been very much a month of compiling all the results of the previous months work and using it to plan the work going forward.

Action points

We have now completed all the One Day events, all the Action Day/Community Get Together events and used the information gathered to create four action plans – one for each village.  Usually an action plan would be created by a steering group from the village however as we have been leading on the planning process we felt the onus was on us to create the draft action plan. We have discussed each plan with each village and made whatever amendments they have suggested.  Pidley, Tydd St Giles and Somersham have accepted their action plans and we are waiting to hear the feedback from Prickwillow – when it was presented to the Village Council they were positive about it but not all council members were present and able to comment.

Tydd St Giles: 'The play area is inadequate'

Learning and Challenges:  This process has been relatively trouble-free and it is good to know that the consultation through photography and community events is robust enough to develop action points and hence community plans from.

Filming

We are currently planning and scheduling the filming in Tydd St Giles and Prickwillow which will take place in the first two weeks of December. Tim from Young Lives will be doing the filming with us and editing the films.  We have kept the basic format of the Pidley film but have have decided to ask some community members to make their own ‘mini films ‘to add to the overall footage.  We are supplying them with the cameras and support to do this.

Tydd St Giles: ' The Thirsty Traveller is a very good shop with lots of good food'

 Learning and Challenges: This has not been relatively trouble –free! We have had difficulty in particular with getting contributors in Prickwillow to come forward – this is a mystery to us as Tydd has not presented us with the same problem.  One possibility is that Corrina from Young Lives was the main point of contact for Prickwillow and her secondment to the project has ended.    Although we have all met the community in Prickwillow perhaps this very basic change has altered the level of engagement.    We are learning the mechanics behind film making and editing and are honing our skills in persuading communities to take part.  We will reflect some more on the whole issue of film making and how this can be taken forward in our future work once we have the experience of these two films behind us. 

Neighbourhood Challenge Competition

Entrants from Somersham and Pidley have been contacted about round two of the competition. Again, we have decided to take different approaches in each village.  In Somersham the judges will visit the village and each entry will have the opportunity to present their project idea to them however they wish (e.g. film, PowerPoint, site visit, demonstration, presentations).  We are offering support in the form of advice and resources to help each group develop their idea in order to reach the judging criteria and will also discuss ways of presenting their project to its greatest advantage.  In Pidley , where the entries are addressing similar issues we are going to combine the support we offer with the Service Challenge Day to enable the groups to plan their projects, investigate further funding and identify/address potential barriers.  Pidley entrants will be judged on the strength of their project plan and a written statement on how their project will affect their village (effectively how it will meet the judging criteria). 

Learning and Challenges:  One piece of learning which has cropped up time and again is that a ‘one size fits all’ approach really doesn’t work well in rural communities;  even between two adjacent villages there are startling differences to be seen.  Flexibilty needs to be inherent in any plan for working with a community and systems need to be in place to allow this.

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