Projects boosted by Big Kirk Hallam lotto funds

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Some exciting projects have launched in the six months since Kirk Hallam was awarded £1 million in lottery funding.

The Big Kirk Hallam project will see the money spent within the community over a ten-year period, with £100,000 released every year.

Co-ordinated by the Big Kirk Hallam Partnership Group, it is part of the national Big Local project funded by the National Lottery.

One of the latest initiatives for children has seen the launch of the Big Kirk Hallam Passport. Ilkeston-based Wash Arts CIC worked and consulted with year three and four pupils from Dallimore and Ladywood primary schools to offer a wide range of exciting activities aimed at expanding the horizons of young people growing up in Kirk Hallam.

As part of this, picnics were held at the schools for the children and their families. Each child taking part has a 24-page passport-style booklet designed by Kate Smith, an award winning children’s illustrator and designer.

She had help from the children who drew images related to a ‘BIG’ theme, and also devised the Big Kirk Hallam Passport logo.

Kate said:“I have really enjoyed designing the Big Kirk Hallam Passport & Journal. The children are so talented and a delight to work with. It has also been great working with Wash Arts and the staff from Dallimore & Ladywood primary schools. It has been just lovely to work with local people.”

The booklet is full of ideas and activities for the children to have a go, participate in and complete and to have a permanent record of their achievements.

Stella Couloutbanis, co-director at Wash Arts, said: “The consultation process was very successful with a long list of brilliant ideas from the children and schools. The passport itself will remain as a personal and professionally produced legacy for those taking part.”

As each activity is completed, the children’s passport will be stamped. It will begin with children from years three and four who will take their passport through their school years to secondary school. It will ultimately become a regular feature of the life of all local children from year three and above.

Rachel Crowther, headteacher at Dallimore Primary School, said: “We are delighted to be launching the Big Kirk Hallam passport with the children. Childhood years are so precious and this will provide the children of Kirk Hallam with inspiration for some exciting opportunities and develop life long memories of growing up in our community.”

As well as the Passport Project, Wash Arts also runs a Girls Forum as part of Big Kirk Hallam - which will see participants take part in the Race For Life next month - and a News Hub, which see the production of a community newsletter.

The Big Kirk Hallam scheme also recently provided more than £5,000 for the refurbishment of the Kenilworth Community Hall at Kirk Hallam.

Chairman of the community hall committee, Louis Booth, said: “I would like to thank the Big Lottery as that money inspired partnership funding from local businesses and together, we are delighted to have new lighting, heating, new doors, redecoration and new kitchen appliances.

“With the additional funding from local businesses, the committee members have managed to improve the whole look and environment of the hall, which is currently used by luncheon groups, guides and scouts and play groups.”

Future projects include a camp out at Ladywood Primary School and funding for a summer festival at Kirk Hallam Community Academy.

Jsan Shepherd, plan coordinator for BKH, said: “It (the project) has been a big success.

“We have funded a youth club with the Enthusiasm Trust which sees 70 young people attend at Kirk Hallam Social Club each week - there was obviously a need for it and the parents are pleased that there is somewhere for the kids to go.”

n Big Local brings together all the local talent, ambitions, skills and energy from individuals, groups and organisations who want to make their area an even better place to live. Big Local puts residents in 150 areas across England in the driving seat.

Residents in each of these areas are provided with all the support they need to identify their priorities and plan how to invest £1 million over at least the next 10 years.