It's been a busy few weeks for Big Local North East Hastings, we've been involved in starting to think about research and evaluation and in a big Easter event.
With the research we're working out how we are going to know what we do makes a positive difference, and how we plan this in to projects. We've also been reviewing our first years' work and how we continue to organise the project plans to make sense and split the workload. It's a real challenge to achieve as much as we'd like to with one very hard working part time staff member, and the rest of us volunteers with day jobs, family commitments and outside lives.
Some of our resident led partership board have been working together now for a few months on organising events like our Easter event held on Easter Saturday. They showed what can be achieved, with well over 100 families attending a fun afternoon at the Ore Centre. The event worked well to raise the profile of Big Local in the area; people are beginning to know who we are and how they can get involved. Surverys were handed out, and when completed at the event were entered in to a prize draw. This make sure we got the survery's back on the day, and we're looking forward to reading what people said, and feeding this back to them at a later date.
One of the organisers put the leaflets about the event in the school bags of our three closest primary schools, which was very good publicity. When I talked to the children who attended the event I found out that they had come from these schools, as well as All Saints Junior and Dudley Infants, which are a bit further down the hill from Ore.
We gave out well over a hundred Easter eggs, for children who took part in an Easter egg hunt, and who joined in with the Easter bonnet parade. We even had some great adult entries in the Easter bonnet parade. My favourite was the family of three women and a baby who'd made fantastic hats decorated with paper flowers for themselves and even decorated the baby's car seat.
There was a lovely decorate, then eat a cake table, free tea and coffee and a minecraft inspired making activity as well as a chance for people to be outside in the Ore Centre garden. The organisers had managed to include local business' by having a 'spot the Easter picture' within local shops. We plan on going back to the local shops to ask how this worked for them, and maybe develop this idea further in the future with vouchers or discounts to encourage people to shop locally.
Finally, we've got a bit of learning to do for our next event - endless supply of Easter eggs might be needed and perhaps signing up volunteers for future events on the day.