Our Story

Distington Big Local formed a new Group in summer of 2021. Our vision is to secure positive improvements to Distington and its people by co-operation in a wide range of activities and projects that offer opportunities to develop skills, build community pride and raise aspirations.

The Group currently holds eight board members: Paul Tharagonnet Co- Chair, Danielle Leigh Co-Chair, Christine Pattinson Safeguarding lead, Karen Hodgson, Nathan Martin, Patrick Kelly, Shirley Murphy, Gary Austin.

Throughout the year we will be holding consultations on what you the community would like to see happen with the remaining funds available. If you have not done so already follow us on Facebook New Distington Big Local

Distington Big Local will continue to deliver some of the previous projects agreed by the previous board as well as develop new projects.

In order to achieve this we have employed a new Local Trusted Organisation (LTO). A locally trusted organisation is the organisation chosen by us, your Big Local partnership Board, to administer and account for the distribution of our funding, and if we so decide, deliver activities or services on our behalf. There is a funding agreement between Local Trust and Groundwork North East & Cumbria as well as a task agreement between us and Groundwork to provide business support to the group. Katie Storey will cover the project over 2 days per week and will be available in the Community Centre each Tuesday.

Our agreement is because we, Distington Big Local Board guides the overall direction of Distington Big Local making decisions with you, our local community and local organisations on how Big Local funding will be used. If you are interested in joining our panel or would like to volunteer to help support a sub-group please look at the “get involved” page to find out more.

Read more about what Big Local is all about. For more details about Local Trust, please visit their website here.  

Meet some of our members

Paul Tharagonnet – Co-Chair

Originally born in the North East of England I started working as a teacher in 1972.  Since then I have worked in many parts of the UK, USA and finally in Germany where I retired as a data systems manager at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt. I retired to settle in Distington some 7 years ago and have taken a lot of interest in the Big Local project.

Danielle Leigh- Co-Chair

I grew up in the village and now live in Workington. I still have many connections to the village and used to be a volunteer for the rugby teams. I’m keen to use my skills to help support and achieve the best for the village.

Christine Pattinson – safeguarding

I am Christine Marie Pattinson and I have lived in Distington all my life. I have run the Distington Club for Young People for 22 years, a job that I love very much. I want to continue to help and improve my community.

Karen Hodgson

I am a resident of Distington and have lived here all my life. I have come back onto the board to help and support my community to secure the funding for the village.

Shirley Murphy

I live in Workington and have a 24 year old son who was born blind and Autistic. I also have my own Charity “Autism Support Allerdale and Copeland” and we have a youth club that takes place in the Distington Club for Young People for individuals with Autism. 

Nathan Martin

I have lived in the village all my life. I am a volunteer at Distington Club for Young People and I am also a rugby league referee. I joined Distington Big Local as I would love to improve our village for the better.