Timeline

DateActivity
End of March 2020Citizen Advice Sessions in the village finished.
February 2020We welcomed back Vic Askew from Maternity Leave
December 2019Distington Christmas Light Switch On hosted by Distington Big Local (including Santa visit!)
December 2019Annual General Meeting which included plans and designs of land development.
November 2019Distington Big Local arranged a Christmas shopping coach trip to Newcastle MetroCentre
October 2019Distington Big Local Volunteer Board Members attended the presentation of the Geoff Brown Innovation Award for our community led housing scheme.
July 2019Housing Needs Survey carried out
July 2019Distington FareShare scheme celebrated 1 year!
July 2019Architect appointed.
July 2019Weekly Men’s Group established.
May 2019Weekly Walking Group established. (Update – the Walking Group disbanded in October 2019).
April 2019FareShare Volunteers launched the Uniform Exchange Scheme (taking pre-loved school uniforms from donors and passing them to those who find meeting the cost of school uniforms difficult).
March 2019Lindsay Bodman commenced work as Project Assistant.  Lindsay is covering Vic’s role (Vic is on Maternity Leave from April 2019).
February 2019Funding secured from Homes England to help pay for full planning permission on the land.
September 2018Community land plan event.
July 2018Fareshare and Foodbank scheme is set up in partnership with Citizens Advice Bureau (Copeland) and Whitehaven, Egremont and District Credit Union.
October 2017HLP Architects appointed to carry out Feasibility Study and Community Consultation on the land.
August 2017Ingrid Morris (formerly Assistant Development Worker) began her new role as Project Manager and Vic Pooley a local Distington resident, began work as Big Local’s Project Assistant. 
August 2017Alan Lowe, (Development Manager since December 2014) left his post.  Ingrid Morris was appointed as Project Manager.
June 2017 Consultations continued on development of former British Legion Land in preparation for engaging the local community in decisions on the future of the site.
February 25th 2017Distington Big Local approved as competent to manage the Big Lottery funds (previously managed on our behalf by Cumbria CVS). Plans for 2017-18 also approved.
December 2016Distington Big Local completed purchase of the 1.8 acre site accessed via Church Road and formerly owned by the Royal British Legion.
November 2016The Village Maintenance Project is extended again. As of December 2016 residents were able to request minor repairs which do not require a tradesman and which our handyman Ronnie Hewer feels confident to undertake. Charges to residents cover our costs only and allow for the fact that ‘no job is too small’
September 16th 2016Local Trust who administer the Lottery Funding Big Local received agreement to release the funds required for pursuing purchase of the former British Legion Land on Church Road Distington (see April 29th entry below)
June 2016Distington Big Local Ltd is formed as a Not for Profit Company registered with Companies House (no. 10257726). This will be the delivery arm of Big Local implementing the plans of the Partnership Board and in the future enabling us to manage our own funding.
May 26th 2016Local trust approved our latest Plan for funding from June – December 2016
April 29th 2016PUBLIC MEETING – A piece of land owned by The Royal British Legion came up for sale. The land on Church Road was the site of the former British Legion Club. A public meeting attended by 66 residents was unanimous in mandating Big Local to seek to purchase the land for the village. A number of possibilities for development were also discussed. 
March 2016Working with Arts Out West Big Local brought theatre to Distington with a performance of the nationally touring ‘Chip Shop Chips’ in the Community Centre. 
February 2016Big Local granted £7,500 to Distington Parish Church of the Holy Spirit as 50% match funding for installation of toilet and kitchenette facilities. Church and community events held there will benefit from this necessary upgrade. 
November 12th 2015Annual Review Day held at Club for Young people. The general feeling was that a good start had been made and that the foundations were well set for future years. Local Trust subsequently accepted the findings of our review and therefore future release of funding was secured.
November 1st 2015 We welcomed Ingrid Morris as our new Assistant Development Worker, working 25 hours per week for the project. Ingrid has good experience in community related work and we were excited about her becoming part of the team.
October 2015Big Local awarded Distington Community Centre £6000 as 100% costs of solar panel installation and gifted staff time to manage the project.
July 2015Our first Big Local Summer Fun day with BBQ. Around 250-300 of Distington Residents brought together for a really enjoyable afternoon. Thanks given to all who helped make it such a good day.
June 2015Big local supports the Rugby Club contributing to 4 players and a coach being able to tour Serbia and South Africa with the Lions and The British Amateur Rugby League Association respectively. Well done gents!
May 2015Began work on creating a healthy walk (1 mile) incorporating part of cycle track. (Project plans to include post markers, benches, nature trail, natural play park etc in the future).
May 2015A local man was employed as handy-person to spruce up the village. (We hope to develop the project further over the coming years).
April 2015Started an Advice Session on Tuesday afternoons in The Community Centre.
March 2015Funding allocated to Distington Club for Young People for a 2 year period to continue their fantastic work.
February 2015Big Local Community Chest Grant awarded to Distington Community Centre.
 
January 2015Cumbria Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) appointed to oversee funding, employment etc. on our behalf.
 The Big Local Board decided in principal to become a charitable company. Consultation to happen soon and hopefully become incorporated by the end of 2016.
 A new 6 month Plan was agreed with Local Trust (Lottery Administrators)
December 2014We said farewell to Dave Smith our Development Worker during the initial consultations.  Hello and welcome to Alan Lowe who was appointed to the role as we turned plans in to action.
December 2014Distington Big Local Plan approved by The Local Trust (acting for the Big lottery).
August 2014First AGM and election of Partnership Board.
June 2014Appointed an Apprentice Administrator to assist in the work (local young woman).
April – NovemberCommunity Consultation undertaken (inc. Public meetings, newsletters etc).
SeptemberOpening of Community Cafe – Drop-in centre.
July – OctoberYoung Peoples consultation and related activities undertaken.
DecemberDelivery of Village Profile & Vision and full results of community consultation.
December 13 / February 14Development of Big Local Partnership: recruitment of members, development of constitution etc.
February / March 14Recruitment of Local Trusted Organisation to be Responsible Financial Partner.
February / April 14Development of Big Local Plan, based on Community Consultation and, in turn, village profile & vision.
May 14Big Local Plan agreed by community and partnership.
June 14 onwardsBig Local actions: Projects identified via Big Local Plan, feasibility studies undertaken if required, match funding identified and secured. Projects delivered.
September onwardsHold regular community reviews of progress made – recruitment of ‘Community Challengers’?

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