Big Local North East Hastings AGM has a real buzz about it

So, I have to admit to some concern when I heard that the North East Hastings Big Local Annual General Meeting was going to be held on a Saturday afternoon just before Christmas. I was seriously worried that just a few of us would be sitting on plastic chairs in an almost empty community centre.

I am delighted to say that my fears were unfounded, the AGM was busy, and in fact during the formal part of the meeting it was standing room only. There were lots of really good stands around the edges of the big hall in Ore Community Centre, these were mostly all projects that had received small grant funding from the Big Local during the year.

And people came along; some we knew, members of the partnership board, local partners and so on. Others just popped in to tell us what they thought and to see what was going in. There was a real sense of interest in what the Big Local are doing in the North East Hastings area, and even better a real sense of the community working together to make our area a ‘great place to live’.

I had some great conversations – about the local Brownies (I must declare an interest here as my daughter is a keen member), about developing playgrounds, about a community Christmas tree (how about a big one by the junction with the Ridge or outside the Co-op next year?). We chatted about where we live, about the shops, about the Village Green plans and just got to know people.

I had planned to take notes throughout the afternoon, and even formally interview a few people for this blog or the newsletter. But you know what, I was too busy talking and listening and so was everyone else.

The formal part of the meeting wasn’t too long – the new Partnership Board was signed in, Ron Bennett confirmed as Chair again, thanks given to Mr Ingleton for his work as he stood down. The Chair’s report was heard and minutes of the last AGM agreed. At the end cash prize draw held and won by three local residents, which was lovely just before Christmas.

The second best part of the afternoon came after the formal business and involved a delicious cake, cookie and cheese scone selection whilst everyone continued to catch up and get to know each other. It’s always rare I think, and a sign of a very good event when people hang around at the end talking.

I cannot end a blog post this time of year without wishing you all a Happy Christmas and New Year. We’ll be back in January with a busy schedule of funding, meetings and working hard. In the meantime here’s a seasonal tableau put together with finds from some of our great local charity shops in Ore.

Bev Jenkins, Blog Post 3, 16 December 2014