Big Changes in Little Digmoor - The Transformation of a Community
Posted on Fri 13 July 2012
On the 11th of July, Fair Share Trust Protector, Mark Nicholls, and Kate Stewart, Director of the Fair Share Trust visited the Little Digmoor area in West Lancashire. Since FST began in the area in 2003, a great deal of progress has been made with various youth and development projects aimed at alleviating both the social isolation experienced by youth in the area and the negative reputation the area held. As well as the successes of these projects, the FST appointed community development officer formed the Little Digmoor Community Association (LDCA) which has been vital to the implementation of FST funding and has since become the central organ of the community.
Martin Trengrove, West Lancashire local agent summarised the importance of the LCDA;
“The most important legacy we’ll have is the LDCA. Whatever happens LDCA must remain together to do things for people in the community.”
As well as visiting projects such as the Community Allotment and the Little Digmoor Arts and Craft Skills Swap club Mark and Kate got to explore the estate area and meet with the local agent and panel members of the LCDA to discuss how the funding had been used and the community had progressed. Although it was noted that there were still areas for improvement, for example engaging with the immigrant population in Digmoor, there was a huge sense of positivity about the area.
A key theme that emerged during this discussion was the development of relationships. Martin noted that relationships in the community had improved; between the residents and local authorities, amongst families, and that a strong bond had developed between the previously separate Little and Big Digmoor estates. It was also encouraging to hear that a greater sense of community pride has emerged in recent years. Norma Timberly, a resident of the estate stated;
“When somebody asked you where you lived, you didn’t want to say! Now, things are so different.”
The sustainability of the FST funding was also spoken about with great enthusiasm. Little Digmoor has clearly used the funding very wisely. Investments have been into very practical and necessary changes in the area, and have been clearly focused on their priorities. Martin described the benefits of the grant structure;
"Benefits have spread via learning from within the community to the public and wider voluntary sector."
FST involvement in the area has strengthened the community of Little Digmoor. Outsider attitudes to the community have been transformed, and more importantly there is a strong sense of community spirit and pride exists. With the help of passionate individuals and wider community support, the area has visibly improved, and there is a tangible sense of morale and self confidence amongst residents. Despite the reduction in external support over the next year as FST funding draws to a close, the aims and aspirations of Little Digmoor are optimistic and supported by the commitment of residents and success of the LCDA - they are prepared for the challenges ahead.Back to top