About Ovenden Ward
Ovenden ward is situated a mile to the north of Halifax town centre . Its population of 12,291 lives in the neighbourhoods of Ovenden, Furness, Wheatley, Dudleys and Lee Mount The A629 road from Halifax to Keighley runs through the ward, and there are several small shopping areas, a splendid Victorian Park (Shroggs) and several sporting, community and faith venues which are well used by the local community.
Ovenden Community First was one of the first panels to be established nationally in 2011; and has supported 15 local projects to date. Throughout February and March 2013 we have consulted local people about their priorities through:
- Online consultation on Ovenden Community first website, starting on 1 February
https://ovendencommunityfirst.wordpress.com/ 12 responses on online map
- Distribution of 1000 leaflets with doorstep interviews; and placement in key community sites see Appx 2 for leaflet
- Drop in afternoon and evening consultation session 18 February 2013: involving 12 residents
- Ward Forum meeting and consultation discussion on 26 February 2013 involving 29 residents – 18 of them young people
- 30 additional written responses from local community groups and residents
The consultation asked people to consider the current priorities for community first, and whether there are additional priorities on which we should focus. We asked people to think both in terms of what future Community First grants might achieve (£ 57k worth of small grants for local groups ), as well as their general priorities.
Consultation results and next steps
People responding to the questionnaire supported a focus on the existing priorities for Ovenden Community First. The agreed priorities are:
Priority 1: Celebrating Ovenden
Community – led activities and events to celebrate pride in our neighbourhoods.
Priority 2: Supporting Aspirations
To support the aspirations of young people particularly those aged 14-25, by widening their horizons and supporting them to realise their ambitions.
Priority 3: Bringing People Together
Projects that encourage people to work together across different age groups and backgrounds.
Priority 4: Improving Health and Well Being
To develop new and existing social and cultural activities that will increase community involvement and improve the well being of the community.
Priority 5: Improving Green Spaces and Physical Places
To support new and existing activities that will improve the natural and built environment in Ovenden neighbourhoods.
As well as setting overall priorities, the consultation identified some key projects local residents would like to bring forward in the next two years including:
- Improved playing fields at the Four Fields and Moor Lane
- A range of better provision for young people including music concerts
- Building on recent success including:
- The biggest community run sporting venue in Calderdale — OSCA
- Calderdale’s first Sure Start Children’s Centre — Innovations
- The largest junior football club in Calderdale — Crossley Juniors
- The biggest asset transfer in the country—Threeways at the Ridings
Residents also identified a lot of streets and spaces where community confidence is undermined by anti-social or criminal behaviour of local people including motorists and dog owners. Community First cannot solve all these problems, but the panel will always support local action and services who try to tackle them. In the meantime, all comments have been logged and this “to do” list will be used to inform local services’ work.
Young people from St George’s Youth and Community project, and the Forest Cottage Youth Centre took time to talk about their aspirations.
Support for local community groups
Organisations and groups throughout Warley have access to a range of support. The Halifax North and East Blog; and Ovenden Ward Community First website provide direct links to local events, other groups. Anyone with an idea for Community First should contact the a member of Team North and East on 01422 255402.
General Funding support for community groups is advertised as it becomes available, and we strongly encourage groups to register with Charities Information Bureau at www.fit4funding.org.uk; and Calderdale Community Foundation at www.cffc.co.uk