Hitting the Ground Running

I’m excited to cover Nicks post this month

Well, this is my first blog as a new member of the Well Doncaster team and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone for making me feel so welcome. I am on secondment for 18 months and my substantive post is as Locality Deputy Manager for Starting Well Service. Within this role I manage the children centres and the family support service.

It has been a busy month for me since I started.

As Nick said last month we both attended leadership course at the Defence Academy in Shivering ham and I am using the skills learnt to lead the community.

My community map 

I have spent time walking around Denaby, visiting  groups, walking the Crags, mapping out the community, looking at some of the great assets Denaby has, not just buildings but the people too. I have been building relationships with the people in the community and the local schools. It has been fantastic to meet with so many people and see all the amazing work that is being done.  It has be an adjustment spending big parts of my day meeting with people and talking over a cup of tea instead of tapping away at the computer but that is part of the Well North philosophy,  where relationships with real people is at its heart.  Productivity is not measured by the amount of emails sent or reports written but in strengthening relationships, making connections and supporting people to create change and we are seeing that change in Denaby.

I had the pleasure of spending three days at the Bromley by Bow Centre in London which is an innovative community organisation in East London, working in one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK. The Centre supports families, young people and adults of all ages to learn new skills, improve their health and wellbeing, find employment and develop the confidence to achieve their goals and transform their lives. At the core of the Centre’s thinking is our belief in people and their capacity to achieve amazing things. The reason for the visit was to gain an understanding of how the Centre works on a day to day basis and how we can develop some of the ideas into Denaby/Conisbrough.

I have spent a lot of my time working on the allotments (not physically!!) I have contacted the Community Pay Back Team and they are willing to ‘make over’ the area on the allotments where the raised beds are.  Travis Perkins is supporting the project and they have kindly offered to donate the materials. The plan is to have an open event to launch the allotment, so watch this space!

I am in the process of sourcing funding so that we can have a compost toilet on the allotments, this will enable groups to access the site and make best use of the facility.

We are developing a publicity piece in the local papers about the allotment to raise awareness and share the vision of what to expect from the project. This will include a short film with a volunteer to share the story and encourage the community to get involved. The interview is this week so I will let you know how it goes.

Lots of work has been done to clear the allotments


There was lots going on over Halloween and Craganour TARA put on a fantastic event on Halloween; they transformed their bungalow into a haunted house and it was unrecognisable! People were invited to go for a ‘Scary Walk’ through the rooms if they dared.

Craganour TARA’s fantastic haunted house

Denaby Bumping Space also put on a Halloween party for the community which was great, they had bobbing apples and scary activities on. Thanks to both for all their hard work.

Denaby Bumping Space all dressed up for Halloween 

Through partnership working, a Christmas market has been organised and will take place in Gray’s Court, the main shopping area in Denaby, where there will be Santa’s Grotto, children’s ride, a raffle and various craft stalls we hope this will be the first of an annual event that will continue to grow into a real highlight of Denaby’s calendar and feed into the vision for ‘Destination Denaby’. Community Groups and residents are invited to hold a stall for free to showcase their services and products and donate a prize to the raffle where all proceeds will go towards making next year’s market bigger and better.

Welcome to new apprentice Cassandra

There has been another new starter to the team this month, Cassandra Marr. Cassandra is a Modern Apprentice and started end October 2016. Her apprenticeship is in Early Years so she is based in the Children Centre. Cassie’s role is to engage with the people of Denaby and increase engagement at the Children Centre. Good Luck to her in her new role.

A key priority is working closely with the Children Centre to try and help increase engagement as it has so much to offer young families. Julie Magee is the new Deputy Locality Manager for South area, Starting Well Service and I have spent some time walking round Denaby with her introducing her to partners to build on existing networks as we know this is vital to success.

Following Nicks successful bid to South Yorkshire Housing Association, Building Better Opportunities, and two part time staff will be in post by mid-December with a plan to be based in the Children Centre from Jan 2017. They will support 40 people into work/education over an 18 month period and will be huge asset for the people of Denaby. They will be holding an induction morning in December to help local stakeholders and partners understand the staff roles and service offer.  We will keep you updated on what they achieve.

It’s been great to cover for Nick whilst he is away and let you know what has been going on over the last couple of weeks. Please contact us with your questions and comments- we would love to hear from you

Bye for now



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