Researchers finding out how Dewsbury Moor residents want £1m spent

Amanda Stirling on Dewsbury Moor estate. (D517B228)
Amanda Stirling on Dewsbury Moor estate. (D517B228)
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RESEARCHERS have been hitting the streets to find out what members of their local community would like see £1m spent on.

The cash was allocated to Dewsbury Moor by the Big Lottery Fund, as part of its Big Local scheme.

Now 10 community researchers have been trained by Northern College and knocked on more than 1,000 doors to ask local people how they would like to see the cash spent.

Amanda Stirling, who has been speaking to residents of Moorside Estate, said: “I’ve very much enjoyed talking to people in the community. £1m has to be spent properly.

“It has to be spent in the ways that people want it to be spent and we are never going to be able to reach everybody by doing community events.

“By knocking on doors, we have got a much broader view of what people want the money spent on.”

Community events held last summer highlighted key areas for improvement, such as safe places for children to play and unemployment.

Now Dewsbury Moor’s Big Local committee is looking at developing specific ways to solve Dewsbury Moor’s problems.

Committee member Chris Jenkinson said: “Community events held last summer ensured that priority areas for improvements on Dewsbury Moor were set.

Now residents are being given the opportunity to have their say individually and to get involved in deciding how to spend the money.”

As well as the surveys, focus groups have been set up to get the views of local people whose voices are not always heard.

This week, sessions have been held for Asian women who do not speak English as a first language and young people living in Dewsbury Moor.

The 10 researchers were all recruited from the area and have gained qualifications as a result.

Through their training, they have attained level one and level two Open College Network qualifications, which count as credits towards GCSEs and A-levels. The next part of the project will see their findings put together into an action plan.

“The plan is to develop an actual proposal for the spending of the money,” Mrs Stirling, of Moor End Lane, said.

Dewsbury Moor was one of 50 areas across the country to be given one of the Big Lottery Fund’s Big Local Trust grants in 2010.

Since then, 50 more areas have been given grants as part of the project, and the Dewsbury Moor committee has been sharing its experience and expertise with other groups that are new to the scheme.

For more information on the Big Local project in Dewsbury Moor and to get involved, email the Rev Kathy Robertson by emailing Kathy@drobertson99.wanadoo.co.uk.