Littlemoor is an estate on the outskirts of Weymouth. It is one of the Big Local areas with Big Lottery funding, where residents have received support from Networked Neighbourhoods in developing a local website, Littlemoor Live, which was set up earlier this year. The site admin is Tammie Barnes. Tammie was recently asked to speak about her experience at a Big Local national event in Birmingham, and offers her reflections here. We’re very grateful to Tammie for taking on this challenge so readily, and for sharing these thoughts.

Talking to others about Littlemoor Live – this was quite a scary thought as I hadn’t done a presentation like that before. After some phone calls and some childcare juggling, I said yes. Then a crash course in PowerPoint (I’d never used it before!) and I prepared my presentation and booked my train ticket for the rather long journey from Weymouth to Birmingham.

The Big Local event was organised by the National Association for Neighbourhood Management and was about sharing ideas on how to bring people together in your local community. There were about 50 people from all over the country attending – many from the midlands, some had come from as far as Cornwall. The morning sessions looked at how people had got involved with Big Local using innovative and imaginative methods.

I talked a little about the area, and then shared about how it all started – for me it was getting a flyer in my daughter’s book bag at school. Then I gave a little demo of the site, looking at the different pages and what purpose they had. Finally I shared what I had learned through the experience, what I would do again and what I wouldn’t.

Afterwards we had a question and answer session, where others asked about setting up their own site. Some attendees already had Facebook sites, and we talked about how best to maintain them. It was great to share ideas, but also to find that others experience the same challenges as we do.

I felt very proud to be representing Littlemoor to people all over the country, and also proud of those who had contributed to the site thus far. I often tend to think of LL as a website only accessible to those who live where I do, but it dawned on me as the day went on that wasn’t the case. We are well and truly on the map!

Tammie Barnes

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We also received this comment from NANM’s Ben Lee:

“Tammie’s presentation went down really well. Feedback was very good and three participants thought Tammie’s presentation was the best thing about the whole day.

“Most of all she got a very important message across which is that blogs themselves etc don’t generate conversations, it’s the hard graft every evening from someone like Tammie which builds the community and generates the buzz.”