On Monday 2 October, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board’s Chair Kathy Mclean and Chief Officer Amanda Sullivan joined Place Based Partnership (PBP) colleagues Dave Banks, Deputy Chief Executive and Derek Hayden, Communities Manager at Rushcliffe Borough Council for a tour of Cotgrave to look at some of the fantastic improvements and community work happening in the town
Cotgrave is one of the areas the PBP is working with as part of the integrated neighbourhoods programme. Successful integrated neighbourhood working happens when local health and social care, local authorities, community groups and voluntary sector organisations work together with communities to find ways to improve the health and wellbeing of local people and there’s lots of great things to build on in Cotgrave.
Starting at the state-of-the-art Cotgrave Hub, representatives from Rushcliffe Primary Care Network, Rushcliffe Community and Voluntary Service (CVS), Nottinghamshire Healthcare and the South Notts Place-Based Partnership team joined the tour. Dave gave an overview of the new hub and talked about some of the key regeneration work that had happened in the town.
This was followed by a visit to the leisure centre, which is the next step in the Borough Council’s redevelopment strategy. Dave and Derek talked about some of the plans for the future of the centre, while at the same time retaining some of the existing features which have made it so popular.
Following that, it was a short walk across the road to the Cotgrave Community Gardens to meet Samie Mathers, who talked about the work at the gardens (which sit on land kindly provided by the local Miners Welfare) and the community kitchens.
The basis behind the project is the belief that food insecurity and education have a direct impact on health outcomes and the team want to support the people of Cotgrave to develop as a community of food growers, empowering groups and individuals to grow their own and to celebrate fresh food rather than it being a source of stress and fear.
Samie explained how the community have welcomed the gardens and how they host seasonal community events and family activities based around food, the environment and nature. She also spoke about how they work with schools to help young people understand food production and supply the Cotgrave Community Kitchen, a non-profit making organisation providing meals to the local community.
With donations from Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl and Marks & Spencer, the kitchen provides food parcels for the local community. Based at the Hub, it’s open two days a week from 10.30am – 12pm and stocks fruit, vegetables, bread, groceries, household goods, chilled and frozen foods, which are all available for a small donation or affordable prices. With the cost-of-living pressures, the kitchen welcomes over 140 shoppers every week.
From the community gardens, the tour headed back to the library at the Hub for presentations, firstly from Carolyn Perry (Rushcliffe CVS), who talked about the volunteer projects underway in the town. Carolyn was followed by Morgan and Sally, Rushcliffe social prescribers, who explained how they can support local people and some of the schemes that have started across Rushcliffe.
Lastly came a very hard-hitting presentation from Nicky Brindley from the J9 Domestic Abuse initiative, which is run by Job Centres and was created in memory of Janine Mundy, who was murdered by her partner in June 2003.
Nicky explained that, if you see the J9 logo, it means the building you are in has a safe place for people threatened with domestic violence and alerts victims that they can obtain information which will help them to access a safe place where they can seek information and the use of a telephone. Participants also receive a domestic abuse information pack which can be used to signpost victims to specialist organisations offering additional support. The pack has a lot of information to aid victims in understanding their rights and accessing help and support. You can find out more about J9 here.