2.0 Strategic Fit: Serving the community
The project will encourage and enable the Ivinghoe Community to help themselves by providing a facility that will be adapted to meet local needs – for relaxed and comfortable inclusion for all. It will provide a facility where the community can be independent without relying on services provided by Bucks County Council or Aylesbury Vale District Council.
This will be achieved by providing a facility that all sections of the Ivinghoe community can use – young and old alike. This will promote community spirit, better communication and provide a more integrated village that seeks to help itself. This will be delivered by providing community meeting / ‘communing’ rooms that are available at times when local people want to use them.- to fully share their views.
Build & sustain prosperity
The building would provide an opportunity for a start up facility for a new localbusiness. Community meeting rooms could provide facilities such as small meeting rooms that local businesses could use. To share intergenerational business and IT skills, maximising support and mutual learning.
Ivinghoe is visited by local schools; the building could act as an information point tocompliment any learning that schools or others achieve by visiting the village. By providing a facility that attracts visitors to the village, in some version of a walker’s refuge, this will increase trade to existing local businesses such as The Rose and Crown Public House, The Kings Head Restaurant, The Bell Public House and local shops. Our own rural tourism is evident in the Watermill, Wind-mill, Pitstone Green Farm Museum, BBOWT Wildlife Centre, the Grand Union Canal, landscaped reservoirs, Chiltern Hills and rural footpaths, farms’ B&B’s and camp-sites.
The venture will make Ivinghoe a more sustainable village location by improving facilities for residents, businesses and visitors. This will be evident by providing a central café, information, learning and healthy living activities, changing rooms and toilets for village sports and refreshments for all.
Manage, Improve & Protect Our Exceptional Environment
The facility would provide improved facilities for walkers, cyclists and other visitors – a place to provide information on how to behave in the countryside (countryside code, etc.) and provide information on local walks, cycle routes and other tourist related sign-posting. By creating an information point it will make it easier for people to access and enjoy the countryside. Reduce our carbon footprint by sharing business equipment such as fax machine, printer and copier. We could perhaps (with some maneuvering) site the much requested recycling bins near the back of the Old School premises, to promote the greening concept.
Opportunities for all
A strand of the project is to collect local people’s memories of the building and how it has been used over the years. These local memories can be displayed in the building once it has been brought back into use thereby encouraging all those who visit to keep learning throughout their lives. The use of the buildings as a tea rooms – ‘CuriosiTEA’ – and potentially a base for‘Ivinghomec’ – will provide an opportunity to promote sensible eating.
By providing a community venue that can be accessed during the day this will encourage older people to keep active longer and converse with other age-groups. Wall displays signposting local tourism, a walker/cyclist refuge, will open up opportunities to share skills of cycle servicing workshops, footpath servicing, horse-riding, etc.
Support people who need help
The project will help tackle social and rural isolation in Ivinghoe by providing a community facility that is tailored to meet the needs of those who need it most – i.e. a meeting point for the elderly or those with young children. Ivinghoe villagers have discussed an imaginative transport plan briefly outlined in Appendix 10.6, which they would wish to fit with the Rural Transport Policy, and which they hope to discuss with B.C.C. Opportunities open up for sharing and dispersing parental pressures, learning from others how to develop parental skills – this will help and improve the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged villagers. There are 20 lone parents’ households, and 35 (48%) pensioners living alone in Ivinghoe; 15.7% of households with dependant children are headed by a lone parent in Ivinghoe, a larger proportion of households than across Buckinghamshire (13.5%).
Promote Community Spirit
By bringing local people together to deliver the project, the proposals have encouraged people to take an active part in their communities. We aim to measure a change through becoming aware of each other’s needs and vulnerabilities, and can record the eventual setting up of intergenerational neighborhood schemes. These can promote a better sense of wellbeing by setting up systems of mutual support via, for example, window pane signals and alerts passed on at school, shared gardening, shopping, laundry chores, cleaning, running errands, transport and pet walking. This will help the most vulnerable to live safely with dignity and respect.
Our proposed skills-sharing and inter generational activities, amongst which we plan to include a Community Youth Theatre with all the supporting reading, writing a play, making of props, scenery and costumes – will target local Youth so that more young people learn the skills of resilience and self reliance, become open to new ideas and how to live within their means.
We will ‘keep it local’ by asking the young people to each watch out for different older folk, taking individual notice of ‘window signals’ previously planned, to forward an alarm if ‘changed’ noticeably when teenager is passing by to the school bus. This will all build up the strength and vibrancy of our community and help the most vulnerable, giving voice to the hidden need, and giving communities more say in how funds are spent , thereby making it easier for we communities to deliver our own services. Maybe increasing the number of services possible, to support and invest in Buckinghamshire’s future generations.
Tailor Services to meet local needs
We aim to ‘Promote Community Spirit’ by reopening the Old School, Ivinghoe which will at last provide access to all, complementing the more formal upper hall in the Old Town Hall, Ivinghoe and go some significant way to combating isolation in our village. In brief, our aim is to ‘Combat isolation and enhance village life.’ The outcome of this would be to create measurably less isolation by providing a venue with ground floor, fully accessible access ‘beckoning’ with the tailored activities within it.
‘SOS’ – our community group, is reassured by – and taking notice of – Bucks CC’s promise, ‘we will consider opportunities for better use of assets by communities’ and to ‘Work with you to build neighborliness, encourage people to take an active part in their communities.’ Our projected plan to reoccupy the Old School, Ivinghoe, more recently known as the ‘Village Centre’ and more distantly as the ‘Environmental Study Centre / Country Study Centre’ since its closure as a school in the mid-1960’s, would ‘Make it easier for Our Community to deliver some of our own services’ – overcoming ‘barriers’ (such as physical, or psychological as lack of trust in statutory organisations, poverty, unemployment, social isolation is caused sometimes through learning disabilities). Evidenced by 1992 Village Survey and 2011 CIB Statistics +SOS Community Group Questionnaire September 2011.
It would ‘Increase the number of services, support and activities delivered in Ivinghoe’s local community, and ‘Give our community more say in how funds are spent on local improvements’ – in working as we do with the blessing of our Parish Council. ‘SOS’ Ivinghoe welcomes the idea of ‘Working with you’ to ‘support our vulnerable people’, as we have quite a few who are not at present properly reached (barriers have prolonged un-met needs, such as those who cannot readily access or ‘negotiate’ services, being perhaps embarrassed about literacy incapacity).
We are loyal and protective of the few amenities our village enjoys and uses, and propose this new venture to rebalance the existing provision, allowing informal and affordable access to all villagers, but especially focusing on those who at present are un-reached by the current provision, mainly due to lack of ground floor access to its social space. We aim to compliment and enhance the current provision in an holistic, non-competitive fashion, and by this ‘build on strengths and vibrancy’ already present in this community. It is this strength and vibrancy that has enabled our community to react to the individually asked question of ‘need and isolation’ and propose, with Bucks CC’s help, to rectify the growing problem of un-met needs in a challenged economy.
The aim therefore is to reduce isolation, thereby enabling villagers to ‘maintain some independence’, bring about substantial improvements in the quality of older people’s lives. Our idea is to enable them to play a much greater role in our community – the changes which our project can make over time to address these needs will be our projected outcome. We aim to achieve our outcomes by focusing on an ‘open-all-hours’ central Community Café in the very midst of the community, on the edge of the Village Lawn, next to the Play Area, and opposite the Old Town Hall, Library, Post-Office and Shop. Regular informal communing, that better brings the villagers of all ages together, and enhances village provision, engaging more volunteers positively in the community – gaining skills and confidence, and providing up to six more ‘paid income’ jobs (led by our Not-For-Private-Profit Community Group).
BCC has four priority areas
We are most definitely reactive to the full import of the Localism Bill; we desire to ‘Keep it Local’, to morph our burgeoning steering group into a group of fully inducted Trustees, who will ensure a sustainable project by ‘Living within our means’ and promoting that concept through the shared skills we envisage in our future activities. We are very seriously ‘looking to the future’ of a village with a very interesting historic heritage that is sited in an area of outstanding natural beauty. This both enhances our lives and challenges us to be ‘Open to new ideas’ as to how to improve the experience for those that have the next generation to bring up, sometimes alone, or just in lonely seclusion, to care for ageing relatives and to be those ageing villagers sometimes trapped at home with not many social or brain stimulating options before them.
Helping the most vulnerable
● Good Neighbour Schemes where needs are met by sharing information and likely neighbourly solutions
● Small Benefits Advice with links to Post-Office Services across the road.
● University of the 3rd Age (U3A), can follow or might develop after IT sessions started in the Library recently, and enhanced hopefully in the Old School.
● WEA Lectures in either venue can be progressed further in the Old School, pursuing interests inspired.
● Inter-generational Skill-Share Days.
● Trips down ‘Memory Lane’ – showing and telling with photographs and objects – can include local history and film making.
● ‘Freecycle’ Swap Shops / affordable auctions – ‘one session and clear’ – Old School takes a small percentage for venue costs.
With our many ideas on leisure/educational activities, our plans for intergenerational skill-sharing and the services we expect to compliment that with – ‘We will support the most vulnerable to live safely, with dignity and respect’, ‘ with your help.’Imagine with us our ideas for an evening ‘Youth Theatre’ where any popular book, hopefully borrowed from the Library opposite, is converted to a short play by one group, costumes, props and sets are then designed and later made in the Old School by several other groups of all ages and skills, and the acting rehearsed by another.
All this combining to be then staged back in the Old Town Hall from whose Library the small book was first borrowed! ‘We will target youth services at those most in need, so that more young people are resilient and self reliant.’
The Local Area Plan makes reference to the aim of the Aylesbury Vale SCS to ‘improve the quality of life for children and young people’ and ‘provide and promote positive activities for young people’. We see the sharing of such wide theatrical skills as not just time filling entertainment but very practical, confidence and skill building, sustainable positive activity to fully engage and enjoy.
Keeping Bucks Special
We acknowledge Bucks County’s ‘Responsibility to protect and invest in Buckinghamshire so future generations can benefit’ and we are in accord with ‘promoting the interests of Buckinghamshire’. We fully expect to exhibit and promote within this building all our unique rural tourism in this area, (Historical Working Water-Mill, 17th Century Windmill, Pitstone Green Farm Museum, BBOWT Nature Reserve, Grand Union Canal, Chiltern Hills complete with Megalithic Burial Mounds, Rural Footpaths linking Reservoirs, Grand Union Canal, Nature Reserves, Ashridge Forest and Historical Buildings, Chiltern Villages, Pubs and Guest Houses, Campsites). We are of course within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty!
Acknowledging Bucks CC’s pledge to ‘invest in buildings’ we hope to combine this support with the continued pledge to ‘being open to new ideas, and actively develop new ways of doing things’ and envisage with us our vision of an informal village fully accessible hub. This envisaged ‘HUB’ centers on an open-most-hours café funded by itself, with a host of complimentary educational, artistic and health promoting services, to reach multifarious inter-generational age-groups and circumstances.
● Training Programmes and other activities for isolated people to help them socialise, and a number of fifty-plus people accessing learning programmes is one of the LAA targets.
● Aim of the Aylesbury Vale SCS is to reduce social isolation.
● ‘We note resource implications are linked to inter-generational activities planned in the Local Area’ – quote from recent LAF Minutes; we think we can be more self-reliant on this in Ivinghoe, if Bucks CC support our intentions.
Helping people to help themselves and each other
● Simon Billness of ‘Generate’ AYA Aylesbury Youth Action spoke at the Local Area Forum held in Stewkley in September 2011, concerning his proposed ‘intergenerational activities’; he specifically proposed a ‘Master Chef’ initiative with Age Concern – he promises to work with Parishes to work with their ideas – and we have some!
● Cure a problem by opening up the Toilet! We expect to additionally be able to extend this service to the many pensioners who now use your public transport ‘invest in transport’, to reach our village Post Office from several villages around us, and could well do with the cuppa, and should be able to be offered the disabled toilet, when they are in the village. This toilet amenity should be open to all village lawn users and visitors, the children at their play-area, the attendant parents, sports enthusiasts on the lawn, and all village visitors. The unsafe panic-run to the Library for toilet keys by children across a busy road with poor visibility, and thus the danger incurred, added to the alternative use of bushes by all and sundry, should cease now.
● University of the 3rd Age (U3A) for retired or unemployed people as a self-managed life-long resource which we hope to put into the build-up IT skills developing initiative, linking with whatever is being provided in our future Community Library.