Natural Kirklees Projects 2023 – Status

23/01 Natural Kirklees and Kirklees Council 3-year Agreement

In the Spring of 2022 it was agreed that the council and ourselves would be well served by re-signing a 3-year agreement to cover Natural Kirklees activities and funding security. A draft was created from the original 2017 document for consideration and approval by both parties. As at 13th July 2023 the document has a few slight amendments which have been made by Kirklees Council but not yet seen by Natural Kirklees, but we are hopeful a document will be signed by the end of the month. Project Awaiting Kirklees to agree final draft (Ed Day)

23/02 The Big Help Out 8th May – Natural Kirklees Volunteer Showcase

Natural Kirklees were requested to provide a showcase for volunteering to celebrate the King’s coronation on 8th May. The event took place represented in person by 10 groups and supported by written and photographic documents from 16 members and was considered to be well worthwhile and a success. Project Complete.

23/03  New Tool Store at Beaumont Park

The existing tool store container at Beaumont Park was leaking badly and made the tools damp and covered with fungus. A new 15ft container has now been delivered and solar lighting installed. However the tools need to be cleaned, catalogued and suitable racking / hanging installed, together with lighting. The budget will cover any reasonable costs to achieve this, including paying / rewarding someone to install the lighting etc. The store is now functional. Project Nearing Completion (Christine Senior, Tim Duke, David Rudd)

23/04  Natural Kirklees Additional Volunteer Resource

Natural Kirklees relies on the free time given by its trustees and any volunteer help. We are currently looking at several avenues as our initial batch of volunteers have been unable to continue with their assistance.

We do now have a new volunteer who is acting as editor for the newsletter but will continue to seek assistance in the following areas.

  • Member liaison to provide newsletter articles on member activities and progress with any grants we provide.
  • Commercial liaison in terms of volunteering opportunities and potential funding with local companies
  • Administration of the membership database and directory
  • Administration of the public liability insurance and tool cover policies
  • A backup for web design and security
  • A social media monitor to update Natural Kirklees media (Facebook, Web Site etc) with events and other member posts
  • A backup to help with the tool store at Wilton Park.
  • A person to research available funds for both Natural Kirklees and member projects.

Project needs to be reset after recent departures (Ed Day)

23/05  Web Site Developments

The framework of our web site is in an excellent state but as we continue to think of ideas this adds to the workload for Stefanie and must therefore be undertaken as and when her time allows. There are several elements that we are considering

  • A facility for members to ask for volunteer help which initially would be sent to Kirklees Council, for Ben Carter at the council to coordinate, as their staff are able to volunteer for 2 days a year. If successful this could be rolled out to other corporate volunteers. Early stages (Stefanie Rofke)
  • The facility for members to update their groups details and contact details proved to be too complex due to security issues. Updates to membership details will need to be entered by members effectively reapplying for membership.
  • A facility for members to find out all available relevant funds nationwide, to help them with their projects via our web site. Research identified that it would cost over £5000 for NK to have the facility but that Kirklees Council already have such a facility so we will attempt to provide a link to the council site.  Awaiting contact with Andrew Dolman of Kirklees Council (Ed Day)
  • A facility to provide advice on any environmental topic. We often get asked if we can provide advice on various matters and we no longer have the same access to individuals with the in depth knowledge that we had pre Covid. The intention is to explore a service where members post an advice request on the web site that will trigger an email to all members asking if they can assist. Project developed and in testing stage (Stefanie Rofke & Ed Day)
  • A facility to access information via the web site confidential to only the trustees Early stages (Stefanie Rofke & Ed Day)
  • A facility to provide a green map of Kirklees. Early stages (Stefanie Rofke)
  • A facility to provide downloadable walks for the public in Kirklees. Early stages (Stefanie Rofke)

23/06  Natural Kirklees Small Grant Scheme

As in previous years a budget has been set for funding small grants to members up to the value of £750. The scheme closed at the end of March, was 25% over subscribed but the following awards were made.

* Phil Slater also sourced trees saplings to make up the full request

Grants have been paid. The trustees mentioned (and Win) will report on the success with photos during the summer months for the web site

23/07  Natural Kirklees Procuring Tools and Plants via Kirklees Council Purchasing Facility

During the regular meetings with Graham West – Service Director for Kirklees Council, approved Natural Kirklees request if they could “piggy-back” the councils purchasing facilities for future seasonal purchasing of tools and plants, saving money or improving the quality. It is intended this will apply to any tools for the tool store and any future grants schemes. Mark Ferris is now investigating (Ed Day & Tim Duke)

23/08 Kirklees Council Operational Managers Workshop

Knowing who is who and what they are responsible for in the council has long been a matter of confusion. Graham West has offered to hold a workshop, probably in Huddersfield Town Hall, now scheduled for late September / October 2023, for members of Natural Kirklees to meet the various relevant operational managers from the council, who will present their role and then enable break out groups for Q&A sessions. Will Accornley is organising before the event is advertised (Ed Day & Tim Duke) .

23/09 Natural Kirklees at the Honley Show

The trustees agreed to attend Honley Show on 1st July 2023 and have a stall in the countryside marquee in order to promote Natural Kirklees and signpost the public who want to volunteer to the various groups or set up new groups where relevant. The event was considered a great success with over 30 new newsletter subscribers and useful contacts made. Project Closed

23/10 Natural Kirklees and the management of the Peace Pit Growing facility.

The council facility at Peace Pit has not been managed since pre Covid and while it is still used, a suggestion was made that we investigate whether Natural Kirklees could take over the management of the growing site. Access is possible without the need to enter the depot on site and it is proposed that a Friends of Peace Pit be established with groups currently working on the site being initial members of the new group but also including S2R and the volunteer coordinators. A meeting is scheduled for 19th July to confirm heads of agreement. (Tim Duke & Ed Day)

23/11 Natural Kirklees and Denby Dale Man Shed Tool Repair and Maintenance Service

While vacating the old tool store in Beaumont Park, we realised there is an opportunity to clean, repair and sharpen some of the tools held in our 2 tool stores. Initial discussions with Phil Slater who is also involved in the Denby Dale Man Shed indicate they could provide this service. If successful it may be an opportunity to extend this to member groups. Project Status – Tim Duke and Christine Senior will liaise with Phil to take those items in the tools stores and assess the viability going forward.

23/12 Natural Kirklees attendance at future rural shows

Following the success of the volunteer showcase and attending the Honley Show, Natural Kirklees are exploring of working with 2 shows to provide a volunteer showcase at two shows, one in the North and one in the South of the region. Early stages (Ed Day)

23/13 Natural Kirklees Involvement with Huddersfield University

Huddersfield University are planning to submit a bid for research funding to the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) for a project within a fund called ‘Place Based approaches to sustainable. The working title for the proposal is Sustainable Living in Kirklees and is about how we can research ways to improve Kirklees/Huddersfield from a sustainability point of view incorporating home, workplace and community elements. The money is for research not a subsidy, but clearly our aim is to improve opportunities in practice. Natural Kirklees have been invited to sit on the Advisory Group. Early stages (Ed Day & Tim Duke)