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Round-up of recent area board projects in support of the county's communities

Here's a round-up of some recent projects Wiltshire Council's area boards have been involved with and supported - ranging from keeping residents healthy, supporting people through the cost-of-living crisis and providing activities for young people.

Published 24 April 2023

Area boards are a way of working to bring local decision making into the heart of the community. There are 18 area boards across Wiltshire, with each one holding delegated powers and devolved budgets to facilitate community action at a local level. They work alongside other organisations on local priorities in the community. These groups can include town and parish councils, voluntary and community groups, youth organisations, sports clubs and local charities.

Commenting on the recent area board activity, Cllr Ashley O'Neill, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Area Boards, said: All our area boards have provided support and played a key role on a wide range of important local priorities and issues recently, such as the cost-of-living crisis and supporting positive activities for young people. Due to their position in the local community, our area boards are ideally placed to coordinate and bring together local support in order to provide services and initiatives where they are needed most, and I'm really pleased to see positive outcomes right across the county.

The work of the area boards plays a key role in helping the council achieve its Business Plan priorities, such as 'supporting Wiltshire to be a place where we stay active' and 'live well together'. More information about the area boards can be found at Introduction.


Warm and well event

The area board, in partnership with Calne Town Council and the Health and Social Care Forum, recently hosted Calne Warm and Well. This was a community event that brought together partner organisations such as Wiltshire Citizen's Advice, Warm and Safe Wiltshire, Calne Foodbank and Calne Warm spaces to share cost-of-living advice and information with residents to help maximise their income.


Cost-of-Living Coordinator brought in to provide support to Marlborough communities

In partnership with Marlborough Town Council, the area board has helped to fund a new part-time Cost-of-Living Coordinator. This person is the central hub for all the work going on to support local residents. A monthly information leaflet has been developed with up-to-date details of local Warm Spaces and other support available to residents. Additionally, a recent Warm and Well event for the public was provided which brought together a wide range of partners to share cost-of-living advice and information to residents.


Youth engagement and positive activity opportunities at The Underground Studios 

The Salisbury and Southern Wiltshire Area Boards awarded funding to support the development of The Underground Studios in Harnham to drive forward the priority of youth engagement and positive activities for young people aged 13 to 19 years and up to 25 years for those with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. This is a collaborative space that is home to creative projects and initiatives, established primarily for the benefit of the young people of the area but also the wider community of creative people. In the 12 months since launching, the projects developed and coordinated at the venue have supported more than 100 young people to learn new skills, develop existing ones and have access to training and equipment used by professionals. Well done to Alex and Naomi, Directors of the Underground Studios, for their passion and drive to ensure the organisation has continued to deliver the aims and outcomes of the project for the positive benefits of young people in our communities. The Salisbury and Southern Wiltshire Area Boards are delighted to have supported this initiative.

South West Wiltshire

Wilton Men's Shed update

The South West Wiltshire Area Board has been working closely with Wilton Men's Shed, which has gone from strength to strength since receiving area board funding support. There are now 21 members and sessions are running three times a week: Monday, Thursdays and Saturday from 9.30am to 12.30pm. The shed is a community space providing a fully equipped workshop, promoting social inclusion, skill sharing, wellbeing and friendship. It undertakes creative projects for the benefit of the local community and offers a repairs service for everyday items too.

The shed is at Castle Meadows playing field, Wilton, next to the pavilion, SP2 0HG. For more information people should visit the Wilton Men's Shed Facebook page (opens new window).

New Trampolining activity for young people at Nadder Centre

The South West Wiltshire Area Board has recently awarded funding to Seeds4Success to help strengthen the local priority of youth engagement. Due to this funding, the delivery of new activities including art therapy, counselling and trampolining have started this year at the Nadder Centre for young people of secondary school age.

Seeds4Success, a youth work charity based in Mere, provides opportunities for personal and social development for young people living in South West Wiltshire. These new sessions have been developed as a result of engaging and listening to the views of the young people to identify what they would like and need each week.  Each week up to 30 young people will take part in these activities, as well as accessing the fitness suite and playing sports, with the main aim of improving their health and wellbeing. The sessions are free of charge and transport is provided from a number of locations across South West Wiltshire, ensuring that barriers are overcome for the young people to join in. For more information about the sessions or to book a space people should email (opens new window) or call 07585723824.


Life-saving equipment installed in Amesbury

An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) has been installed at the Catholic Church of Christ the King in Amesbury for the benefit of all residents in the Amesbury community area, following partnership working through the Stonehenge Area Board. The board has part funded the AED, awarding £1,600 from the community grants funding this year, along with further contributions from church members, nearby residents and local merchants. This enabled the AED and a lockable cabinet to be provided. According to Southwest Ambulance Service, a defibrillator should be located within 200 metres of an incident, if it to be of any use, so this new location serves the church, community hall, The Cloisters and Countess Court where there are 50 retirement residences, the houses in Lords Croft and in Lower London Road.


Area board meeting focused on cost-of-living support

Trowbridge Area Board hosted a recent successful meeting with the cost-of living as the featured item, with the aim of supporting families and individuals on low income as a key local priority. The board brought together partners and stakeholders from local charities and organisations such as Trowbridge Futures Community Fridge, Storehouse Food Bank, Trowbridge Lions Club and Ruksak45218. The Collaborative Schools network was represented and has subsequently disseminated the information to the schools and families that they work with. Trowbridge Area Board is now looking to introduce a local working group and to host a networking event for local organisations who are working to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.


Health and Wellbeing Fair

Warminster Area Board helped to promote the Warminster Health and Wellbeing Forum's Health and Wellbeing Fair, which took place on Saturday 22 April at the Civic Centre. The group and event had received financial support from the area board as it was helping to tackle a key local priority. Around 40 local organisations were represented on the day, offering people the opportunity to find out all about local groups for socialising, sharing hobbies, health support and keeping fit. The event was supported by two local sporting heroes and renowned local nature artist Tanya Hinton.

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