Theresa McIlkenny, Director, Norton Hall – “…this place is life changing”

August 11th, 2010

Theresa Mcilkenny recently became a director at Norton hall after years benefiting from the services it provides for her and her son. Here she shares her thoughts on why community run places have particular strengths…

  • Becoming a director seemed like a natural progression, it allows us to help them understand what users expect from Norton Hall
  • You can only be as happy as you children, these place allows me to go out and what I want to do, that makes me happy.
  • The staff here are very committed to the children, to their activities to their education, it feels like a very family atmosphere. If  ever you’ve got anything you want to talk about they don’t dismiss it out of hand.
  • I didn’t want to live on benefits, wanted to be in work. I had misgivings about leaving my son anywhere, but they made me feel very comfortable.  In the end Richard was learning so much by being here he sometimes didn’t want to come home.
  • People don’t understand that places like Norton Hall can be life changing. It was life – changing for me.  It allowed me to make things better in my life.

Stevie Prior, Director of Norton Hall, on Community Asset Transfer

July 11th, 2010

Interview at the Norton hall open day on July 11th 2010, Stevie Prior is the Norton Hall director who’s been involved in much of the negotiation over Community Asset Transfer. Here’s a sumary of her thoughts..

  • “Delighted to have got to this stage,  it’s been an “interesting process” and  very useful “learning curve”
  • there has to be a good relationship with city council officers
  • there is a tremendous amount of work involved and you have to allow for that
  • some elements – like legal aspect and dealing with the council in new ways gets “extremely serious and at times quite stressful”
  • I think we’ve emerged a more robust organisation
  • it’s enabled us to progress, which is what it was partly about anyway.
  • there is a need for council officers to understand a little more about community development

Norton Hall Mums, Shazia and Shabnam

July 11th, 2010

Two Norton Hall mums, Shazia and Shabnam share their thoughts on Norton Hall, what it means to them and their families and the “new look”.  This short interview is a measure of how deeply people value this community lead place.

Norton Hall Open Day

July 11th, 2010

Norton Hall open day on July 11th 2010 was a wonderful opportunity for the community to see round the new work on the building and remind themselves of why they value the place. This short film has contributions from Councillors, residents and the team at Norton Hall.

Norton Hall Nursery Workers

June 28th, 2010

At the heart of what Norton Hall does is provide childcare for their local community. It helps the children learn and  frees up parents to work or study.

Here three of the staff talk about what it means to work at Norton Hall.

Karen Cheney on lessons from the Community Asset Transfer Development Programme in Birmingham

May 28th, 2010

Kareh Cheney of Birmingham City Council

Karen Cheney has been the co-ordinator of  the Community Asset Transfer Development Programme as part of her job as Senior Manager - Community Empowerment Projects Lead in the Neighbourhood and Communities Team of Birmingham City Council – Constituency Services.   Below she talks very clearly about what the programme has achieved Read the rest of this entry »

Bhajan Hunjan talks about the art work created by her for Norton Hall

May 5th, 2010

Bhajan Hunjan and Said Adrus have created a work of art from nearly 60 objects given to them by the people who work in and use Norton Hall.  Here Bhajan installs the work and talks about the idea.

Iftikar Karim on Norton Hall and Community Asset Transfer

April 6th, 2010

Iftikar Karim has been involved with Asset Transfer since 2002. As a board member of Norton Hall Children and Family Centre he has helped the organisation navigate taking on a 50 year lease of their building from Birmingham City Council and then undergo a £250,00 renovation.

Here he talks about the lessons he has learnt and the advice he would give to other community groups and local authorities:

What are the benefits of Community Asset Transfer?

Suzanne Knipe shows us around Phase 2 of Norton Hall

April 1st, 2010

The Community Asset Transfer programme has helped Norton Hall focus on it’s future.  When the organisation first looked for  funding it was for a more ambitious plan to change much of the building.

Some parts of that plan had to be shelved, but since building work began the organisation has been looking for ways to follow through on all the work.  Here Suzanne Knipe talks about what else is now planned.

Norton Hall, John Freeman. Why Community Asset Transfer is important

April 1st, 2010

John Freeman is a local resident and board member at Norton Hall and has been involved with the organisation for over 30 years. Here he gives his view on why community asset transfer is important.

Some key points:

  • It’s always been a well used community facility
  • The next couple of years will be challenging because of public budget cuts, but having the asset will help Norton hall through this period.
  • He stays involved partly because there is a core team that have been committed to Norton Hall for many years – “it’s like a family”.
  • The organisation has been through troubled times – I didn’t want to walk away then and now I was be around for the good times.

Advice to other community groups

  • Ask lots of questions, keep pushing to get the answers you want and hold on, you will get the result you need.