New Website –

Villages Together, the new name for Big Local in Woolavington and Puriton, has now launched its new permanent website.

You can find it at

All updates from the end of October 2013 will be on the new website.  This WordPress site is retained only for archive purposes.


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Want to change the world? You can start here…

Active Citizens is coming to Puriton and Woolavington!  If you want to change the world  (or if you’d rather start with something more local!) Active Citizens and Big Local can help you skill up.

What is Active Citizens?

Active Citizens is an international network of people committed to a better future.  It envisages a world where people feel empowered to work with others for the sustainable development of their communities.

Active Citizens can help you build trust and understanding, develop skills and deliver projects on urgent themes such as poverty, literacy, democracy and climate change, and connect local and international agendas through the programme.

What’s involved?

Active Citizens will help you:

  • Develop your understanding of community development, culture and identity
  • Learn and practice new skills (cultural awareness, negotiating and people skills)
  • Take part in an International Study Visit, (hosting delegates from around the world)

It will do this through:

  • Training in team building, cultural awareness and negotiating skills.
  • Study visit
  • Planning and delivering social action
  • Hosting study visits from other countries

Who’s running Active Citizens?

Active Citizens is run by the British Council.  There are 13 local projects in the UK.  In Somerset it is being run by the ViSTA Project from Langport.

Can anyone take part?

Yes, ViSTA welcome people from all backgrounds, ages and interests. Each and every one of us is an Active Citizen that has a lot to offer any community.

Is it really worth it?

Without a doubt. This programme gives you the platform to really show what you are capable of.

Take part in this FREE programme

At Puriton Village Hall, TA7 8BP For 5 Saturdays, 10.00—2.00pm, 5th, 12th Oct & 2nd. 9th & 23rd Nov 2013.

Refreshments and light snacks included.

How to Apply

To reserve a place, or to find out more: call or email Joanna at ViSTA:  01458 259487

These workshops are great fun and really interesting.

There are a limited number of places available and we would encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment.

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Be a Community Worker in Puriton and Woolavington

Do you have a passion for Puriton and Woolavington?  Do you enjoy talking to local people and finding out about the issues that concern them?  Do you want to be part of the amazing opportunity to spend £1m in our communities?

Then you might have what it takes to be one of our new Community Workers.

We are looking for two Community Workers to work with us for 11 months from the autumn 2013, raising awareness of Villages Together and getting people involved in making plans for investing the £1m.

You can get more details by downloading the job description and application form.  They are both available below as PDF and Word documents.

The closing date is 30th September.  Applications should be emailed to or sent by post to 20 Woolavington Hill, Woolavington, TA7 8HG.

Job Description (PDF)

Job Description (Word docx)

Application form (PDF)

Application Form (Word doc)

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Find out more about Big Local this summer

Woolavington and Puriton Big Local will be out and about this summer telling people more about what we’re up to and gathering ideas for the future.

You’ll find us at two of the main local events:

  • Party in the Park, Saturday 17th August. 2pm-10pm at Puriton Village Hall. To be opened by Scott Temple of The Breeze fm. Events on the stage and in the arena include, Monarch Gymnastics, Circle Dancers Cameleon Batonettes, Puiton Players Juniors and Seniors, Phoebe Fisher, Toni Anthony, The Thatchers, Step4Ward, Mandi B and other surprises!! Attractions include mini train, craft stalls, bouncy castle, climbing wall, games and races, Mo the Bubble Man, Spread your Wings(owls), South Western Ambulance Service, sweets, ice cream, cream teas, bar and refreshments and much more!
  • Woolavington Village Show, Saturday 31st August at Woolavington Village Hall.  1-5pm.  Includes barbecue, displays, Heavens Gate dog agility, St Johns Ambulance, Spread Your Wings owls, kick boxing, cake stall, teddy tombola, books, bric-a-brac, refreshments, car boot stalls.  3.15pm auction of produce followed by presentation of cups, raffle.

Hope to see you there!

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What’s the name?

“Woolavington and Puriton Big Local” is a bit of a mouthful, and a bit long for a web address.  So we’re trying to think of something shorter and more snappy, but which still has that local dimension.

We had some ideas last night at the Interim Working Group, shown in the picture.  Have you got any other suggestions?  Write them below in the comment box in the next few days, or tweet @wpbiglocal – maybe it will be the one that’s chosen!

A new name for Woolavington and Puriton Big Local

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We’re getting going

Here’s an update on what’s been happening with Big Local in Woolavington and Puriton.

The Interim Working Group

In April we had a meeting at the 37Club for everyone interested in getting more involved in Big Local.  We had a good turnout, and from it we agreed a strong group of people from across the two villages to form the Interim Working Group:

  • Helen Baker
  • Peter Bashford
  • Paul Canham
  • Joh Dabenett
  • Abi Jones
  • Graham Lockley
  • Teresa Marshall
  • Tina Otley
  • Cindy Riley
  • Cori Taylor
  • Jenny Morgan
  • Alan Scott

There’s still a bit of juggling going on with some people realising they aren’t able to participate as they’d hoped so the group’s membership will change as we go along.  If you’re interested in being involved do let us know!

You can find notes of the meetings in the docs section.

What the Interim Working Group has been doing

The group has now met twice.  The first meeting was mostly taken up with finding out who everyone is, thinking about how we’ll be working and introducing the jobs that we’ll need to get done.

At the second meeting we started getting down to planning the way forward.

In the next few weeks we’ll be preparing an application for the Getting Started which will enable us to start doing things in the local community and preparing the plan for how to use the £1million.

What’s in a name?

What should we call ourselves?  “Woolavington and Puriton Big Local” is descriptive, but a bit long and clumsy.  If you’ve got any ideas do let us know!

Community Organiser

Some of you will have met Jon Cousins, the Community Organiser for Woolavington and Puriton.  He’s been coming along to the Big Local meetings to give us a snapshot of the sort of things people like about the area and their thoughts about the future.

John works by having one to one conversations with local residents using a process called ‘Listening Matters‘.  Everyone that I know who has had the conversation has found it really useful, and even cathartic.  If you want to take part you can get in touch with Jon on 07714 902188 or

Star People

If you’ve got a business idea that is going to benefit the local community there might be help for you, both financial and through mentoring.  Run by UnLtd, the aim of Star People is to reach out and unleash the energies of people who can transform the world in which they live.  UnLtd can provide you with a tailored package of funding and support to help your ideas become a reality. Wow!  There’s more information on the Local Trust website (links to pdf).

Big Local Newsletter

If you’re interested in seeing what is happening with other Big Local Groups across England then you can find copies of the newsletters via our website:

Alternatively, if you’d rather watch short films about the other areas you can find a selection on this page.

Keep in Touch

Do stay in touch.  If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to email or call.  And if you want me or one of the Interim Working Group members to come and talk to your group we’ll be more than happy.

Big Local Rep

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New Interim Working Group is GO!

20 people from Woolavington and Puriton got together last Thursday to form the new Interim Working Group for Big Local.

It was agreed that the role of the group, which is likely to operate for about 12-14 months, will be:

  • To put control of the BL project in community
  • To act as a contact point
  • To run events and get all parts of the community involved in BL
  • To evolve the Vision, Profile and Plan; and set up the Partnership responsible for running BL in the future
  • To apply for £20K ‘getting started’ funding
  • To appoint a ‘Locally Trusted Organisation’ (LTO) – with sufficient standing to look after the money.
  • To find out what people want
  • To communicate what’s going on
  • To be a ‘Holding Team’ for the Community Organiser
  • To gather a wide range of views to direct the vision/projects.

The group will have up to 14 members, drawn from those who were at the meeting or who previously expressed an interest, and equally representing the two villages.

The minutes of the meeting can be found in this pdf: 2013-04-25 Minutes

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