The Neighbourhood Team – A History

Originally known as the Ovenden and Mixenden Initiative (OMI) the Neighbourhood Team was formed over 20 years ago. North Halifax Partnership won a grant from Calderdale Council in 2003, as a Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder Programme, to focus on narrowing deprivation gaps in North Halifax. Since then, they have achieved many wonderful things and have changed the landscape of North Halifax and Lower Valley for many of the community members.

Here is a brief overview of the many wonderful things the Neighbourhood Team have done over the last decade:

In 2013 the Neighbourhood Team launched Job Clubs in Mixenden and Beechwood Libraries. The job clubs are aimed at supporting people to find, apply and gain employment. The Neighbourhood Team still run Work Clubs if you are seeking employment. It is a friendly and informal way to find your way back into work.

By 2014 the Neighbourhood Team had begun managing and awarding Ward Forum Grants making funds of up to £500 readily available to community groups to help support a range of projects and initiatives. The Ward Forum Grants are still going strong and to date the Neighbourhood Team has supported over 425 grants applications totalling £185k. One of most recent applications was from Newground and the Never Go Hungry Project, focused on continuing to provide healthy and nutritious meals to the young people on the Engage 1-1 and the Open Access Provision in North Halifax.

Project 12 was launched by the Neighbourhood Team in 2017. The project was aimed at teenage girls, aged 12-18yrs, in North Halifax to positively engage in their community. The girls participated in many fun and useful sessions, including learning Motor Skills, celebrating Pride in Hebden Bridge and learning how to build confidence and self-esteem.

The first Beechwood Big Picnic Event was held by the Neighbourhood Team and the Friends of Beechwood Park Group, in 2017, with strong community engagement. Many local businesses came down to showcase their talents including Tai Chi, Phoenix Shed, Walking Football and various art classes.

The Big Picnic was such a wonderful success that it was held again in 2019 with staff saying how wonderful it was to see so many people from the community come down and have such a fantastic time.

Staying Well and the Neighbourhood Team worked together in 2019 to manage the Community Foundation for Calderdale Holiday Fund. The fund was available for residents of Calderdale aged 60+ to apply for a contribution towards a holiday in the UK. The fund allowed residents to have a break from the day to day and change of scene.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020 the Neighbourhood Team was integral to the Calderdale Covid Response. They set up and manned Covid Response Hubs as well as working with volunteers in the community to ensure that the most vulnerable were supported and protected.

The Neighbourhood Team co-ordinated partnership groups to support with the community messaging about the pandemic and vaccination opportunities. The ‘NHP Community Thank You’ was set up to send positive messages within North Halifax communities for those going the extra mile throughout the lockdowns.

One of 2022’s biggest achievements was securing a £50k award to help improve Shrogg’s Park, alongside Active Calderdale, CMBC and Friends of Shroggs Park Group. The aim of the group is to make significant changes to Shrogg’s Park to improve accessibility, safety and make it more welcoming and attractive.

2022 also saw the first Thriftmas event being held at Forest Cottage, a way to promote a waste less Christmas. The event was so successful it has become an annual occurrence.

You can watch the below interviews for more information on what the Neighbourhood Team do and have achieved over the past 25 years –