LFCA Wins Big at the BPHA Community Awards 

BPHA-2015-awardsOn Tuesday 2 June 2015 BPHA held its annual Community Awards at The Harpur Suite, Bedford. Awards were given to individuals and organisations that make a positive contribution to their local community. LFCA won no less than five awards: Community Champion Awards went to Ben Pitt for his work on Love's Farm House, Kirsty Pitt for the Love's Farm Youth Club, Emma Lovelock for LFCA events and Marcus Pickering for his work as chair of LFCA. To top it all off, Love's Farm Community Association and Love's Farm House won the Outstanding Contribution Award in recognition of the varied work we do. You can read the full speeches below.

BPHA is the largest housing provider on Love's Farm and plays an active role in building community, including providing fantastic support for LFCA. We'd like to take this opportunity to say a huge thanks to Kim Burrows and the rest of the BPHA staff for all they do for us here at Love's Farm.

Community Champion Award
Winner: Ben Pitt 
Nominated by Marcus Pickering - Chair of LFCA, Kim Burrows - BPHA Community Development Officer 

Marcus said about Ben, "Ben has tirelessly led the group co-ordinating the running of the Love’s Farm House community centre, due to open in September. Ben has given an extraordinary amount of his personal time without reward, as well as empowering and releasing numerous other volunteers. Ben is capable and dedicated, and it’s hard to imagine where the project would be today without him."

Kim said about Ben, "Ben has been the force driving forward the community centre “The Farm House”, drawing in a fantastic group of volunteers, trustees, planners, and supporters to bring this fantastic resource to the Love's Farm community venturing into new territory and learning as you go."

Community Champion Award
Winner: Kirsty Pitt
Nominated by Kim Burrows 

Kim said about Kirsty, "Kirsty has been key in fundraising and supporting the delivery of Love’s Farm Youth club, which is a great resource for young people from 8 – 14 year olds living on Love's Farm. Kirsty also was working with Rosie, Helene and husband Ben along with youth focused agencies from St Neots to consider how Love's Farm can create a facility for the young people aged 14 – 18.

Community Champion Award
Winner: Emma Lovelock 
Nominated by Marcus Pickering

Marcus said about Emma, "Emma is the longest serving member of Love’s farm Community Association and has single handedly planned and run numerous events which have significantly benefitted our community.  Emma is also the public face of LFCA running our Facebook page, where she daily responds to countless questions from residents and generates a wonderful buzz around all that we do. It’s hard to estimate the number of hours Emma must have devoted to the community over the years and her energy and enthusiasm is an inspiration to us all."

Kim said about Emma, "Emma is so energetic and passionate about Love's Farm and encourages people to get involved by putting on events to bring people together. Emma is always bubbly, inspirational and inclusive and has been involved for over five years building a community on Love's Farm."

Community Champion Award
Winner: Marcus Pickering
Nominated by Kim Burrows

Kim said about Marcus, "Marcus is the Chair for Love’s Farm Community Association. He is a dedicated to his role, passionate about this community, offering his time to work with others in creating a neighbourhood that its residents are involved and proud to live in. Marcus not only chairs the Association he manages along with Ben Pitt to support the website and the focus forums, and encouraging partners to get involved in Love's Farm which has proved to be very challenging. Marcus always goes beyond expectation."

Outstanding Group Award 2015
Winner: Love’s Farm Community Association & Love's Farm House
Nominated by Kim Burrows 

Nicky Dahl, BPHA Financial Inclusion Manager, said, "Why we have given the outstanding award to this group because you may have noticed that most of the group have been awarded a Community Champion Award and together they form an amazing community group and an inspiration to all communities."

Words from Kim:

LFCA are a dedicated group with community at their heart. Working for its community since 2009 when the majority of the area was still a building site, LFCA are a great resource for residents, all members are focused on creating a community they LOVE to live in. There aims are many, all focused around creating a place people love to live.  Bringing people together for:  

Events & Activities 

Chocolate Bingo, Quiz nights, Big Lunch, Scarecrow Festival, SMART days linking to the environment.

On our street – Street Reps

Created a network of reps on the streets to welcome new neighbours and highlight the work LFCA do, hoping to encourage more involvement.

Youth Club

LFCA now manage the delivery of youth and looking to expand this for the older age group.

Challenging issues 

Parking – they have created a working group to consider options, working with the council and police.
Dog Fouling – creating a dog walking group to consider how they can work together to encourage responsible dog ownership.

Communication avenues:

Newsletters, website, Facebook, Twitter

Love's Farm House

Finally agreement was made for the community centre to be built. LFCA has been part of the plan for the outset but its taken it many years to get to spade in the ground stage. It was agreed that it was to be RUN by the residents. 

Love’s Farm have a fantastic group of residents who have come forward to share and learn new skills to consider all elements. Ben Pitt took on the final challenge to build a planning group to help shape what this building will offer in regard building requirements, from kitchen units to the garden layout, consultation with residents on what they want to use the centre for and what it should be called. This was all done in partnership and the trustee group is now set up set up. Bookings are in place and BPHA have already secured a regular slot and a Christmas party.

Love’s Farm Community Association and Love’s Farm House

What a passionate team of people.

Working together to make a difference.

LFCA team, 07/06/2015