Origins of CCP
In 1998-9, Dorset Health Authority identified Grange Ward as one of 5 deprived areas in Dorset and allocated £5000 to see if a networking approach would help. Under the leadership of the Christchurch Borough Council and Dorset Public Health, the Christchurch Healthy Community was formed.
Drawing on the advice of Dr Bob Gilbertson, and his experience elsewhere, the programme deliberately embraced the wider community of Christchurch in order to give Grange Ward the maximum amount of support, involvement and incentive to progress and to reverse any sense of exclusion.
When the money ran out, in order to build on the early success, the title was changed to the Christchurch Community Spirit Challenge which, still under the guidance of Dr Bob Gilbertson, continued the networking between local statutory, business and voluntary agencies throughout Christchurch, building on the experience of the Christchurch Healthy Community programme.
When the Local Government Act of 2000 required local authorities to have a Community Plan, Dorset set up the Dorset Strategic Partnership. This necessitated action by local councils throughout Dorset. Consequently, in July 2002 the Christchurch Borough Council commissioned Cllr Josephine Spencer, OBE, with the task of implementing a Community Plan. With his experience of the Community Spirit Challenge, Dr Bob Gilbertson was invited in Oct 2002 to be Chair of the new Christchurch Community Partnership.
The first public meeting was held in January 2003 in Mudeford Wood Community Centre. A Borough-wide consultation had preceded this to ascertain what was most needed and most valued in the community. The findings were allocated to the following 6 themes which were developed into Action Groups:
•Culture, Learning and Physical Activity
•High Quality Environment
•Health and Care
To these was added Travel and Access. Shortly afterwards, in consultation with the Christchurch and District Sports Council, Physical Activity was given its own Action Group, so the total became 8.
An early principle established was that anyone who wished to attend any Partnership meeting would be permitted to do so. A Steering Board supervised the work of the Action Groups until 2008 when Christchurch Community Partnership (CCP) was formed as a charity on 1 September 2008. The first trustees were then appointed.
From the time of the formation of the Partnership substantial funds were received from the Dorset County Council to help fund agreed projects. This support ceased in 2011. However, from the very beginning, the Christchurch Borough Council has been both generous and supportive.
In October 2012 the unincorporated charity became incorporated as a Limited Liability Charity and at that stage had 4 Trustees who are the Company Directors.
The partnership has further evolved since then, and as at 2015 now has 4 Trustees, 2 Volunteer Executive Officers, an Administrator and around 35 volunteers.