The Inter-Link Community
Last Updated on Friday, 17 June 2011 11:28
How did Inter-Link Begin?
Inter-Link started in Penwith in 1997 when it became apparent that there were few opportunities for local groups and organisations to get together and exchange information. With a mailing list of 24, Penwith Volunteer Bureau facilitated these meetings and when Penwith Community Development Trust formed in 1998 Inter-Link was taken forward by the Trust. Inter-Link was facilitated with limited resources.
With Inter-Links being facilitated in Penwith, Kerrier began to facilitate similar types of meetings – although they were not called ‘Inter-Links’ they operated in the same way and were facilitated by a lead organisation with limited resources.
In November 2001, a conference was organised by a consortium of Voluntary Organisations across West Cornwall where it was agreed that the most effective way forward was for the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS), including residents, to be involved in Local Strategic Partnerships. This would build on existing networks (Inter-Links) and Community Empowerment Funding could strengthen and expand these networks.
Funding was awarded to West Cornwall in 2002 and the West Cornwall Community Network was formed. A team was employed to both develop West Cornwall Community Network and Penwith and Kerrier Inter-Links. Penwith and Kerrier Inter-Link membership began to grow and more support for Voluntary Organisations and Community Groups could be offered.
Over time, other areas in Cornwall had networking meetings known as ‘Inter-Link Meetings’ but once again these were under resourced and an add on to someone’s role
In 2005, via another consortium (Cornwall Infrastructure Partnership) funding was sought via ChangeUp to out Inter-Link Cornwall Wide. Two additional Inter-Link Officers were employed to roll out the Inter-Link model already being used in West Cornwall to North Cornwall and Caradon and Mid Cornwall.
Further funding through the Local Area Agreement, means that Inter-Link is continuing to be successfully rolled out Cornwall Wide, and has four dedicated Inter-Link Officers in place to support Voluntary Organisaitons and Community Groups.