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History of 3RP

The Three Rivers Partnership was established in 2003, with the invaluable help of Dorset Community Action and a dedicated Community Development Worker. It is a company limited by guarantee and has charitable status.

Three Rivers is run by an elected Board of Trustees, representing a wide range of community
organisations, Town and County Councils and the parishes within our area of benefit. Essential to its success are the energy and enthusiasm of a large number of volunteers who have given time and expertise unstintingly to four working parties:

* Community & Leisure Facilities
* Open Spaces
* Children and Young People
* Meeting Places

Gillingham is a rapidly growing town (population just under 12,000, with another 5,000 living in the villages within the area of benefit) whose amenities and infrastructure do not match its size. A major thrust from the outset has been to secure appropriate community and leisure facilities. In constructive partnership with Gillingham Town Council and North Dorset District Council, positive progress has been made and, currently, business plans are being produced and additional sources of funding being actively researched.

Local people have consistently expressed concern at the rapidity with which green spaces have been swallowed up by residential developments. The Open Spaces group have been active in identifying land which merits protection and conservation and recommending ways in which amenity land can be expanded, enhanced, accessed and enjoyed.

The formation of the four working parties reflects community priorities which have been established by various consultation exercises over the last few years.

During its first year the Partnership went through a systematic visioning exercise in order to establish its own priorities and to inform strategic planning for the future. We felt it was essential to do an independent and thorough-going assessment ourselves of the needs and aspirations of the community so that we could develop a progressive strategy for the future which will drive our subsequent agenda.

Already, some of this strategic thinking has been incorporated into the charitable objects presented to the Charity Commission.

To focus discussion we identified key areas for potential development:

* Economic generation
* Culture, Arts & Sport
* Transport
* Our Environment
* Skills & Learning
* Social Well-being

These headings are similar to the major areas of concern identified in the vision statements of other partnerships and conform closely to key issues established by Dorset Strategic Partnership Forum.

For each topic we analysed strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities and highlighted action points which would potentially contribute to the achievement of the vision.

The Partnership is totally committed to serving the community, by making good serious deficits in provision, enhancing the environment, and promoting the cohesion and community spirit of Gillingham and its hinterland.

Three Rivers has traditionally excellent relationships with Local Councils and has helped to create a climate in which positive community action can flourish and ambitious plans be realised.

For a fuller account of the activities undertaken or supported by the Partnership, look at the Annual Reports in the menu above or via the following link