Last updated:
8 November 2017

Community guidance and help

How to obtain advice and support for new community ideas and projects in your neighbourhood.

1 Overview

Whether you are an individual looking to become more engaged in your local area, a community group just starting out or a voluntary organisation seeking specialist support, the Partnerships and Communities Team can help.

Our team works in each district and borough to implement the County Councils’ three core priorities and actively promote the nationally endorsed Five Ways to Wellbeing.

The team consists of Principal Community Officers (PCOs), Community Officers (COs) and Voluntary Sector Relationship Officers (VSROs).

Combined, we can:

  • provide guidance, advice and support around a range of topics
  • put you in touch with existing groups and networks, including the local Council for Voluntary Services CVSs
  • help you to set up a group, club association or partnership
  • help you find funding, if appropriate.
  • provide specialist advice and support to voluntary and community organisations whose activities are preventative, public health and/or social care focussed
  • provide input, advice and advocacy on issues impacting these organisations.

2 Community groups

Becoming involved in a community/voluntary group or setting one up is a great way of meeting new people and making a positive difference to your local area.

Before setting up a community group you need to be clear what type of activity you want to run and why, so ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there a real local need for this project or activity?
  • What is the aim of the group and what does it want to achieve?
  • Who will benefit – the local community in general, those with specific needs or a particular age group?
  • How will it improve the local neighbourhood, people's quality of life or make a significant positive difference to people's lives?
  • Are there any others in the area operating a similar service?
  • How will we get others involved, or are there ways of working with them?

How-to guides

The how-to guides are designed to help you in your activities as a community group, whether you are just starting out or seeking a refresher.

3 Specialist support

Your local Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) specialises in supporting voluntary and community groups. They can also help you answer any questions you may have, as well as providing training and practical help, such as finding funding or complying with legislation.

The CVSs work closely with the County Council and can be contacted below:

The County Council can also help with grants and funding advice and our Partnership and Communities Team works with the CVSs.

4 Contact us

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