Community Groups Resources

Article modified: February 2017, Author:


Help in taking action locally, working with communities, social action, community development, etc.

General community support

  • Locality, a network for community-led (‘anchor’) organisations. (Was previously bassac and Development Trusts Association).  33 Corsham Street, London, N1 6DR, phone 0845 458 8336. Specialist areas include community asset transfer.
  • Development Trusts Association Scotland still exists as a separate “community-led regeneration network”. Also Development Trusts Association Wales, Development Trusts NI.
  • Community Matters has closed – existed to expand support provided to community organisations, and ensure interests are represented locally and nationally, specific expertise in managing community buildings.
  • Scottish Community Development Centre You can join their mailing list, access their Health Network and info on resources for community development at their web site. Plus (new summer 2014) Communities Channel Scotland, which “aims to provide support to local groups and organisations so that they can contribute to a socially and economically sustainable Scotland”.
  • Also see Community Development Alliance Scotland.
  • UK Community Foundations (was Community Foundation Network) provides support and common point of reference for local community foundations throughout the country, and advice for anyone wishing to establish one in a new area. Arena House, 66-68 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9HS, phone 020 7713 9326.
  • Community Development Exchange, closed 2012, was a membership organisation ‘supporting people who support communities’.
  • Community Development Foundation Website covers such areas as Social Inclusion, Regeneration as well as community development and details of its own projects.

Specialist Communities Bodies

  • Federation for Community Development Learning 3rd Floor, The Circle, 33 Rockingham Lane, Sheffield, S1 4FW, phone 0114 253 6770 , email: info@fcdl.org.uk
  • Community Work Education and Training Network (web site disappeared) is/was a Northern Ireland membership body, which promotes good practice in community development through education and training.
  • Community Development Finance Association. Trade association for community development finance institutions. Room 101, Hatton Square Business Centre, 16/16a Baldwin Gardens, London, EC1N 7RJ, phone 020 7430 0222.
  • Community Ownership Support Service is a Scottish government funded project to help community-based groups in Scotland to take on land or building assets for their community. It also supports local authorities wishing to transfer a building or land asset.

Other Resources

Also see Social Economy page for Community/co-op businesses. And Rural communities links.

  • The Can Do Guide provides advice for community groups on such matters as dealing with health and safety and managing money. It is based on the experience of a number of Yorkshire groups who were interviewed about the challenges they faced in getting their ideas off the ground and how they overcame them.
  • Just Act aims to provide practical advice for anyone wanting to make a difference and improve their community, anything from running a street party to taking over a core community service. Just Act is managed by Community Development Foundation with support from other organisations and the government’s Communities Department.
  • MyCommunity, launched by Locality in March 2015, helps “communities to take control over their Land & Buildings, Local Services, Neighbourhood Planning and Local Economy through the Community Rights, grants, expert advice and networking”.
  • Community Tool Box aims to “support your work in promoting community health and development”, but much of what they offer could be equally useful to others involved in community settings. Produced by Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. Sample topics: group facilitation, social marketing, community planning, plus there are some trouble-shooting guides. Not sure the categorisation of material always works, but fairly easy to navigate.
  • Collective Action Toolkit is “a set of activities and methods to enable groups of people anywhere to organize, collaborate, and create solutions for problems impacting their community”. We haven’t seen the actual material (registration required), but sounds useful. From Frog Design, with support from Nike Foundation, available in English, Chinese and Spanish, with more languages to come.
  • RunAClub is subscription based, providing support to “set up and manage your own community club or network of clubs”.
  • Neighbourhood Cinema from British Film Institute supports new and established community cinemas all over the UK.
  • Village Halls network from SCVO for anyone involved with village halls and community buildings in Scotland.
  • Community Relations Council in Northern Ireland promotes better community relations and recognition of cultural diversity.
  • Create a Council from NALC – a guide to creating a parish council or town council (where none exists already).
  • Planning Aid (England) offers free, independent and professional advice on town planning matters to community groups and individuals who cannot afford to employ a planning consultant.
  • Community Planning is a site to help people shape their cities, towns and villages. Also see Neighbourhood Planning section of Locality’s Community Knowledge Hub.
  • International Association for Community Development “building a global network of people and organisations working toward social justice through community development”.
  • ARVAC, the sector research body, used to have a Community Research Project to help community groups to undertake research. Still worth checking what training and support is available.
  • There are some research bodies interested in community perspectives – see Research Resources page.


Community Profiling

Software

Two (defunct) programs to help you put together and analyse surveys at a community level:

Compass for Windows was from Policy Research Institute, Leeds Metropolitan University, but seems to have disappeared. 30 day evaluation version, £95 + VAT single user licence for community groups. Phone 0113 283 1749, email: compass@leedsmet.ac.uk

Village Appraisals for Windows from Countryside and Community Research Institute. Launched April ’98, £75 for a complete pack – probably no longer available.

Guidance

Community Impact Bucks (previously Bucks Community Action) had Village and Community Appraisals pages, now removed? Their definition:

a survey of an area carried out by the people who live or work there.
a way of gathering facts and opinions about the community from local people themselves.
can be conducted in a village, parish or urban community.
involves all local people and which benefits the area.
may identify what needs conserving and what needs improving or changing.

Rural Resources is experienced in community consultation – see Consultancy Services.

Also see Achieving Better Community Development – Planning and Monitoring page.

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4 thoughts on “Community Groups Resources”

  1. New resource, spring 2014, from VolResource newsletter 613:

    A new website aims to provide practical advice for anyone wanting to make a difference and improve their community, anything from running a street party to taking over a core community service. Just Act is at http://www.justact.org.uk and is managed by Community Development Foundation with support from other organisations and the government’s Communities Department.

  2. New resource, autumn 2013, from VolResource newsletter 594:

    The Can Do Guide is a new website at http://www.candoguide.org.uk providing advice for community groups on such matters as dealing with health and safety and managing money. It is based on the experience of a number of Yorkshire groups who were interviewed about the challenges they faced in getting their ideas off the ground and how they overcame them. The full research report will be available in January 2014.

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