Small community groups supported by the Communities Can pilot programme (part 2)

| No responses | Posted by: Tatevik Sargsyan | Theme: Places, Social Innovation & Investment, Work with Communities

The Communities Can project has supported 378 small and diverse community groups through matching them to a range of experienced local providers. The support they received was varied, some was more ‘instrumental’; receiving help to get tangible things done such as becoming a registered charity or improving their website, whilst others got more ‘developmental’ support; to help them think about what they want to do and how they can do it.

The support delivered through Communities Can appears to have had significant impact for some community organisations, helping to improve their effectiveness, attract more funding and expand their reach. You can read the evaluation report by NPC here.

This is the second of two parts in which we are showcasing some highlights and testimonials from a range of groups who received different types of support through the programme. You can read the first part here.

  1. Blackpool and Fylde Neighbourhood Watch

What they do:

Neighbourhood Watch Associations are key in maintaining the impetus of the Neighbourhood Watch movement at local level. Their role includes providing guidance and, where necessary, policies on the details of how Neighbourhood Watch operates within their area. They can decide on any processes new schemes need to follow and also work to maintain a good working relationship with the police at force level.

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Support received:

BFNW are passionate about keeping their communities safe and this is why they turned to Communities Can to help them communicate their important message.

The group found out about the programme by approaching CVS Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde. They helped them through the application process which they found to be very user-friendly and quick.

“We wanted to have an online presence to help get our important messages out to the community but we didn’t know where to begin. We chose Angela Glass to deliver the support who is very knowledgeable on website development and social media.”

2. Three Leaves

What they do:

Three Leaves are a small charity which delivers courses and workshops for developing and maintaining emotional and physical wellbeing.
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Support received:

They applied for support from the Communities Can programme with a view to helping them become more sustainable and self-reliant. The CEO was partnered with a local support provider, WhyNotChange, they were able to develop ideas of how to work towards sustainability which the group started to implement after the support was completed.

“Melanie [founder of WhyNotChange] has been an absolute blessing, a highly professional person with a friendly personality and excellent at helping others problem solve and view things differently.”

3. Peterborough Latvian Community

What they do:

Peterborough Latvian Community (PLC) was established and has been running since 2009 by it is chairperson, Iveta Suna. PLC provides advise to people in the community, organises events and runs a Latvian supplementary school teaching children about Latvian culture, as well as adult classes for dance and drama.

plc

Support received:

The Peterborough Latvian Community received a Communities Can package to help them to create a constitution and to explore the possibility of registering as a charity, to assist them with creating a strategy to expand the group, fundraising training and assistance with bid writing.
Since completing their Communities Can package the group has now started a Peterborough Supplementary Latvian School, which assists children with ESOL. This was set up using the funding they applied for during their support.

“As a group we are very excited about our new project, for a small community group to do something so much bigger (the school) is amazing! It’s really galvanised our members and brought in new people. We really hope that it will bring more communities together in Peterborough.”

4. Blackpool Inspirations

What they do:

Blackpool Inspirations is a new service user-led organisation, to support people with mental health issues. They provide daily drop-ins and groups at various venues around Blackpool to support anyone suffering with mental health issues. Their mission is to make a positive difference by enabling social interaction and inclusion in a safe and supportive environment where no one is stigmatised or isolated.

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Support received:

The group requested support in writing a funding bid, getting Public Liability Insurance, develop a constitution and facilitate Trustee meetings. The support which Blackpool Inspirations received helped the group develop and formalise through putting a structure in place.

5. South Devon Players

What they do:

South Devon Players are a community-orientated theatre and film production company from Brixham, Devon. Their main area of interest is in historical drama based on south west events and legends.

south-devon-players

Support received:

Communities Can funded four days of support provided by Torbay Community Development Trust and Funding Torbay. As well as helping to complete a range of funding applications, the support included putting together a business plan and exploring the challenges they will have to overcome to achieve their ambition of being a professional theatre and film company.

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