Communities Can was designed as a pilot programme which would provide one-to-one support for smaller community groups that, in many cases, had very little experience of running a community group and were not linked to wider support networks.
This has worked really well and we now have a wide range of evidence to show that the programme has made a major difference, you can read a few testimonials from the community organisations the programme supported in part 1, and part 2 here.
However sometimes, what one-to-one support lacks is the opportunity to learn from the experience of others and can fail to present an environment where new ideas can be shared or tested. A proposed approach to be tested could be to put together a package of support which includes one-to-one support combined with a group training workshop held locally. Initially, the training could include how to become funding ready and how to write good funding applications, however, there is no reason why this approach could not be broadened to other topics or areas of support.
Although this approach wasn’t tested during the lifetime of the programme, delivery partners have shown interest to see where similar joint support could be offered in the future if new funding streams become available. For some organisations the group training and support may not be appropriate or even practical but for others, creating the opportunity to get together, may be the synergy required for meaningful progress.