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Toolkits & Workbooks

These resources have been developed to support you with your community project. Some are specifically for groups involved in Community Exchanges, Emergency Planning etc. whilst others can be useful for all types of projects. Further guidance is available in Guidance Sheets

 

Community Oil Buying Groups Toolkit

Many communities in Cumbria are dependent on oil to heat their homes and by setting up a community oil buying group residents can save money on their bills. This toolkit explains what a community oil buying group is, how to set one up and what you need to consider as well as tips and ideas on how to run and manage your group when it is established.

Questionnaire Design Guide

Being able to put together a survey which is easy to understand, and will give you the information you need, is a useful skill for any community group, particularly those doing Community Led Plans. This guide provides an introduction to writing questionnaires, the types of questions to avoid, how to ensure your survey is accessible to all, and how to analyse the results.

Community Exchanges Toolkit

Community Exchanges are regular community-led events that bring people together, provide services and information and reduce social isolation. This toolkit brings together a series of guidance sheets and video interviews from Crosthwaite Exchange, 'The Vic' Community Cafe in Culgaith, and  Bolton Exchange, to support other communities looking to start their own Exchange or Community Cafe.

Community Emergency Planning Toolkit

A Community Emergency Plan plan helps people prepare for an emergency, organises neighbourly help during the incident, makes appropriate links to emergency services and local authorities, and assists with recovery after the event. The full 10 Step Toolkit and summary Poster, together with the Guidance and Template for Smaller Communities will help you prepare in a way that fits the needs of your community. Take a look at Keswick's video interview to hear about their experience.

Sustainable Communities Workbook

A discussion tool to help assess your community's sustainability and plan for the future using the Egan Wheel's eight key elements for a sustainable community.

 

Good Neighbour Scheme Toolkit

A Good Neighbour Scheme is a voluntary initiative run by a group of local residents who recognise the benefits of such a scheme to the community, and want to help their neighbours enjoy a better quality of life. The Good Neighbour Scheme toolkit will assist and guide you through setting up the scheme.


Setting Up and Running Effective Organisations

Getting Going Workbook

This workbook will help members of the community who are thinking of setting up a new group to choose an appropriate legal structure. Planning what type of organisation your group will be, right at the start, will help you to be clear about: what you are trying to achieve; what activities you will provide; who you want to benefit; where you will operate; who will be responsible for the organisation; who the organisation has to report to; how the organisation will be managed.

Policies and Procedures

Developing policies and procedures will help your organisation be clear about: your legal responsibilities; how you deal with your stakeholders; how you will be accountable for the organisation; and how you will put your policies into practise.

Sustainable Funding

Sustainable funding is about getting better at fundraising and diversifying into new areas of fundraising so that you don't become over reliant on one source of income. This workbook will help your organisation to develop a sustainable funding strategy.

Robust Business Planning

This workbook will help your organisation plan its activities and produce a business plan to help you be clear about: what you are trying to achieve; how you deliver your services; how you monitor, evaluate, and review your activities; your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; and what is going on around you and how much you interact with other people and groups.

Developing Your Budget

This workbook has been produced to help your organisation plan its finances to pay for its activities and produce a budget and cash flow forecasts.

Marketing

Marketing is simply letting other people know what your organisation does or what it plans to do so they can take part in your activities, volunteer to help, or offer financial support. This workbook will help you be clear about who you want to communicate with, what you want to tell them, and how.

Working with Volunteers

This workbook will help your organisation recruit and support a volunteer workforce. Understanding how to attract, retain, and manage volunteers will help you: increase the number of volunteers supporting your organisation; increase the skills within your organisation; and allocate resources efficiently.

 

Latest News

Cumbria Panel Rural Survey

4 July 2017

Cumbria Panel Rural Survey

ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is asking rural Cumbrian residents what services are important to them.  The brief survey being used will provide a focus for the first discussions of the Cumbria Rural Panel.

New Emergency Planning guide for Cumbrian Households

27 June 2017

New Emergency Planning guide for Cumbrian Households

ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is encouraging households across the county to consider how to be better prepared in the event of an emergency and has produced a simple Household Emergency Plan leaflet to help.

Prince's Countryside Fund supports resilience in Community Buildings

4 April 2017

Prince's Countryside Fund supports resilience in Community Buildings

Volunteers from across the county have met with ACTion with Communities in Cumbria to discuss how village halls and other community buildings can be more resilient.

ACT champions community and rural issues, and sees community buildings as a critical part of vibrant, sustainable rural life. Funding from the Prince’s Countryside Fund is supporting ACT to develop a toolkit to help community buildings manage risks and be more resilient.

Chancellor urged to issue Budget VAT refund to village hall charities

30 March 2017

Chancellor urged to issue Budget VAT refund to village hall charities

ACTion with communities in Cumbria is urging the Government to pledge £3 million in the Budget to refund the VAT paid by village halls on improvement work such as modern kitchen and toilet facilities and new meeting rooms. 

New ACT Trustees

21 February 2017

New ACT Trustees

ACTion with communities in Cumbria champions community and rural issues and are welcoming two energetic, committed people to join our board of trustees. As a registered charity that has been functioning for almost 70 years, we need trustee board members who can use their local knowledge and understanding to think strategically about how best to support rural communities to thrive.

Our two new ACT Board members come from very different backgrounds and bring a diverse range of skill sets and expertise to the table.

Big Lottery Fund pledges £1 million support to help Cumbrian communities become more resilient in the wake of the December floods

13 September 2016

Big Lottery Fund pledges £1 million support to help Cumbrian communities become more resilient in the wake of the December floods

The Big Lottery Fund has today announced a £1 million package to help Cumbrian communities become more resilient. This comes in the wake of December’s devastating floods, and will help local people, communities and organisations to prepare for similar events in the future.

The ‘Rebuilding Together’ programme will take place over the next 3 years, led by Cumbria CVS and delivered in partnership with Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) and Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) – three local charities with a long history of working together to support Cumbrian communities and organisations.

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