This toolkit aims to help village hall committees consider the main risks for their hall and to access further information to help manage these risks effectively. Risks is often a topic which focuses on Health and Safety, or a crisis situation. This toolkit takes a more holistic approach to the range of risks for halls, and categories these under four key headings of: Law and Governance; People; Money; and Buildings.
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.
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 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.
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. Further guidance is available on our Community Emergency Planning page.
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.
A Good Neighbours Scheme is a community-run initiative linking people who are in particular need with community volunteers who are willing to help. The Good Neighbours Scheme toolkit will assist and guide you through setting up a scheme. Please contact us for copies of the additional template documents to help get you started.
Setting Up and Running Effective Organisations
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Following on from a highly successful Village Halls Week that involved over 700 village halls, actively engaged 18 MPs and attracted coverage from BBC’s Countryfile, national newspapers and resulted in #villagehallsweek trending on Twitter, ACRE has launched a national survey for England’s Village and Community Halls.
ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT), the ACRE Network member and community development charity for Cumbria, is encouraging all of the county’s 300+ village halls and community buildings to take part.
The Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) appointed a new Board member as its Voluntary and Community Sector representative at its January meeting.
Lorrainne Smyth, Chief Executive at ACTion with Communities in Cumbria, has been appointed to replace Professor Patricia Allen, Chief Executive of Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw Children’s Hospice, who has stepped down.
Lord Inglewood, Chair, Cumbria LEP, said: “I am very pleased that Lorrainne has joined us on the Board. CLEP is very committed to working with the voluntary and community sector and that is why we have a specific place on the Board for the sector.
Communities across Cumbria are preparing for Village Halls Week – a national celebration of village halls, their volunteers, and the services they offer their communities. This year Village Halls Week runs from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th January, and begins with a launch event at the House of Commons, hosted by Defra Minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble.
Hellen Aitken from Cumbrian community development charity ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) will be attending the launch in London, together with David Anderson, Chairman of Kirkby in Furness Community Centre, one of three Cumbrian halls to recently benefit from funding from the Defra funded Village Hall Improvement Grant.
Members of the Cumbria Village Halls Network got together last week for a free workshop on using websites and social media. The group met in the cosy community room at Dufton Village Hall, using their recently installed broadband. With help from web-designer Phil Guest, the workshop was a whistle-stop tour of what makes a good website and how to make best use of social media for promotion.
The Village Halls Network is a way for committee members and trustees of community buildings across Cumbria to share practical ideas, relevant experience and to ask for help and advice. Members get together periodically, as well as supporting each other remotely.
Not only have the dedicated volunteers at Hunsonby Community Centre raised £300,000 to refurbish their community building, they’ve also been awarded a nationally recognised Hallmark quality standard for good governance.
Ofgem is carrying out a call for evidence for households who are not connected to the electricity distribution network, which we know at ACT is an issue for a significant number of Cumbrian residents
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