Bath & North East Somerset Council has a wide range of thriving voluntary and community organisations- from small local groups to national charities. The Council aims to help our VCSE organisations flourish, ensuring that local groups can get the help they need to support their local communities. We also want to encourage groups to collaborate, working together to address issues of local need as well as influencing what goes on in Bath and North East Somerset.
The Council keeps a Funding Journal on its website with the latest local and national funding opportunities. Also training opportunities, consultations and news. It is updated regularly.
Interagency Bulletin and Meetings
The Council produces an Interagency e-bulletin aimed at community organisations and parishes. It comes out about once a month. It also holds Interagency Meetings every other month to enable community organisations and partners to share information and to network. These meetings are very informal and now take place by Zoom. They are open to anyone to attend.
Visit the Interagency page to see past bulletins, sign up to the receive them, view previous meetings and sign up to attend future ones.
The Council's Livewell Directory offers information under three headings:
Children and Families: Find organisations and groups in Bath and North East Somerset to support the needs of your family, including Ofsted registered childcare, parenting support and much more.
Adults: Information, signposting, resources and activities to support you, or the person you care for, to live a full and independent life. This may be a Care Home, social club, local care providers or services to help around the home.
SEND Rainbow Resource: Provides children and young people (aged up to 25) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families with information to help them find the right help and support.
Useful resources and toolkits
- GDPR and Data Protection - The NCVO has some guidance.
- Managing volunteers - the Council and local Community Volunteer Service have produced a best practice guide on managing volunteers. Other guides to help organisations include: Volunteers Pay Packet, What’s in it for me (WIIFM), How to keep volunteers when change is ahead, Change – sometimes it’s the little things that matter.
- Setting up a new organisation - Useful guidance on the Gov.uk website about how to choose the right charitable structure and model constitutions. The NCVO KnowHow website provides information about legal forms.
- Policies and Procedures - useful guidance and best practice for policies and procedures - Good Governance and NCVO KnowHow.
- Choosing the right structure - advice from Locality
- Legal - Get Legal is a partnership with NCVO and a law firm to provide access to legal documents. LawWorks also provide free pro-bono advice to not for profits.
- Building resilience - Charity Commission guidance - financial management and reserves - charity reserves.
- Disclosure and Barring (DBS) Service - The Home Office hold a directory of umbrella organisation that will deal with your DBS checks. Charges will vary.
- Creating your own website – there are a number of free website builders, examples include: wordpress and wix.
- Free photo editing and image design, examples CANVA
Community and Village Halls
The West of England Rural network provide support and advice on Village Halls and also co-ordinate the hallmark scheme – a benchmark of good practice. They also run a network meeting across B&NES, contact Dick Whittington email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or tel: 01275 333701
ACRE have produced a series of good practice / information sheets specifically for managing village halls.
Get Involved and Get Connected
- Find out what’s going on - As well as signing up to the Interagency e-Bulletin, you can also sign up to Council Twitter feed and get the Council's e-newsletter for residents E-Connect. You can sign up for it here.
- Connect Up and have influence - Get involved with our Connecting Communities programme. The Council works with local partners provide opportunities for people to get together to address issues that affect their local area. There are five Connecting Communities Forums which meet three or four times a year and are open to anyone to attend. There are Forums for Bath City; Bathavon; Keynsham Area; Chew Valley Area and the Somer Valley.
- Networks - There are also specialist networks you can get involved with, including Healthwatch, the Children and Young Peoples Network and Thrive which is aimed at the cultural sector in Bath and North East Somerset.
Third Sector Group (3SG)
This is a membership network of over 150 charities, social enterprises and community groups in Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES). They hold events, training and information and aim to influence local strategic decision making.
The 3SG seeks to:
Consider and champion views and experiences of the local 3rd sector, ensuring that the 3SG is a key part of the public services decision making processes.
Act as a mechanism to raise issues and opportunities for the local 3rd sector as well as develop innovative joint responses.
Support the 3SG representatives on partnerships and boards as appropriate.
Encourage joined up communications across the sector as well as the sharing of resources and expertise.
Be a focal point for receiving and disseminating strategic information.
A platform to promote and raise awareness of the activities of volunteers & 3rd sector organisations operating in B&NES.
- Opportunities for training and learning for individuals, volunteers and organisations can be found at The Wellbeing College on the 3SG website and in the regular Interagency Bulletins.
- Get Help with Volunteering - The local Community Volunteer Service provides a vital service in promoting volunteering opportunities and identifying suitable candidates for local charities and community organisations. The NCVO provides a range of useful guidance notes and toolkits including managing and recruiting volunteers. The NCVO is a membership organisation. It is free to voluntary and community groups with a turnover of less than £30k.
- Celebrate Success - Each year the Community Awards recognise the valuable efforts of volunteers across Bath and North East Somerset Council. The Awards open in June each year. Don't forgot to nominate someone you know deserving of an award.
Research and statistics
Useful to provide evidence of need for funding applications. Check out our dedicated website providing information and data about Bath & North East Somerset.
The hyperlinks to third party websites are provided for the convenience of users only. Bath & North East Somerset Council does not endorse the views or information held within such websites, the websites themselves, or the owners and operators of the websites, and is unable to grant permission to use material found on such sites. Bath & North East Somerset Council also reserves the right to remove hyperlinks or content as it deems appropriate and at any time.