Local, Community or Regional Contacts
Follow the trail
Provision of support agencies for the voluntary sector varies massively from area to area, with a deficit in rural areas gradually being made good. Our list can't pretend to be comprehensive, but hopefully has a useful link for most areas. Divided into:
- National starting points.
- Local web based resources.
- County and district council information for the sector.
- Regional forums and networks.
- 'Local community' mixed bag.
- Local technology resources are on Voluntary Sector and IT/internet.
- Libraries or Citizens Advice Bureaux are good sources of local information.
- You may want to look at our Areas of Concern section, covering particular 'communities of interest'.
- Irish Republic contacts are on their own page, alongside European.
- Some Professional bodies also have regional groups and contacts.
- Regional government contacts - see Lobby page.
National starting points
Action with Communities in Rural England Somerfield Court, Somerfield Road, Cirencester, Glos, GL7 1TW, phone 01285 653477.
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA). The network for local sector support bodies in England. The Tower, 2 Furnival Square, Sheffield, S1 4QL, phone 0114 278 6636. Web site includes directory of local CVS, and there is also a regional list of training contacts.
- Voluntary Action Scotland, set up in 2009 for developing, representing and supporting Scotland's local third sector infrastructure. No info on its local member CVS etc online at Mar 2010.
These offer information relevant to organisations based or working in their areas and/or a directory of local voluntary and community groups. Dates given in brackets are the most recent times we checked what they were up to. We can't list every site here, so we aim to give coverage throughout the UK of those which we've noticed have a good range of accessible material or have good voluntary sector contacts info.
You may also want to try out external search engines to locate local facilities and groups as they are easier to find than when this page was started.
Bolton Information Network (3/6/05). A Partnership promoting ICT skills but also providing community info.
Bradford DIVA (3/6/05). Voluntary organisations database for Bradford District.
Brighton Sussex Community Internet Project (15/1/01) Covers the whole county and loads of link lists, but a definite Brighton flavour. Also check: Resource Centre (11/10/01) - equipment and information for Brighton and Hove community groups; Brighton and Hove Community and Voluntary Sector Forum.
Bristol Voscur (3/6/05).
Cambridge Cambridge Online City (15/3/01) Plenty of information available here, and facilities to post information on your own organisation. Shared Interests is a good place to start to find local groups.
Durham One Voice Network (17/10/06) Includes Advice Shop.
East Sussex ESCIS Community Information Service from the local authority.
Essex A system from the county council allows community groups to set up their own web pages at essexinfo.net (23/1/06).
Leeds Voluntary Action-Leeds.
Manchester Greater Manchester Voluntary Sector Support (24/2/11).
Norfolk Voluntary Norfolk (22/3/10).
North Tyneside VODA (1/6/05).
Nottingham CVS (12/6/02).
Sheffield: Help Yourself (18/1/11).
Surrey Community Action (15/9/03).
Windsor and Maidenhead Voluntary Action (22/5/12).
Wirral VCA Wirral (22/6/10)
York CVS (11/6/03). Some useful reference material on this site.
North West Community Network (22/3/10).
Dundee Voluntary Action (26/8/03).
Uist Council for Voluntary Organisations (5/6/07).
Cardiff Third Sector Council (19/3/12).
Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS) (19/12/03).
Powys Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations (11/11/11), phone 0845 009 3288.
Swansea SCVS (13/9/04).
There is a distinct trend (Feb 05) of local council sites creating directories of, or links to, voluntary organisations. Some are doing this through county wide sites, others are adding facilites to find funding (and not just council grants) - this usually requires user registration. We give a few below - more grantnet and open4community sites can be found by searching Google etc.
- North Devon Open4Community funding search.
- Hampshire and Isle of Wight e.volve Directory of community organisations and services (May 2013).
Often set up in response to the previous 'regional agenda', so soem may be struggling. Our Lobbying page has government regional offices and sector links to regional assemblies, including London.
All of these are primarily about improving communications between voluntary and community organisations in their region (who are encouraged to be members), providing information on issues which effect them and encouraging the development and dissemination of good practice. Also a communication link with regionally based (governmental) organisations.
North West England Volunteering North West (link problem March 2012).
Involve Yorkshire and Humber regional forum for voluntary and community organisations. Phone 0113 243 8188.
East Midlands One East Midlands.
South East England Regional Action and Involvement South East: RAISE.
West Midlands Regional Action West Midlands.
Regional Development Agencies are listed under Government/Lobbying contacts.
Many cities and larger towns have their own sites, run commercially, by the local council, individuals or community groups. These will often have something about local voluntary activity, but quality and focus vary hugely. Some will not get past listing the next car boot sale in aid of the Scouts. However, they are worth a try.
- UKVillages (link problem May 2013) was worth checking, defunct?
Many regional or local papers have strong community links and have erratically developed web facilities which allow local groups to put together a few pages of information. Find the listings and facilities via:
- CommuniGate from NewsQuest.
- Community sections within icNetwork from Trinity Mirror have largely been withdrawn, Sept 06. Where they exist, they should have a clear page structure of News, Events, Contacts and HomePage areas for each participating group, which makes it quite easy to get your own 'site' online.
Other local sites worth a look
We haven't checked these sites fully, or they don't quite make the grade to be in the sections above.
Bassetlaw CVS (9/2/01)
East Lothian Voluntary Organisations Network (24/12/01).
LondonVoices (10/1/02) A network for community and neighbourhood websites in London.
Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation St Thomas Centre, Ardwick Green North, Manchester M12 6FZ, phone 0161 273 7451.
Community Accountancy Self Help (west London). Features some local projects as well as very useful community accountancy stuff.