Community Group Support

Published: 13 July 2021

East Devon has a vibrant and diverse Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector that provides a wide range of services, activities and support to residents in the district. East Devon District Council and its partners also have a long-standing commitment to encouraging the local VCSE groups, including capacity building and partnership working.

 

A Council for Voluntary Service provides support, guidance, networking opportunities and training to the VCSE sector in local areas. Every area of Devon currently has a Council for Voluntary Service, with the exception of East Devon. There are some issues with this lack of provision, which became more evident during the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, when both existing and new voluntary and community groups came under pressure and struggled to find support if they needed it. A temporary support arrangement was commissioned by Devon County Council to provide basic guidance and advice, but this was limited and this contract has now ended.

 

East Devon District Council has drafted a discussion document, which outlines what this potential support could look like, and what its aims could be. Some voluntary and community groups have already been involved in part of this. The council now wants feedback on the document from all of East Devon’s voluntary, community and social enterprise groups, which is available online along with a questionnaire.

 

Cllr Megan Armstrong, East Devon District Council Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Homes and Communities said: “We witnessed an impressive and overwhelmingly positive effort by voluntary, community and social enterprise groups during the pandemic, which clearly demonstrated the value of their work in communities.

“We recognise that community groups of all shapes and sizes would benefit from support allowing them to focus on what they do best, by helping them in ways that they would find useful. We would like to work with the groups to develop a proposal for provision of this support, then further consider the funding options to pay for it once we know what is needed.”

 

Have your say by filling in the questionnaire before 5pm on Monday 16 August 2021: https://eastdevon.gov.uk/community-engagement/voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-sector-support-consultation 

 

The council would like the views of:

  • a wide variety of VCSE organisations such as wellbeing, health, sports, social isolation, community transport, children and young people, older people, heritage, arts and culture…
  • groups from all areas of East Devon.
  • rural groups and town based groups.
If you need a copy of the consultation on paper, on paper in large print, or in any other format, email: jbuckley@eastdevon.gov.uk or call 01395 517569.