Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Groups - Information and support

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.

Funding opportunities


  • Wellbeing Options - signposting and information for health and wellbeing organisations and events
  • Bathnes 1 Big Database - local family information, childcare, activities, advice and support
  • Rainbow Resource - information on services for children, young people and their families including education, health and social care providers and voluntary organisations.

Useful resources and toolkits

  • GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation coming into force in May 2018.  The 12 steps to take now guide is available here to download.
  • Managing volunteers - the Council and Volunteer Service have produced a best practice guide on managing volunteers.
  • 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 - useful tool to help new organisations consider the right structure.
  • 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: dick@wern.org.uk, 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 - To find out more about what's going on, sign up to our Interagency Bulletin and Network meetings, by emailing sara_dixon@bathnes.gov.uk.  You can also sign up to Council Twitter feed and get in Council e bulletin mailing list.
  • 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. In Keynsham, the Chew Valley, Bathavon and the Somer Valley there are Connecting Communities Forums.  In Bath, there is a Bath City Forum and the Bath City Conference has been held annually since 2012 and provides a popular showcase for the work of local groups.
  • 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.
  • Get involved- through the Interests Me community website.

The B&NES 3SG creates an environment in which representatives from the voluntary, faith, community and social enterprise sector can influence local strategic decision making and share relevant events, training and information. 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 share resources and expertise.
  • Be a focal point for receiving and disseminating strategic information.
  • A platform to promote & raise awareness of the activities of volunteers & 3rd sector organisations operating in B&NES.



  • Get Help with Volunteering - The Volunteer Service Bath & North East Somerset 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 Chairman's 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

  • Get Info and data - 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.


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