Well, I’ve been at ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) for four months now, and it’s been busy to say the least!
It’s been a great experience and following two launch events and four mentor training sessions, the Big Lottery funded Village SOS (VSOS) campaign is now up and running.
I’ve got to say a massive thank you to our network of VSOS partners, because we’ve now got communities getting involved and being enthused about how the campaign can help activity in their area.
From the enquiries received so far, it is so apparent that there are some really fantastic examples of community projects out there such as community radio stations, multi-functioning community buildings, heritage and education groups and local transport schemes. They all provide such an amazing range of services for their residents.
I’m really looking forward to using the campaign as an opportunity to promote these examples of organic community action across the UK. The old saying goes ‘don’t reinvent the wheel’ … and we are trying to establish a campaign with this very ethos at the core.
The aim is to try to get projects learning from each other’s experiences and expertise, and then match this learning with one-to-one specialist support. Village SOS is all about establishing a network of community projects which are not only surviving but also thriving – and then championing and celebrating their stories.
The fact that this is a UK-wide project makes things even more exciting, because we could have a group in Dorset learning from a group in the Highlands of Scotland.
Now’s the time to get involved, we’ve got a new website, which explains how the campaign works and through signing up as a campaign member we’re offering everyone a copy of a 96 page ‘How to Create a Sustainable Community Enterprise book’ for free.
Come on, become a part of the campaign – spread the word about community action and even apply for some support yourself. Sign up online or give me a call on 01285 653477 to find out more.