ACRE leads Village SOS campaign

ACRE has received close to £1.4m from the Big Lottery Fund to lead a nationwide partnership of eight organisations that will help and inspire rural communities across the UK to set up social enterprises.

Village SOS

The two-year learning, outreach and engagement campaign comes on the back of Big Lottery Fund’s Village SOS funding programme and will help communities start their own social enterprises – from setting up a shop or saving a pub to opening a café or cinema.

How will it work?

The focus of the campaign will be a ‘community to community’ learning network, which will see volunteers from social enterprises across the UK become mentors to share the secrets of their success.

The volunteers will offer their time, support, experience and expertise and will point new enterprises in the direction of potential funding sources.

A central ‘Rural Hub’, managed by ACRE, will match each new enterprise with a trained mentor and a local grassroots support organisation, who will offer support and advice ranging from how to plan a project to building a brand.

How do I get involved?

You can sign up now to become a member of Village SOS. It’s free and you will receive regular updates about projects, events and funding sources - plus a copy of our 96-page book How To Create A Successful Community Enterprise.

Our partners

The grassroots support will be provided in England by ACRE’s Network of 38 rural community councils; in Wales by Wales Council for Voluntary Action; in Scotland by Rocket Science, Senscot and Forth Sector; and in Northern Ireland by Rural Community Network.

The campaign will be supported by a national expert panel and will begin with a three-month research project led by consultants Rose Regeneration and Rocket Science.

Research and infrastructure partners

Rural Media Company
Rose Regeneration
Rocket Science

Country partners

Sen Scot
Forth Sector
Rural Community Network