Community-led revival2024-05-15T14:57:39+00:00

Community-led revival

People living and working in the countryside should be supported to volunteer their time, get involved in local projects and initiatives and help make their community a better place to live.

Most people care about their local community. Many would do more to help their neighbours if they could.

In rural areas, there is a long history of people taking action in their community, from the volunteer management committees that run England’s 10,000+ village halls to good neighbour schemes and parish plans.

But this effort is often overlooked by policy makers, funding for community initiatives is piecemeal and the age of volunteers is generally getting older. Sometimes it can feel like an uphill challenge getting a good idea for a community project off the ground or that decisions taken elsewhere will run roughshod over local effort.

Members of the ACRE Network have been supporting rural community initiatives for over 100 years. They help people turn good ideas into workable local projects, and help volunteers manage and sustain ongoing commitments. Without their support, many of England’s rural communities would be much worse off, potentially without places and opportunities where people can meet and gather or services that individuals rely upon.

We want to see a renaissance in rural community life where even more voluntary groups prosper and develop initiatives that respond to local needs. For this to happen, there needs to be greater provision of practical support and funding available to these groups, alongside a wider programme of devolution that places more power in the hands of communities so that decisions are taken as close as possible to the people affected by them.

View our specific policy recommendations for the next government here.