East Devon District Council urges community and voluntary groups to register with Action East Devon and receive support

Community and voluntary groups across East Devon who feel they are in need of more support or who want to learn how to work more effectively, will have the opportunity to receive assistance if they register with Action East Devon (formerly East Devon Voluntary Support Agency).

East Devon District Council is helping this local charity identify and reach out to community and voluntary groups who would like to benefit from the range of free support services that Action East Devon can offer. These include: one-to-one support, training, creating forums and newsletters on issues such as funding, governance, volunteering and strategic developments.

Anyone involved with a local community or voluntary group who registers before 6 January 2017 will be entered into a prize draw, the winner of which will receive £150 in vouchers of their choice for their voluntary or community group.

To register a group or to let Action East Devon know about groups who might be interested in registering, please email Ann Woodland awoodland@eastdevon.gov.uk or telephone 01395 517493.

Action East Devon currently has over 500 groups registered, but want to double that figure to link groups into the support that is available and to provide fuller local information on the range of activities and services that the groups give to local communities.

With the help of the council, Action East Devon is working to increase its understanding of the range of voluntary and community groups in East Devon’s communities in order to ensure that all groups have access to local support and information and engagement opportunities. Both the council and the charity want to ensure that individuals know which groups/services are available in their local area and that statutory agencies understand where there might be gaps in community led support available at local level.

Councillor Tom Wright, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for corporate business, who initiated this scheme and gained funding for it from the council, said:

This is a wonderful opportunity to let local communities throughout the district know about the services your community or voluntary group provide. Action East Devon’s list of groups is online so it is accessible by other voluntary and community groups, as well as residents. This will help groups to network with each other and will raise awareness among residents. It could also help promote membership of groups by encouraging people to join the ones they are interested in.

Volunteer and community groups are a valuable asset to East Devon and we want to ensure that you continue to thrive. You all do a tremendous amount of good work and we want to ensure that more people are aware of what you have to offer, so please spread the word and register with Action East Devon.

Charlotte Hanson, Chief Executive of Action East Devon said:

We are delighted to have this opportunity to hear from community and voluntary groups that we might not yet be in touch with, so we can ensure that all groups are able to benefit from our support and information services; and that we can help to publicise and signpost to the services and activities provided through voluntary action in our communities.