Support

Within Somerset there are three infrastructure organisations who can offer support for groups, communities and individuals across Somerset. These organisations have experienced advisors who will be able to support you, from start-up, though to achieving sustainability. They will be able to offer advice on a wide range of topics, including governance, policies, charitable status, funding and volunteering.

Spark offers information and advice to voluntary and community organisations in South Somerset, Mendip and Sedgemoor. They host regular forums, which give groups and organisations the opportunity to network, and learn together. These are complimented by their programme of training aimed specifically at the voluntary sector. Spark manage a database of volunteering opportunities that’s exclusively for Somerset. They also offer a DBS Checking Service, and an affordable Community Accountancy Service.

Engage has a long track record of supporting the development of a vibrant, effective and influential voluntary and community sector in Taunton and West Somerset by providing a range of support services, and regular networking events.

CCS can support Somerset’s community groups through a variety of services, including their successful Community Agents Project. They also have particular expertise in neighbourhood planning and feasibility funding, and finding funding for community buildings.

Both Spark and Engage support volunteers in looking for volunteer opportunities.  Further information on volunteering in Somerset can also be accessed via Do-it.org.

Funding

There are various funding sources available to community groups and charities in Somerset. Below we have provided links to databases where you can search for funding as well as examples of several different sources of funding across Somerset.

Useful links:

Funding Central is NCVO’s funding database, it’s free for groups with an income of less than £100,000.

GRIN (Grants Resource Information News) is an affordable local funding directory with a searchable grants and resource database and daily funding bulletins.

Somerset Community Foundation run a range of grant programmes for groups in Somerset including Hinkley Point C Funding and the Social Enterprise Fund.

J4b Community provide information on over 3,000 grants dedicated to the voluntary and community sector. Registration is free

The Big Lottery Fund administer a range of funds on behalf of the National Lottery

Within Somerset we have two local lotteries set up to support local causes Somerset West Lottery and Shape Mendip Lottery

Somerset District Councils also have funding programmes: Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset, West Somerset, Taunton Deane