Within Somerset there are two 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 Somerset offers free information and advice to voluntary and community organisations across Somerset. They host regular networking events, and run an affordable programme of training for VCSE organisations. They run a volunteer service and manage a database of volunteering opportunities in Somerset. They also offer consultancy, a low cost DBS Checking Service, and a free funding search service. Spark Somerset also represent the local VCSE sector on strategic bodies, both at a District and County level.
CCS serves the whole of Somerset with a range of support and services for both vulnerable individuals and communities. This includes Village, Community and Carers Agents; support for marginalised black and minority ethnic communities; support for Social and Community Enterprises, including the Micro-enterprise Programme; a special village halls advice service; help for communities to establish local priorities and plans; a professional and affordable consultancy service through its trading arm Smart Communities Ltd; support for communities to establish Good Neighbour volunteering schemes; and support for people facing fuel poverty.
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.
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 National Lottery Fund administer a range of funds on behalf of the National Lottery