Community First Yorkshire is charity formed by the merger of North Yorkshire & York Forum (NYYF) and Rural Action Yorkshire (RAY). Both were long established organisations that had worked to support voluntary, community and rural organisations since 1937.
NYFF was a strategic body which championed the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector by connecting, representing and supporting voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises.
RAY provided support to parish councils, village hall committees and other rural community groups to enable them to provide the services and facilities needed by those who live and work in rural areas. RAY also provided a strong rural voice to key decision makers at local, regional and national levels to influence rural service provision.
Much of the work of these two organisations has continued following the merger to become Community First Yorkshire. Our aim is to provide wide-ranging and enhanced support to voluntary, community and rural organisations across North, South and West Yorkshire. We are keen to develop new services and broker new opportunities for our members and partners.
Following our experience of merging, we have been working with the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) on two short films that look at the decision to merge. Community First Yorkshire staff share their experience of what merger feels like and what has changed six months on. You can view the videos on the IVAR website here.
The resources on the IVAR website look at: whether merger is the right ‘survival strategy’ for your organisation? How do you decide what to prioritise when everything is important? What works for setting up cross sector working? What is core funding, and how do you know if you are ready to apply for it? These questions are all explored in a free new website for charity CEOs and trustees.
The resource is designed to make useful and usable insights quick to find and digest. By sharing findings developed over 17 years of close collaboration with the voluntary, public and funding sectors, IVAR is aiming to help leaders make informed, confident decisions about the future.