Becoming a memberis the best way to get help from Community First Yorkshire, but we have a lot of free rural resources that can help you. You can attend our free networking events to bring your community’s concerns to the table and rub shoulders with other organisations from across Yorkshire.
Rural Community Building Resources | Information for Village Halls and other community venues
Community First Yorkshire Community Building members have access to a comprehensive suite of 40 information sheets on subjects as varied as dealing with asbestos, managing VAT on building projects, running a bingo night, managing car parking and many others. We also have model documents to provide you with templates if you want to put in place new policies on anything from the Environment to Safeguarding Children, or if you want to make sure that your community building’s governing documents are up to scratch. Information sheets and model documents are free to members or can be purchased individually. Call us to find out more.
Support for Community Buildings | Helping halls be the centre of their community
As well as our Information Sheets and Model Documents, we offer a range of support for village halls and other community run buildings. Our telephone and email support service offers a free initial consultation to non-members, but Community First Yorkshire members can access more in-depth research and support for those complex issues. Our regular Community Building Network meetings give community building volunteers the chance to get together with one another to share ideas and experiences, problems and solutions.
Oil-buying cooperatives | Helping rural areas lower their fuel costs
Many isolated rural areas of Yorkshire are not connected to mains gas and rely on oil for household heating, which can be significantly more expensive. A great way to reduce the cost is to set up an oil-buying cooperative in your community, benefitting from economies of scale to negotiate lower costs and more convenient delivery schedules. We can point you in the direction of your local cooperative or, if there is not one in your area, we have a toolkit which can help you get started in setting up your own.
Rural Evidence |Providing the evidence you need to support rural projects
Having evidence about your community and how it compares to others can be vital when planning or seeking funding for a new project or activity. Our Rural Evidence reports were developed by the national umbrella organisation for rural community councils, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), and Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI). The reports cover a range of topics such as deprivation, the economy, transport, health and many others, at geographical levels from Parish upwards. Initial reports are free to Community First Yorkshire members, or can be purchased by non-members. Contact us to discuss your requirements.
Energy Switch | Getting you the best deal for your community energy supplies
Community First Yorkshire has appointed LSI Energy as our preferred Energy Partner. Energy costs are a major issue for community groups and charities with their own premises, absorbing funds that could otherwise be spent on your services and activities. Energy Switch is a completely independent service that helps you get the best deals using the power of bulk buying to secure prices not available on the open market, as well as useful advice and tips on how to reduce your energy consumption. The process begins with a free no-obligation assessment of your current contracts and the switching process will be handled for you by a named account manager. Contact us for a referral and more details. UPDATE: The market for non-residential water supplies has now been opened up to competition – LSI can now get you the best deal for water as well as energy supplies!
Marketing toolkit | A comprehensive guide to marketing community projects
As a partner in the Rural Voice project in 2015 we worked with Insight Best Practice to create a marketing toolkit for community groups. The toolkit is designed to be worked through as a small team and will take you step-by-step through the stages you need to cover to effectively market the work you do, from understanding the market for your work, through developing a marketing plan, to implementing great marketing activity. The whole toolkit is appropriate to any scale of project, but if you’re short of time we also have a short guide to Marketing Basics. Contact us for more information and to get copies of the toolkit and guide.
For all other events offered by Community First Yorkshire or our partners, our events calendar is updated regularly with the latest forthcoming training, events and network meetings. You can also keep an eye on our Twitterfeed .