Resource Centre support work with volunteer run community groups in East Brighton area has almost doubled in the last year. Our latest report to East Brighton Trust shows that we have continued to provide essential support with our Accounts Examination and Design & Print service. In addition, demand for one-to-one support and consultancy, in all aspects of running a group, has more than doubled. It has been inspiring to see so many new groups, run entirely by local people, emerging and finding their feet over the last year. This adds to the many groups that continue to do what they do so well, understanding the needs of their community and taking action to support local people and bring them together.
One-to-one support and consultancy
We provided 56 one-to-one support sessions (compared to 22 in the previous year) to 20 different groups. Seven of these groups are either new or had never used the Resource Centre before.
Collectively, they help and improve the wellbeing of a wide range of local people from ‘the cradle to the grave’ and lots of people in between.
They help improve the local woods, parks and outdoor spaces; provide lunches for children, families and older people; organise events that are free to local people; provide art and dance activities; run community buildings; investigate local history; create newsletters; and provide a hub where local people can come together to build networks and friendships.
We supported groups to draft constitutions, policies and procedures; think about legal structures and report to the Charity Commission; keep their accounts and prepare their budgets; improve their communication and use of social media; apply for funding and evaluate their projects.
All the groups we support are run by local volunteers for local people. Those involved have a commitment to their community and a vision of how they can improve it. But often they have no experience in running a group and need to develop lots of new skills to do it effectively.
In our support sessions we work with people in a way that they feel comfortable. We ask them how they run their groups, what things they find difficult and get an understanding of their confidence levels and skills. We then help them to move forward in a way that suits them and their group, working good practice into their existing systems.
Feedback from groups
We ask groups for feedback after each package of support is completed. Out of 16 requests for feedback we received 11 responses. All of those who responded said the support they received was excellent, they felt more confident and their group would be able to work better as a result.
In the words of Brighton and Hove Filipino Community
“Mireille has been very helpful and accommodating to us. She has been very specific with what requirements do we need for the submission of our application. She has guided us all throughout and has been so patient with us meeting the deadline. We are so grateful as a community that there are people who are there to help.”
Moulsecoomb Chomp said:
“The work Resource Centre does is imperative to supporting community groups of all shapes, sizes and persuasions.”
We carried out 17 Accounts Examinations for 16 different groups. This provides groups with an accurate summary of their accounts to share with members and funders. It also gives Treasurers the opportunity to check the procedures they are using and get some advice and support if they need it.
Feedback from groups
We received feedback cards from 69% of these groups.
They all said the service was excellent.
East Brighton Bygones said:
“Thank you so much for doing our accounts. It’s good to know we always have someone friendly and reliable to help us. If it wasn’t for you, it would be a lot harder for us!”
Metamorphosis and Splatt Art Group said:
“Very good explanation & suggestions and advice given. Very fast turnaround – just a week. Very well presented accounts which has already helped us in sending funding bids for our small groups. The Resource Centre enables our small community groups to function even better and removes some of the problems we encounter. Ongoing training will be taken up shortly to tidy up and streamline the accounts.”
Design and print
We did 26 different design and print jobs for ten different groups. This included production of newsletters, flyers and posters.
Thank you to East Brighton Trust
We would like to thank East Brighton Trust for supporting this work with a grant of £3,000. This grant supports just under half the work done in 2018, with the remainder (£3,130) being funded from Resource Centre reserves.