Founded in 1965, Community First is a registered charity and a private company limited by guarantee. With the aim of strengthening communities, growing communities and tackling disadvantage across Wiltshire and Swindon, a team of professional staff provides technical advice, practical support and grant aid to promote local initiatives. Community First also manages countywide programmes bringing benefits to local people, informing and influencing policy makers in the development of rural policies and practices.
Membership of the Charity is comprised of supporting groups and individuals drawn from local communities, statutory bodies and parish and town councils in Wiltshire and Swindon. Community First is a part of the Rural Community Action Network, which operates through Rural Community Councils in each of England's shire counties, supporting the work of the voluntary sector in rural communities and market towns. The network is known nationally as ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), and regionally as SWAN (South West ACRE Network).
Governance of Community First is through a Board of Trustees appointed for their skills and expertise in a range of relevant disciplines to ensure robust oversight of the charity . The Board has final legal authority and is responsible for overseeing the operation of the entire charity and its activities.