Until recently Chippenham-based charity, DEVELOP, was at risk following a cut in its statutory funding. Whilst the organisation has been successful in raising some funding, the future sustainability of DEVELOP as an independent organisation was still in doubt.
Following talks with Community First and the outcome of its recent Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), the decision has been made to transfer a selection of key DEVELOP services to Community First as part of its community development offering. The transfer will take place in early July 2016.
Once the team and services have transferred, DEVELOP will remain open as a registered charity in a limited capacity to fulfil contractual agreements, before being dissolved once these agreements are completed.
Existing Community First initiatives
Jane Windle-Hartshorn (currently Chief Executive of DEVELOP) will join Community First as Head of Community Development, reporting to Chief Executive Lynn Gibson.
Jane will oversee the implementation of the proposed new community development offering and work with the team at Community First to develop existing initiatives including EnACT, Community Led Planning and Parent Champions. Jane is responsible for ensuring new initiatives work in harmony with the existing offering at Community First.
The new offering
Working alongside the team at Community First, Jane will create a consolidated and refreshed community support offering including digital and creative initiatives, some of which are unique in the county:
- A new community development website dedicated to supporting the sector
- A blog featuring best practice and co-created content from thought-leaders in the sector and beyond
- Volunteering support – including free access to volunteer matching database Volunteer Connect
- A revised membership offering including our Community Portal:
- Digital resources including factsheets and downloadable templates
- Online support sessions including live chat
- Connect with sector colleagues in our members only forum
- A searchable funding calendar so you never miss a deadline again
- Research and insights relevant to the sector
A creative agency with a social mission
Alongside this we are delighted to announce that the new offering will also include a creative agency dedicated to supporting voluntary and community organisations.
With paid-for services including web development, branding, social media and bespoke campaigns, this initiative is one of the first of its kind in the country.
Want to find out more? We are now accepting briefs for creative projects including website design which you can send to Ellie Ewing (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We are currently accepting new creative projects and will continue to do so throughout 2016 and into 2017. We hope to have the new community development initiative up and running in the Autumn. Stay tuned for more information!
With warm regards and best wishes,
Chair of Trustees