Are you taking action?

As we resolve to swap chocolates for fruit and the couch for the hills and beaches of Devon to shed those festive pounds, we are wondering, at Devon Communities Together, what Devon’s communities are planning to achieve for their communities in 2015?

Budget Cuts

Over the past 4 years Devon County Council has saved nearly £128 million in its spending, with another £50 million still to be saved by 2016, as a response to the government squeeze on local authority spending.  To achieve this they have had to make a number of ‘Tough Choices’ and this has included reductions in budgets for services like youth, libraries, day care provision and others.

Sounds bleak? Yes, however the team at Devon Communities Together have witnessed how rural communities are taking positive action with a DIY approach. Rather than sitting back and waiting for someone else to fix the problem, community groups and social enterprises are being creative, innovative and enterprising, working together to protect and improve their community and to provide services that have been lost.  

Positive Action in 2015

“Proper Job” – crowdfunding success

A social enterprise based in Chagford, Devon, Proper Job’s mantra is to “reduce, reuse and recycle” and thus reduce landfill waste and improve the environment.  They collect unwanted items and then sell them on and being a not-for-profit cooperative enterprise means that their profits go back into their business and the local community.  On the 6th of January this year Proper job succeeded in smashing their £5,000 target to raise funds to replace their well-loved but now worn out van through a crowdfunding campaign.

 

Alphington Village Forum – community plan

Once a village outside of Exeter, now a rapidly expanding suburb with more growth planned.

The challenge for Alphington is to retain their community identity and cohesive spirit, ensure that facilities grow with the population and that those who move in to the area are welcomed and integrated.

Alphington have resolved to develop a Community Plan and possibly a Neighbourhood Plan to help identify and implement local actions.

 

Topsham Library

Another great example of positive action is the Estuary League of Friends in Topsham who are seeking to protect the future of their local library service through fundraising and by providing volunteers to run it.

The charity has ambitious plans for a purpose built community hub to house a number of services along with the library on the site of the existing, now passed-its-sell-by-date building. 

The charity operates 2 shops, selling donated goods in the town, which helps to provide income to continue the charities work.

 

Helping you help yourselves

New Year, new start – now you are fired up and ready to take positive action but don’t know where to start, or you are stuck in a rut?

Devon Communities Together has been supporting community groups and social enterprises for over 50 years. We have specialist qualified advisors who can help you make things happen, concept to start up, funding and completion.

For more advice and support please call Devon Communities Together on 01392 248919 or email info@devoncommunities.org.uk.

 

Upcoming events

Information and Advice Surgery – 16th February, drop in from 10am – 8pm.

 

Social Enterprise Workshops:

Intro to Social Enterprise, 10th February 2015, 1pm – 5pm

Sustainable Funding, 26th February 2015, 1pm – 5pm

From Ideas to Enterprise, 19th March, 1pm – 5pm

Funding for Start Up and Growth, 26th March, 1pm – 5pm


All events to be held at Devon Communities Together HQ - view directions here.


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mage: Alphington Village www.alphingtonforum.co.uk