A £1.4m nationwide campaign to inspire people who want to make a real difference in their rural communities will be launched with two flagship events in February.
The free events in Bristol and Darlington kick off the latest phase of Village SOS, a Big Lottery funded campaign that enables people to come together and make the most of where they live.

The drop-in days are open to anyone from a rural community who needs inspiration, skills or support to get a great idea or budding project off the ground.
Whether it’s as simple as a car share scheme, or as ambitious as opening a community café, the Village SOS campaign can help.

The dates and venues for the launch events are:

  • Armada Conferencing Centre, Bristol, Saturday, February 21, 10am-4pm
  • The WM Morrison Enterprise Trust, Darlington, Saturday, February 28, 10am-4pm

The informal events are organised by ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), the lead partner
in the UK-wide campaign, and research partner Rocket Science. It will feature workshops, networking, and exhibitions and advice from funders and community support agencies.

“These events are for anyone across the UK who wants to find out more about Village SOS and how it can help their community. “We’ll be running repeated workshops throughout the days around how to get a project started, where to look for funding and how to recruit volunteers. There’ll also be a chance to hear from successful community enterprises in their own words. “Village SOS is all about helping to keep communities alive and thriving. So whether your idea is big or small, why not drop in and join us for a cup of tea or coffee and some good advice on how to breathe
new life into your village?

Chris Cowcher, Village SOS Community Manager

Village SOS is also looking for potential volunteer mentors to sign up to support the campaign. Chris said: “Learning from communities who’ve already done it themselves is at the heart of our campaign. We want to hear from people who are willing to share the secrets of their successful projects with others who are just starting out. We’ll provide training and cover expenses. Just drop in on the day to find out more.”

Please register here for the Bristol event and here for the Darlington event or telephone Chris Cowcher on 01285 653477.