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Resources for Community Groups

Updated 16/9/13

Follow the trail

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Content throughout VolResource is written for those involved with small to medium size voluntary or community organisations. There is huge diversity within this grouping with, for instance, some community based groups being larger than various national bodies in terms of staff and funding. To separate out content as only applicable to a sub-sector would generally be wrong, but we have come up with some specific pointers and a few topics of interest.



This is a listing style page, in the Information Sources grouping.

Support Bodies

Other Resources

ARVAC, the sector research body, used to have a Community Research Project to help community groups to undertake research. Still worth checking what training and support is available.

Community Relations Council in Northern Ireland promotes better community relations and recognition of cultural diversity.

Community Tool Box aims to "support your work in promoting community health and development", but much of what they offer could be equally useful to others involved in community settings. Sample topics: group facilitation, social marketing, community planning, plus there are some trouble-shooting guides. Not sure the categorisation of material always works, but fairly easy to navigate.

Create a Council from NALC - a guide to creating a parish council or town council (obviously where none exists already).

Planning Aid (England) offers free, independent and professional advice on town planning matters to community groups and individuals who cannot afford to employ a planning consultant.

Community Planning is a site to help people shape their cities, towns and villages.

Village Halls info from SCVO (they used to have a dedicated website) for anyone involved with village halls and community buildings in Scotland.

International Association for Community Development "building a global network of people and organisations working toward social justice through community development".

There are some research bodies interested in community perpectives - see our listings page.

Community Profiling


Two (defunct) programs to help you put together and analyse surveys at a community level:

Compass for Windows was from Policy Research Institute, Leeds Metropolitan University, but seems to have disappeared. 30 day evaluation version, £95 + VAT single user licence for community groups. Phone 0113 283 1749, email:

Village Appraisals for Windows from Countryside and Community Research Institute. Launched April '98, £75 for a complete pack - probably no longer available.


Community Impact Bucks (previously Bucks Community Action) had Village and Community Appraisals pages, now removed? Their definition:

a survey of an area carried out by the people who live or work there.
a way of gathering facts and opinions about the community from local people themselves.
can be conducted in a village, parish or urban community.
involves all local people and which benefits the area.
may identify what needs conserving and what needs improving or changing.

Rural Resources is experienced in community consultation - see Consultancy Services.

Also see Achieving Better Community Development - Planning and Monitoring page.