Over the last eight years we have helped establish a great number of new community groups associated with protecting, conserving and enhancing the environment, ranging from 'Friends of parks groups' to more formal environmental groups and charities with legal structures. Using this experience, as well as drawing upon knowledge from working across the charitable sector, we can help and support you to develop your ideas and your group.
We have developed guidance to help set up environmental groups. To find out more about setting up 'Friends of' parks groups, go to our "Friends of" groups webpage.
Most councils, including the London Borough of Richmond, will only recognise environmental or community groups if they are constituted and have an open voting process to elect representatives to their committees. This is to ensure that any group is open and representative of the surrounding neighbourhood and community, and it is also considered good practice for groups to have these in place.
We can help you with all aspects of establishing a group; getting people together, governing documents/constitutions, working with and linking with the the council, raising funds, buying tools, getting insurance, developing policies and procedures and practical support etc.
An unincorporated voluntary association or a not-for-profit company can apply for charitable status, but this must be approved by the Charity Commission; for charity 'models', see the Charity Commission website.
We can help your group with:
- A telephone and email advice and support service
- Provide template constitutions and policies
- Access to our discount insurance scheme
- Provide a webpage on our site and support you developing your own website through the free e-voice platform
- Access to free monthly training and support sessions on the third Wednesday of the month (for groups in Richmond Borough) in setting up and using social media, websites, creating e-news circulars etc.
- Provide a forwarding email address; avoiding the need to use personal email addresses on publicity materials
- Provide a geographical address (our office) should you need one
- Network your group with similar groups in the area to share ideas and good practices
- Receive our monthly e-news providing news, information on good practices, funding sources etc
- Signpost specialist support services (such as legal advice)
- Promote your group and any events you undertake through our website and social media sites/platforms
- Help to find and secure funding
- Provide help with financial planning
- Run an organisational/group health check and help you develop areas if needed
- Lend items for free from our library (laptop, projector, display screens and marquee)
Here are some templates that may be useful for setting up your group:
Here are sample Agenda and Minute sheets that you can use for your meetings and adjust according to your needs:
Give us a call or email to discuss your needs.
We are also very happy to come and meet with you and hear your ideas.
We also run an evening drop-in for environmental groups in Richmond Borough every third Wednesday of the month at our office in East Twickenham. Email us to arrange a time.