Village SOS – A Beginner’s Guide
Chris Cowcher, the new Community Manager for Village SOS (VSOS), discusses the campaign’s new focus and how your project can get involved.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Chris and I’ve just started as the new Community Manager for Village SOS (VSOS) working for Action with Communities in Rural England.
We are relaunching the VSOS campaign and this time round the sole focus is on promoting and linking up like-minded projects so they can learn from each other’s experiences.
I’m really excited about being involved with the campaign as I’ve had the pleasure of working with community projects in the past, through my roles at Gloucestershire Rural Community Council and South Gloucestershire Council and it never fails to amaze me how much is achieved by volunteer community activists.
Are you involved with an innovative or enterprising project in your community? Or have you got an idea for a project you’d like to start? It would be great to have you on board because VSOS is a campaign that focuses on you and is a resource for you to use however you see fit.
We know every community project is different and the idea is that VSOS will guide you through a process of deciding on the next steps that are right for you. You’ll also get support to make progress because it’s about action not just about writing plans. Although not an exhaustive list, through VSOS you may get support related to;
- Promoting your project better – Have you got a website? How good is it?
- Raising the money needed to complete an action – What investment opportunities/funds are out there?
- Community consultation – You’ve got to get people on board locally
- Becoming more professional – Do you need to refresh or develop a business plan?
- Considering new activities for your project – It’s always beneficial to get more people involved
At the heart of what we’re doing with VSOS is ‘community-to-community learning’ – it may very well be that one project is put in touch with – or will visit – another to learn how they are doing things. We’ve also got a network of VSOS Mentors, with skills and expertise that could be used as a resource in your action plan.
Go on, get involved – sign up as a member here. You will hear about events and campaign updates, receive a fortnightly e-news feed straight to your email and be sent the Monthly VSOS Campaign Newsletter. All members will also get a copy of the ‘How to Create a Sustainable Community Enterprise’ (pictured).