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Here at CDF, we’re passionate about giving communities across the country the opportunity to shape where they live. This is why

1. Community organisations need funding and support

The obvious one: community groups provide fantastically good value for money in terms of the services and support they deliver, but they still need continued funding to keep doing what they’re doing or to start new projects like taking over a building, some land or a public service.

2. Community organisations need information that’s accessible

Volunteers in community organisations, on the whole, are fairly time-starved. Information about what support is out there and the options they have to take more control over their area needs to be jargon-free and easy to access.

3. Community organisations need to network with one another

This was the response that came up most of all. When community organisations get the chance to meet each other, they can share resources, experiences and advice.

Welcoming the My Community programme

This is why I believe My Community is such an exciting initiative – it ticks all the boxes from our outreach work and hands communities power to make real change in their area.

Looking at the different elements CDF is contributing to My Community, I can see that it is a great resource for communities. The unique combination of grants and dedicated advice makes the process of taking more control much easier, the resources on the website are quick and easy downloads and the opportunity for organisations to meet each other through the My Community Network means that organisations everywhere can share advice and experiences with others.

The My Community Network is housed in the forum on CDF’s Just Act website and gives organisations and individuals the chance to ask questions, give advice and connect with others who are also passionate about their community.

The power of community organisations

Here at CDF we also know the power of community organisations when things go right and these three factors work together. Our latest research, Trust in Democracy: how community groups bridge the gap between people and politics, shows how community activity provides meaningful opportunities for people to get involved in society. We surveyed hundreds of community organisations and found that 45% of them were more interested in politics thanks to their community activity: a third of respondents said that their community involvement led onto more political roles, such as a councillor, school governor, or magistrate. One even went onto become a Deputy Mayor.

Getting involved locally gives people the chance to make a real difference in their area, whether that’s through taking on a formal political role, or working alongside your community to take control of land, buildings or services.

My Community is a fantastic step in the right direction, allowing communities to influence and take action on the issues which affect their lives.

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This blog was originally published on the My Community website.