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Community Support Service

Advice and support links

The activities and organisational needs of community associations are wide and varied. These links reflect this, covering a wide range of information and support

Charity Law

  • Charity Commission*
    Everything you need to know about charities – wide range of downloadable resources (organisations can also order multiple hard copies, at no cost)
  • Charity Reserves
    Guidance from Charity Commission
  • Sandy Adirondack*
    This is a very useful website and you can sign up to regular email updates on all legal matters affecting the voluntary sector
  • Charles Russell
    Searchable database of legal updates
  • LawWorks for Community Groups
    Free legal advice to small charities
  • Get Legal
    This new Toolkit has been developed by NCVO to enable organisations and their advisors to access clear information and guidance on the most appropriate legal form and governance structure for delivering their goals.May not be useful for what we do, but you never know.

Community Buildings

  • Reduced rate VAT on fuel and power used for charity non-business use
    Your charity can pay a reduced rate of VAT of 5 %on fuel and power - such as gas and electricity - that you use for non-business activities. It can also pay reduced rate VAT on maintaining equipment connected with the supply.
  • Licensing (Alcohol and entertainment)
    Department of Culture Media & Sport
  • Community Matters
    Information on managing your community building
  • Fire Safety
    Information and links about fire safety in your building, your responsibilities and fire risk assessments.
  • Access Team
    The access team is responsible for promoting accessibility by engaging and consulting with local access groups to learn about the experiences of disabled people who use our services in order to produce buildings and environments that are practical, effective and accessible for everyone.


Energy Efficiency

  • Local energy efficiency advice centre
    Wide range of advice and resources, tel 0800 512012
  • National Energy Action
    Link goes directly to an energy audit tool for community buildings. NEA work across the UK giving advice about energy efficiency and have developed a wide range of alternative energy schemes, many in community buildings


  • Data Retention
    How long should accounting records be kept?
  • Inland Revenue/VAT*
    All your tax and VAT questions
  • Funding for historic buildings
    A comprehensive guide to funding for anyone seeking to repair, restore or convert for a new use any historic building in the United Kingdom
  • Government Funding
    One-stop shop for grants. Search for funding for the voluntary and community sector from 150 Local Authorities using our NEW Local Authority Funder Finder. This site is your online portal to grants for the voluntary and community sector from the following funders:
    Local Authorities | Regional Government | Central Government | Independent Grant Administrators | European Sources
  • VAT & Charities
    HMRC Notice 701/1 defines what a charity is, how VAT affects charities, how a charity's income is treated for VAT purposes and what VAT reliefs a charity can obtain on its purchases whether or not it is registered for VAT. There are also links to other VAT exemptions and reductions that your organisation may be entitled to.

Focus Groups

  • The Community Toolbox
    Wide range of resources
  • West Berkshire County Council
    West Berkshire Council Consultation Toolkit

General Information

  • Kindle: Commissioning and the Community Sector
    How community sector organisations can be ready for Commissioning
    This publication has been written specifically for community organisations to help them understand commissioning and seize the opportunities that this process affords. These include the opportunity to use their local knowledge to shape services for children and young people as well as being funded to deliver those services.
  • e.Volve (HCC)
    e.VOLve provides an online directory of voluntary and community organisations within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The directory also includes organisations providing support from neighbouring areas.
  • Community Matters
    Community Matters is the National Federation for Community Organisations, the umbrella body for organisations managing community buildings.
  • Acronyms and Jargon
    New version for 2010 The voluntary and public sectors use a large number of acronyms and jargon. There are several resources available to help you understand the different terms used.
  • Guidance on One Day Sales
    Hampshire County Council has produced guidance on bookings and code of conduct for One Day Sales
    Booking one day sales
    One day and occasional sales - a guide for venues
    One day sales - be on your guard!


Government Information

  • Department of Children, Schools and Families
    Legislative spine for developing more effective and accessible services focussed around the needs of children, young people and families.
  • The Compact
    The agreement between Government and the voluntary and community sector in England. It recognises shared values, principles and commitments and sets out guidelines for how both parties should work together
  • Data Protection/Freedom of Information*
    The Information Commissioner's Office is the UK's independent authority set up to promote access to official information and to protect personal information
  • Freedom of information
  • National Statistics
    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK Government's main survey organisation and its main producer of official statistics. It is also the central coordinating agency for the wider Government Statistical Service (GSS).
  • Directgov
    Portal site to all UK Government information
  • Directory of Social Change*
    Information and training for the voluntary sector
  • Home Office*

Health & Safety


Other Organisations

  • Business Link
    Wide range of business advice, information and resources

  • ACRE
    Action with Communities in Rural England is the national umbrella of the Rural Community Action Network (RCAN), which operates at national, regional and local level in support of rural communities across the country.

  • National Council for Voluntary Organisations*
    Largest umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in England, providing advice, support and resources.

Social Enterprises

The following links give advice and information on what a Social Enerprise is and how to set one up