Voluntary and Community Sector Support

What we do…

We provide support to local voluntary and community groups that helps them to:

  • Be more efficient and effective
  • Be more sustainable
  • Meet their legal obligations
  • Have greater funding security
  • Be able to set up a new group/activity that meets a local need

Whether your group is large or small, established or new, we can help you to strengthen and develop it. Using our local knowledge and expertise to operate at the heart of the community, we aim to provide straightforward, useful information to help people run community and voluntary groups.

How we help you

Our Community Development Team produces a number of free facts sheets and toolkits for voluntary and community groups. Our information pages are simply written and aim to cover the essentials of running a group and its activities.

We update these information pages regularly and add new ones when we can. If you are looking for information on something not listed here, please contact us – we may be able to help.

Business Continuity

Planning for Business Continuity can help increase the chance that your organisation can recover quickly from an emergency.

Setting up a New Group Toolkit

Fact Sheets:

Finance and Funding

Financial Rules
Bank Accounts


Funding options and advice


Annual General Meetings
Role of Chair
Role of Treasurer
Role of Secretary
Checklist of Skills for Boards – Full Version
Checklist of Skills for Boards – Simple Version
Governance and Management

Staff and Volunteers

Volunteer Recruitment
Do I need to DBS my volunteers?

Planning Your Future

Business Planning

Impact, Improvement and Involvement

Impact, Improvement and Involvement Overview
Impact, Improvement and Involvement - Template


Insurance Info Sheet


Quality Info Sheet

Marketing & Promotion

Promoting your organisation
Writing a media release
When a reporter calls

Essentials Toolkit
We have produced a toolkit, called ‘Essentials’ to help you work more effectively with your local community.
The Essentials Toolkit will help you to:

- Be more effective and efficient
- Plan for your funding needs
- Support your employees and volunteers
- Meet your legal obligations
- Support your group with its ongoing sustainability

For further information on the Toolkit contact the Community Development Team on 01425 482773

• Support with:

- running an organisation
- constitutional matters
- employment practice
- writing bids
- Equipment hire
- Disclosure & Barring Service
- Test Valley payroll service - contact Claire Thornton, Test Valley Community Services, 01794 519998

Recruiting and supporting volunteers

Funding advice -

Funding questionnaire. We all need funding and when an opportunity presents itself, it is tempting to apply even if it isn’t quite right. But it takes a huge amount of resources to apply for grants. If we chased every opportunity, we would waste time and money we could better spend elsewhere and wouldn’t do justice to those opportunities which are most important.

Only you can make that decision – but we have outlined some questions that will help you to reach that decision and give you the relevant information you need to target where you should apply for funding. For further information on the funding questionnaire contact the Community Development Team on 01425 482773.

Fundraising toolkit - A guide to fundraising and organising fundraising events giving you guidance with the key aspects of successful fundraising. For further information on the Toolkit contact the Community Development Team on 01425 482773.

List of policies - If you would like a copy of any of these policies contact the Community Development Team on 01425 482773

Where we provide the service
Our services are available across the New Forest District

Our commitment to quality
Community First is an ISO 9001 accredited company. This is the internationally recognised quality standard for the management of business. We are committed to providing a quality service and continually strive to improve the service we deliver

What our clients say

“Without your guidance and help setting up our group I doubt if we would be in existence, your support and patience is very much appreciated!”

“The training was really professional and I feel so much more confidant with my new skills.”

“We have just heard we have been successful in our bid!  Thanks so much for your help, I don’t think we could have done it without your expertise.”

How to contact us

Community First New Forest
First Floor Offices,
71 Christchurch Road,
BH24 1DH

Tel : 01425 482773
Fax : 01425 482666
Web Site www.cfnf.org.uk

Office opening hours
9am-5pm Monday to Thursday
9am-4.30pm Friday