Opinion Former Article

Just Act, a new national website that helps community groups across the country get support, funding and advice launches today

Just Act (www.justact.org.uk) provides and signposts practical information, resources and support for all types of community project. It will help communities groups starting out and groups that want to expand. It features a combination of crowd-sourced content, links to other websites and a forum where people can chat and ask questions. It is managed by the Community Development Foundation (CDF), a charity and the leading community development organisation in the country. The website is supported by the Government and a whole range of well known national community organisations.

Who is it for?


There are two key audiences that the site is tailored for:
1.      People in communities, who want to start a community project (anything from a community event and pop-up cause to setting up a constituted group). People may not yet think of themselves as ‘community activists’ but have an idea and want some help and advice.

2.      People and organisations that are already active in their local community who might want to expand their group, find new resources or funding to help them run their project or organisation more efficiently.

Local community groups all over the country tested Just Act.
The Wellside, Tottenham

The Wellside project comes out of the work of the people of Holy Trinity church in Tottenham. They aim to meet with, work alongside and serve the community around them. They run community outreach projects and events for families, including activities for children, a seasonal pop up café, and film projects. They also allow other local groups to use their facilities in their Old School House that functions as a community centre, right by the church itself.

Matthew Creber Community Mission Associate at the Wellside said “Just Act is really useful. I didn’t know that a lot of these resources existed, so I would not have been able to find them if I just tried to search for them online. It is good that Just Act is there as a one stop shop. Just Act feels like someone has gone and done the hard work for me”


Alison Seabrooke, chief executive for CDF said “We have spent the last 50 years working with over 30,000 grassroots community groups. Times have changed and those who want to set up or expand a community group want real-time advice and guidance on how to do that. Just Act will make it easier to find out how you can take the first step – or the next step.  You will find help and advice from those who have been there and done that and want to share their experiences.”

Stephen Williams, Communities Minister, Department for Communities and Local Government said “I am delighted to see the launch of Just Act. We want to see all communities use the opportunities we have provided to step up and take control and finding the right help and resources is absolutely key. I hope that communities and individuals all over the country will use Just Act to help them start their own journey towards greater activism and control of local issues.”

Do we need another website for communities?

This website does not try and replicate what is already out there. Instead it offers useful resources (reviewed and uploaded by users), links that take you to the exact place you need on other websites and, if you feel like you want to ask a question, a forum that will support you. The website is managed by the Community Development Foundation (CDF) who have worked with communities, asking them what they want and need to ‘Just Act’ and do more in their local area. Through focus groups, discussions with national infrastructure organisations and 32 user testing events around the country, they are confident that the website is responding to a need in communities.

It’s a national site – how will it offer me local information?

The advice and guidance on the site is as relevant to your local area as it is to a national organisation. Local people have uploaded content and reviewed resources that are on the site. We are also recruiting Community Champions who will help answer questions on the forum and who will be from all over the country, so we can offer real examples and shared experiences from your local area.

How can I get involved?

Log on to  www.justact.org.uk. You can upload useful documents, rate what’s already on there, go onto the forum and ask a question or help to answer one. If you are interested in getting more involved CDF is recruiting Community Champions for the site who will be on hand to answer questions on the forum. With email alerts set up to prompt you when a question is asked in your area, or on a topic you know a lot about, you could be helping lots of community groups get more active.

Notes to Editors:
For more information on Just Act, or to talk to The Wellside Tottenham, please contact:
Jenny Olsen: 02087 812 1572 / 0770 9323 690Jenny.olsen@cdf.org.uk
Charlotte Stuffins: 0207 812 5422/ 07872 507 859Charlotte.stuffins@cdf.org.uk

The Community Development Foundation runs and manages Just Act. www.cdf.org.uk The Department of Communities and Local Government has supported the launch of the site. A whole range of organisations have also helped to ensure that the content of the site brings the most up to date information, advice and resources. They include: Acre, The Big Lottery Fund,  The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA),  The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE),  Locality,  The Plunkett Foundation , The National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (navca),  The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO),  The Social Investment Business Group (The SIB Group) and Unltd
 




Jenny Olsen
Director
Community  Development Foundation
Unit 5, Angel Gate
320 - 326, City Road
London EC1V 2PT

Direct line: 020 7812 1572
Mob: 0770 9323 690
www.cdf.org.uk
www.loveyourcommunity.org.uk

www.facebook.com/communitydevelopmentfoundation
www.twitter.com/tweetcdf

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