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Online Guidance and Toolkits

If you are a community or voluntary group, or someone who works to support them you can access our wide range of online resources by downloading our information sheets and model documents designed to support all aspects of your work.

If you have any questions, or cannot find the relevant information you need, contact our advice service by email or call the advice line 0845 847 4253* Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9.30 -1.00. 

1. Setting up a Community Organisation

The steps to take in setting up a new group or community organisation and how to identify what services would best meet the needs of your local neighbourhood.  This section also covers networking and how to market your organisation, writing newsletters and press releases.

2. Legal Structures and Charitable Status

The various legal structures available to organisations together with their pros and cons plus the benefits of charitable status and how to register as a charity.  Also provided are model Constitutions and model Memorandum and Articles of Association - see Model documents below

3. Trustee Roles and Responsibilities

Why become a trustee? What are the roles and responsibilities of individual officers, the committee or board and committee procedures? Do I need insurance?

4. Running Your Organisation

What you need to know about committees and AGMs, business planning, contracts, procurement, making the organisation sustainable, insurance and much more.

5. Policy Matters

Information about the various policies an organisation should have from a code of conduct to Equal Opportunities together with some specimen documents.

6. Community Asset Transfer

Community Asset transfer (CAT) refers to the shift in management and/or ownership of buildings or land usually from public bodies (most commonly local authorities) to communities (usually to local community and voluntary sector groups).  It is also very much about the people in the community: their relationships, passions, skills, knowledge and experiences as well as their innovations and aspirations.

7. Finance and Funding

Financial management including drawing up budgets, balance sheets and accounting requirements as well as preparing funding applications, and whistle-blowing.

8. Activities and Trading

How to develop activities as well as how to trade legally, and when you will need licences or permissions including music licences, alcohol or for bingo.

9. Building Management

Landlords and leases, maintaining and improving a community building, building regulations, planning permission, rates and insurance. Also provided are Model leases.

10. Health and Safety

What the law requires and good practice, risk assessments, food hygiene, fire and building regulations and using fireworks.

11. Employment

The law on employment and employee rights, contracts of employment, new auto-enrol pensions, how to recruit and manage employees, specimen contracts and job descriptions.

12. Children and Young People in Community Centres

What you need to know about Safeguarding, CRB checks, Youth Clubs, Out of School Clubs and Parent &Toddler Groups.

13. Volunteers and Volunteering

How to recruit and manage volunteers, paying expenses, and volunteer assessment.

Model Documents:

A set of essential model documents that can be downloaded individually:










* Calls to our Advice Line on 0845 847 4253 cost 2p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.







Download other resources

You can also search our entire library of resources



Handy Tip

If you are searching for documents on something specific why not use the Keyword function and type a word in relation to the topic you are looking for. For e.g."Asset Transfer" will bring up all our resources to do with Asset Transfer.

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