Connecting people across Wessex
WCA has registered over 100 community benefit societies since 2007 and provided dozens of these with essential support to enable their growth and realise their aims. The majority of this support has been through the Wessex CLT Project, enabling affordable housing projects but we have also developed programmes to support other social ventures and community enterprises.
Together these groups form a virtual network spread across Devon, Dorset and Somerset, all committed to community ownership and the value of working together to achieve shared goals and create better opportunities for people. Many of these groups face similar opportunities and challenges and we organise training courses and learning events to roll out best practice and help tackle problems.
We are currently working on a project, funded through the Connect Fund by the Barrow-Cadbury Trust, to explore how this fledgling network could become more joined-up. How can we facilitate peer-to-peer sharing and support? What’s the best way to communicate? What do people most want from the network and how can we facilitate that? Through 2019 we’ll be researching these questions and aim to share our conclusions early in 2020.