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Support Offer

HartlePower Community Trust's original VCS Development Team

Four years’ experience of establishing a Hartlepool voluntary development agency – with a gradual evolution of our offer, as described in the sections above; trusted working relationships with multiple Hartlepool Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations and with numerous staff across all the key statutory agencies covering Hartlepool; an established “go to” team for anyone with an interest in making connections with Hartlepool’s VCS organisations or wanting advice on establishing a new not-for-profit initiative; a base shared through hot desking with several initiatives (including the LARCH manager, Thrive Teesside team, Tees Valley Sport & HBC volunteer coordinator); partnership work with both Teesside University and Northumbria University; some VCSE representational responsibilities.

HartlePower Community Trust supporting organisations

Connecting people/organisations and relationship building

We provide a regular networking forum for voluntary & community organisations, social enterprises, statutory partners, such as Hartlepool Council, and businesses – through a twice-monthly Voluntary, Community & Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector Connector meeting on the first (face to face) & third (virtual) Tuesday of each calendar month. Having a birds eye view of the sector, we are always on the lookout for , and making, connections between people/organisations who might benefit from a better understanding each other’s activities and goals.

Information & awareness raising

We produce a twice-monthly information bulletin for the sector – the “VCSE Newsletter” – which includes sections on funding, events, consultations, research as well as the most recent VCSE Sector Connector notes. Currently there are around 400 subscribers, of which 173 are associated with voluntary & community organisations. From time to time we circulate other news of interest to the sector, such as imminent events and special requests of the sector. 

Grants & funding awareness

We provide one-to-one advice and support to organisations seeking funding for their work, including reviewing funding bids. We also convene occasional face to face Funder Forums, in which funders present their goals and invite questions and enquiries from participants. We promote promising funding opportunities in our twice monthly newsletter and through social media. Regular conversations with local and regional funders keep us abreast of potential funding for Hartlepool groups – and we keep up to date with national grant giving trends and opportunities for social investment.

Support and mentoring

We support people wanting to start new initiatives for community benefit, including establishing informal voluntary groups, new community businesses as well as incorporated organisations such as Charitable Incorporated Organisations and Community Interest Companies. We work alongside people to explore the most appropriate governance arrangement all the way through to moving into the sector with confidence, feeling well-informed and well connected. 

Training and awareness raising workshops

Each month we alternate our half-day Effective Bid Writing & Organisational Governance workshops – which are open to all comers, particularly people starting out on their journey of establishing a new organisation for community benefit. A third half-day workshop “Promoting Your Organisation – please start now!” is being developed. From time to time we invite external organisations to host events to inform and inspire the sector around topics such topics as marketing, recruitment and social care.

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