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Following a pattern established during the first round, about 30% of Community Ownership Fund Round 2 awards announced at the end of last year were societies using community shares in their financial models, and also as their match funding.
The Community Ownership Fund is providing £150 million over four years to support UK community groups take ownership of assets and amenities at risk of being lost. Voluntary and community groups can bid for match funding to acquire important assets and run them for the benefit of the local community.
At least nine of the 31 grants – totalling £2,407,615 – awarded in Round 2 used community shares for their match funding.
Two Bristol groups, both supported by CAN to develop and launch their community share offers, applied in Round 2.
Deeper insights into and a shared understanding of stakeholders and their needs will result in better planning, more appropriate governance, systemic improvements, greater efficiency, an increased chance of survival and better outcomes.
An organisation will struggle or fail if it doesn’t operate in the interests of its key stakeholder group, balance the interests of all its stakeholder groups and involve stakeholder groups in governance appropriately. Therefore it’s crucial for an organisation to know and understand its stakeholder groups and their needs.
It is tempting to assume that an intuitive understanding of stakeholder groups will suffice – and indeed that may have got you this far – but deeper insights and a shared understanding that lead to improved stakeholder engagement will result in better planning, more appropriate governance, systemic improvements, greater efficiency, an increased chance of survival and better outcomes.
Carrying out an analysis of stakeholders may have some surprising results and may change perspectives. In any case, times change and it is important to keep up with stakeholders’ changing needs.
A stakeholder analysis report can provide evidence to funders and supporters and is a crucial component of any corporate feasibility study. It is necessary for social enterprises and community businesses in particular to have a detailed understanding of, and rich relationships with, their stakeholders.
CAN welcomes news of a £500,000 government grant to housing support organisations for training social housing tenants, enabling them to engage more effectively with their landlords and gain a stronger voice.
The training will be provided by the Confederation of Co-operative Housing (CCH) and Public Participation, Consultation and Research (PPCR), to help residents living in England gain a “higher quality of service” from their landlords where needed.
We’re pleased to report that CAN’s housing co-ops lead worker Hilary Sudbury has been reaccredited as a Community Led Homes Adviser.
Community-led housing is a growing movement whereby people take action to manage and/or build affordable homes.
By John Merritt
The Ways Forward 2022 conference in October set out to explore the key role of co-operation in community-led responses to the climate crisis, “that not only enable us to take action to cut our emissions, but also build the new organisations and businesses that we need for a regenerative future, and do it in a just and fair way”. CAN’s John Merritt went along, and penned this report.
Centrespace Gallery, BristoI. Image: Google
Workers.coop, a “self-organising collective with big plans”, is running events in Bristol and London as part of a series that aims to “raise awareness, get feedback and start organising” in its mission to build a new national federation of worker-led co-ops.
Workers.coop aims to develop industry networks, provide advice in an agile way and make worker co-op options available to new sectors and young workers in particular, with an orientation to the social justice movement. You are invited to get involved at this crucial start-up stage.
An increasing number of our clients are signing up for our subscription service because they find it offers convenience, flexibility and control without imposing any obligation to purchase and there are no additional fees. It works like this:
After an initial, free consultation, we set up an As And When Contract (AAWC) with the purchaser, using one of a number of templates that we have developed and refined over many years. This enables them to draw down services from us as and when required.
To place an order, we negotiate terms and use a Confirmation Of Instruction (COI) form to agree them. We then deliver the services, which may be consultancy, training or business services, and we invoice against the work done. As per our Terms of Trade, we do not charge for administration, research, travel downtime or expenses, unless agreed in advance due to nature or location of the work.
If more time or another service is required another COI is raised and agreed. In this way a client may be receiving, for example, payroll services for a year, a couple of days of HR support and a business strategy workshop.
It is the convenience of being to place an order quickly and with minimal fuss when an AAWC is already in place that our clients like so much.
Crowdfunding platform Fundsurfer has described working with CAN on its first community share offer, raising funds for Stoke Croft Land Trust, as a “brilliant experience”.
How can co-operation and co-operatives be seen not just as relevant, but as a central organising principle in the climate movement? What is the best way that we can together build effective alliances across communities that address the need for systemic change? Why is climate justice a central issue for the co-operative movement?
This conference will be an important focal point and - we hope - an energising springboard for practical action at scale.
Go here for more information and to register. Early Bird prices hold until 20th September.
Ways Forward is organised by Platform 6 Development Co-operative Limited, which is supported by CAN through the provision of a director.
Village community enterprise at Little Canfield in Essex
Community Economic Development (CED) is all about people coming together to have a positive effect on their local economy.
Whether it’s to create, or save, a village resource like a community shop, pub or pop-up market, or perhaps to acquire or renovate a building to create a shared local space for community activities or use as a venue, CED involves people shaping their local communities and their local economies.
They could come together as individuals, or as a group of representative organisations.
Voluntary organisations or local businesses could also work jointly to create economic opportunities for mutual advantage – and consequently also benefit the communities in which they operate. And other key institutions such as colleges, hospitals, credit unions or the local authority could also become involved in CED projects.
CAN has worked with people on a raft of CED projects over the years.
Many small businesses struggle to maintain a coherent and up-to-date set of policies. There are two aspects to this: policy development and policy management, and we can help with both. We recently carried out a full review of our policy set and management systems and in doing so we have developed tools that we are keen to share with our clients.