What We Do - Our support for new groups in North Norfolk

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What We Do 

We provide support and advice for voluntary sector groups.  These can be anything from small local groups to registered and unregistered charities, and social enterprises.  Collectively these are called Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations.  We aim to be a one-stop-shop for organisations at any stage in their development, and can provide support around topics like: 

  • Finding funding 
  • Answering governance queries 
  • Advice on how to start up 
  • Support to get the right structure 
  • Policy advice  

And much more!  If it is to do with VCSE organisations, we can help or signpost you to the best place to get help.  

Our Support for New Groups in North Norfolk

North Norfolk District Council recognise the value of having a strong vibrant VCSE sector in North Norfolk, and commissioned us to create resources for new organisations, starting up in the District.   These resources are a self-guided learning tool.  You don't have to use them all, but by going through them you should have everything you need to get started!

Getting Started

So you have got an idea for a group...

To help get some of your ideas organised why not complete our questionnaire to see what areas you might need to work on.

Our Starting a New Group factsheet aims to help people who have an idea, and a small team, and want to start putting their ideas together from the same starting point.  

Taking on a shape (and why you should)  

Having some sort of recognised structure helps you to ensure the group runs as you would like it to, but more than that, it helps outside organisations (like statutory services) to see you are serious about the group's running.  It also helps you to be able to access funding.  It doesn't have to be a big registered structure, but you should at least consider a governing document (sometimes called a constitution).

Why should we have a constitution?

The Charity Commission provides template governing documents for all sorts of charity groups.  You can find these here. To make things easier for you, we have a put a template here, with comments to help you create your own.

Aims, Purposes, and Objects

Your constitution (governing document) will ask you to set out your "purposes" (Sometimes called "aims" or "objects").  If your organisation is planning to operate as a charity (regardless of size) these will be essential. Making sure they are appropriate is a must.  Watch our video to tell you a bit more.

The Charity Commission provides guidance on how to write your purposes, which you can find here, and they have created some example purposes for different types of charity, which you can find here.  Remember, our Development Team can help check over your purposes if you are unsure.  

Raising your profile  

Reaching People

So you've got a team, you're ready to start helping people, but how do they know you are there? We all know a web presence is vital, and that social media is a free alternative to a website, but it's only good if you know how to reach people with it.  We've made an online version of our "Using Social Media" training session - it's a bit longer than the other videos, but chock-full of useful information.

You can use our Social Media Training Exercise alongside this video to capture your ideas and make a mini plan for your first few posts.

Managing Volunteers 

When you start to promote your activities, you might find you need more volunteers to carry them out.  You can plan a social media campaign to recruit them, but before you start to grow your team, here is a mini training session about the basics of good volunteer management. 

Resources we mentioned in this video:


We have a whole raft of resources available for community groups, but for new groups these can feel a bit too big, so we have adapted some of good practice basic resources and made them available as part of our Connect Scheme offer (More details here). 

Resources Connect Schemes can benefit from: 

  • Insurance cover under our policy 
  • Model policies such as money handling, safeguarding, and equal opportunities 
  • Guidance and support around data protection and safeguarding 
  • Up to 10 DBS Checks for volunteers (If needed) 
  • Handbook and toolkit for volunteers 
  • Training opportunities 
  • Support with promoting and marketing your group 

If you are interested in these resources, and becoming a Connect Scheme, please get in contact.   

Our North Norfolk Dashboard

Click through our dashboard to find out more information about the types of community development and strategic support we are providing, as well as upcoming training and our partnerships.

Updates for North Norfolk

As part of our advocacy efforts for the Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector in 2022 we identified a need for referrers to voice their concerns and share professional insights.  To address this gap, we initiated Referrers' Network Meetings quarterly in Breckland and North Norfolk.

Are you winter-ready?  Check you have everything you need to look after your health to prevent common winter illnesses from developing into more serious health issues.

Sometimes it is important to remind ourselves of what we do well and success is a great way of celebrating who we are, and demonstrating how our knowledge can help you achieve your goals. Funding applications can be both timely and complicated but these stories prove that with the right help, you are more likely to achieve a positive outcome.

In a world where people live longer and individuals with complex needs from all walks of life become isolated due to circumstances beyond their control, it is more and more important that they have someone to turn to in their hour of need.

A chance for you to meet our Team, and put faces to names.

CAN is working in partnership with Future Projects in combating social isolation in the Breckland and North Norfolk districts of the county.  We'd be grateful if those reading this and living or working in Breckland or North Norfolk could share this information - especially to anyone you know who may be interested in volunteering. Thank you.

Cromer & District Foodbank has been up and running since 2012, so dealing with people’s individual crises is not new to the team, and they were well-experienced and equipped to deal with Covid-19 when it hit.

At CAN we help and support a great many community projects to find the funding they need to make their vision a reality. Finding the right funder can be a minefield, and a complex process that takes time and commitment.  

Our CANConnect initiative works with partner agencies across the North Norfolk district of Norfolk and Waveney CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) to help connect people with activities in their locality, as well as providing individuals with one-to-one support in identifying and achieving their personal goals. CANConnect also provides support for the community itself, helping organisations and people make the places where we live stronger, friendlier, and more resilient.  

Wells Town Council, Wells Maltings, Heritage House, Wells Churches Together, Wells Community Hospital, the Holkham Estate and local community volunteers came together to offer a coordinated response to support the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 outbreak, in Wells-next-the-Sea and surrounding villages.