VAC offers free or low-cost, one-to-one advice and ongoing support to voluntary and community groups operating in Camden.
A range of support is on offer including help with:
- Clarifying project aims and objectives
- Picking a suitable legal structure e.g. charity, social enterprise, community interest company etc.
- Writing a constitution
- Setting up and registering as a charity
- Recruiting and running a management committee
- Completing a funding application
- Developing a business strategy
- Finding premises from which to work
- Implementing systems and policies
- Training courses for staff, volunteers and trustees (accredited and non-accredited)
For small, Camden groups with a turnover under £100,000, VAC is also funded by Camden Council to deliver:
- General fundraising and income generation support
- 121 bid writing support (including help to use Grantfinder software)
- Funding seminars (including running an annual Funder’s Fair)
- Policy seminars
- Quarterly policy briefings
- Support with HR
Who do we help?
We work with local Camden groups and networks, local authorities, strategic partnerships, housing associations and NHS Trusts, mainly from within Camden, but also from across London and further afield.
- Our services are either free or low-cost to all Camden based voluntary and community sector organisations and to groups located outside of the borough as long as they mainly serve Camden residents.
- If you are a community organisation that mainly works outside of Camden or you work in the private or public sector you can still get support from us, through one-to-one, intensive support charged at a very competitive rate. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
What happens when you contact VAC for support?
When a group first contacts VAC and asks for support we ask for some further information about your support needs and then discuss the request at a fortnightly “Clearing House” meeting. At this meeting the group is allocated a key worker. The key worker then contacts the group and agrees on the work that needs to be done.
The Clearing House route is good for groups who are perhaps unsure about their needs, or who think they may need lots of different kinds of support and are not sure where to start.
The following diagram helps explain what happens when you contact VAC for support with developing your organisation.
Chart: Clearing House Referral Pathway
Clearing House Referral
We are not a new group but do need support – can VAC still help?
Providing your organisation is based in Camden, or primarily serves Camden residents, you can contact VAC for support. Often the support needs of new groups are quite different to those already established but we work with both new and older groups – small and large! Depending on your specific needs we may refer you through our clearing house system or directly to any of our services. We also help some larger organisations who are able to pay on a consultancy basis. We also provide consultancy services to organisations not based in Camden or serving Camden communities.
What if VAC cant help?
VAC works in partnership with a number of other Camden-based infrastructure organisations. Our partners can offer support and advice around volunteering, business planning, disability, funding, community-based action, education and training. Where we are unable to assist we aim to refer you to one of our partners for support instead, or signpost you to other local services. You can find our more about the Camden Partnerships on the OneCamden Portal website.
How can we access VAC’s support service?
The fastest way to get support is to download and complete our ‘clearing house form’ and send it by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can contact us by phone, email or in person, however you will usually need to complete a clearing house form before we can proceed with your request.
Tel: 020 7284 6553 (Typetalk: 18001-020 7284 6553)