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“We grow people I think. It's rewarding when you can see that you're making a difference.” - Nigel, The Green Patch
'Failing to plan is planning to fail' is as true of creating a community project as it is of anything else. Careful planning and clear thinking during these preparation stages can be the difference between the success and failure of the project.
This section will provide you with everything you need to know about identifying needs in your area, setting up your group, constitutions, consulting your community and beginning to plan your project.
1. Defining your project
The first step of any community project is to be clear on what it is you want to do and in what order. Are you looking to refurbish an old playground or create an outdoor gym? Perhaps you want to protect the local wildlife? Is it realistic to do it all at once or should it be done in small chunks over several years?
If there is a particular need in an area, chances are other people feel the same way and are also looking to do something about it. Finding other like-minded residents, groups or associations in your area will bolster support for any project. What is important is that you have clear aims and ambitions.
Along with support from other partners, it can't be stressed enough how important it is that the whole community feels involved in the project. A playground may be popular with young families, but position it too close to other residents and their opposition to the noise might stop your project before you even start.
Through community consultation you can define your project in a way that meets the needs of the area and it will also safeguard its future. So in this section we'll also look at the methods and tools to help you to engage the rest of the community.
If you have already decided on your aims and objectives, you may want to jump straight to the Consultations page. If not, take a look at the Defining your project section:
2. Setting up your group
You might be an established group, but if not you'll need to bring together a group of like-minded people to get the project off the ground. Even if you have been working as a group for a while it might be beneficial to come together in a more official and formal way as a constituted group or as a charity. There are several different kids of associations you can form, each with their pros and cons, and here we will give some guidance on what may be best for you.
Go to the Setting up your group section:
Now you know what you want to achieve and have your group together, how do you go about making it happen? This section will cover the basic initial planning of your project looking at identifying stakeholders, strengths and limitations in your group, tasks and timelines and how to monitor progress. Although your project is in its infancy, a solid plan will help attract funders and make sure that everyone in your group is on the same page.
Go to the Planning section:
Important note: This information is intended as a guide and, while it is as accurate and up to date as we can make it, it should not be used in place of specialist legal, financial or commercial advice.