Connecting Capacity is a partnership of organisations supporting Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise groups across Bath and North East Somerset.

How does Connecting Capacity work?

The way we work is a little like a “brokerage.”  The process looks like this:

  • If a local group has an issues or problem that it needs help with, contact Connecting Capacity via email or telephone and discuss the particular issue with us.
  • We will commission some help to assist in resolving that issues or problem (if it can’t be resolved via the initial phone call, above).  If possible, that help will come from a local organisation; but most importantly, the help will be from someone expert in the topic for which the help is needed.  Help could be around a range of things; funding (perhaps a funding strategy or search), governance (for example, how to set up a charity), business planning or anything that a local organisation might need help with.
  • The assistance will be “short and sharp” : bespoke to the needs of the group and helping the groups to help themselves with the support giving them the technical ability to move themselves forward.
  • The support will be paid for by the project (in circumstances where the help may be beyond the scope of a short intervention, then we will discuss it with the group how to resolve it)
  • Introductions will be made between those requiring the help and the person delivering

Does this approach really work?

Since launching the project in January 2013, we have helped many groups; here’s what some of them have to say:

“We found the support from Geoff to be very helpful. He assisted us in reviewing many aspects of the organization and developing new ideas and strategies to approach areas of weakness.
I think it was great. I would be happy to recommend his services to others.”
Adam Pitt – Percy Centre

“Dear Mark, thank you for the funding support, it has been invaluable in identifying possible sources of future funding – Michael has been a pleasure to work with and has been flexible and responsive to our organisation’s specific requirements.”
Jason Pegg – Black Families Education Support Group

“We received help on two occasions. The first time was support around developing a business plan for the social enterprise and the second time was for support with fundraising and grant applications / financial support. On both occasions and through a number of emails Mark and the organisations were very helpful and knowledgeable, the emails that we receive from connecting capacity advertising local events (the e-bulletin) and support are also invaluable and very informative and up to date. They also put us in touch with the Bristol and Bath social enterprise network which has also been very fruitful.   While meeting with Mark about our fundraising needs we discussed if it was right for us to change to a CIC and looked at different structures etc.  and .. Develop did some fundraising / grant application research for us to weigh up the pros and cons of doing both. This gave us important information and allowed us to make an informed decision about what we did and how we went forward.
All in all, very good, thanks Mark and connecting capacity.”
Robyn Williams – St Mungos Broadway

“Through Connecting Capacity we were able to link up with a Bath University enterprise group, Insight Consulting, who offered invaluable help with Facebook and social media, together with research into funding opportunities and draft business plans.”
Jackie Bevan – Musicians South West CIC

“…was important to revalue our service and to make decisions with assertiveness that we would not have done..” (governance and funding support)
Pauline Swaby-Wallace – Black Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens Association

“The input from Connecting Capacity was extremely helpful for us as a small community organisation in applying for Lottery funding. Their advice and support was invaluable in completing such a complex application and helping us put it together it in a way that was far more likely to be successful. The follow-up advice we have received from Develop is really helping us to rethink our fundraising applications and giving us far more confidence for the future.”
Pamela Galloway – Bath Swim Therapy

“It was very useful to use Social Enterprise Works expertise and we are happy with the outcomes” (Social Enterprise development support)
Brian Simmons – Keynsham and District Dial-a-Ride

“The Volunteer Centre Bath & North East Somerset have been working in partnership with Connecting Capacity since June 2013, we have found them to be very supportive, responsive to the needs of the sector in terms providing the enablers of volunteering support which has resulted in volunteering growth throughout Bath & North East Somerset.
Connecting capacity has also helped us identify potential future funding opportunities which could form part of the future sustainability of the centre, benefitting the communities throughout the area”
Mike Plows – Volunteer Centre, Bath

“I was very happy with your services – very supportive in helping me with the financial / business aspects of starting a CIC”
Sarah Tremlett – Liberated Words

Who is Connecting Capacity?

Connecting Capacity is a partnership of different organisations; you can see those organisations and their roles by clicking here

What else does Connecting Capacity do?

The initiative also supports the Volunteer Centre in Bath.  Volunteering is not only connecting to all of the work of local community and voluntary groups; but also the development of individuals.  Personal motivations can be be very different; whether wishing to develop skills and experience or having fun and enjoying joining together with others, volunteering is massively valuable.  Brokering volunteering fits squarely into the ethos and delivery of Connecting Capacity.

Who pays for this project and for the delivery of the support?

Initial support (two years) has been made available through Bath and North East Somerset Council to support this initiative. We are actively seeking further support for the initiative as well as developing strategies to help prioritise funds for local groups.

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Volunteer Bureau logo

Social Enterprise Works logo

 

 

 

Percy Community Centre logoQuartet Logo SmallSJHsmall

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Common PlacesSocial Enterprise Mark Company

 

 

Bath and North East Somerset Council