Community Development and Engagement

We can provide advice and support to smaller local VCS organisations and groups.


We can help with setting up your group, recruitment, funding applications or one-to-one support. For more details, complete the form below or call or email:


Call:  0115 964 8351                                      Email:


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Voluntary and Community Sector Support Request Form

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We provide support in the following areas-

  • Sherwood, Berridge and Basford
  • Hyson Green & The Arboretum, Radford and Castle
  • Wollaton West, Meadows, Lenton and Wollaton East

Detailed maps can be found here:


If in doubt, please call Jane for clarification.



Top Tips....

We have put together handy, easy-to-read documents on a range of topics to help community groups to get started with setting up their group, to applying for funding, running an event, etc


...being an effective committee member
Guidance for someone looking to join a committee to find out what is expected of them in terms of commitment, time, contribution to meetings etc as well as the important role of the Chair and Treasurer, two vital roles within a committee.
Top Tips - Committee Members.docx
Microsoft Word document [23.8 KB]
...developing a funding plan and raising funds
Before applying for funds, it is a sensible idea to have a plan in place agreed by the group's management committee. There needs to be agreement as to what your aims and objectives are, what resources you need, where to find out information about where to look for funding opportunities, etc.
Top Tips - Fundraising Plan and Fundrais[...]
Microsoft Word document [25.5 KB]
...carrying out risk assessments
Any group running activities needs to take responsibility for ensuring that people will not come to any harm when taking part in these activities. The group should identify any hazards and discuss how to minimise the risk of people coming to harm and then write them down in a risk assessment form.
Top Tips - Carrying out risk assessments[...]
Microsoft Word document [25.2 KB]
...planning and running events
A checklist of where to start when planning an event, including looking at practical considerations, budget, etc.
Top Tips - Planning and running events.d[...]
Microsoft Word document [32.0 KB]
...applying for grant funding
Guidance to read before applying for any grants. For most grants you will need to complete an application form, but for others a letter will be required. This document also includes a template letter for you to adapt for your own use.
Top Tips - Applying for grant[...]
Microsoft Word document [29.1 KB]

Policies and Procedures

Please contact Jane for help with drafting operational policies and procedures: by email: or call to discuss your requirements on:  0115 964 8351.


Safeguarding & Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)

For Community groups running activities for children and adults it is important to safeguard participants against abuse and neglect. 


One way to do this is to check whether prospective volunteers/employees have a criminal record which makes them unsuitable for particular roles within your group. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formerly Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)) provides these checks.

DBS checking is the government’s process for providing information to organisations about whether an individual is suitable for particular types of work. It is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service.   For more information click here:-

DBS is one way you can safeguard children and vulnerable adults, but community groups should also think about other ways to keep people safe, for example, what you will do if you have concerns about a child or vulnerable adult’s wellbeing, and how you will make sure your staff and volunteers have the skills and knowledge they need to safeguard children and adults.  This should be outlined in a Safeguarding Policy and Procedure.


There are three main ways the DBS can provide information about people.

A Standard Disclosure

This is a DBS check that gives details of a person’s convictions (including spent convictions) plus any cautions, reprimands or warnings held in England and Wales on the Police National Computer. Most of the relevant convictions in Scotland and Northern Ireland may also be included.


An Enhanced Disclosure

This includes everything that a Standard Disclosure includes, plus any locally held police information considered to be relevant to the job role. An Enhanced Disclosure can be used for people working regularly or intensively with children or vulnerable adults.


Barred List

The DBS keeps a list of people who are barred from taking part in particular kinds of work with children and vulnerable adults. This type of work is known as 'regulated activity.
Who must have a DBS Check?
There are types of work that people may be barred from.  This is known as 'regulated actviity'.  It is a group's legal responsiblity to check that people doing regulated activity are not barred. (See attached list for Regulated Activity for Adults and a separate  list for children and flowchart) 
You can do this by applying for an Enhanced Disclosure with children and/or adult's barred list checks.
Using an existing DBS Certificate
You may find that a prospective employee or volunteer already has a DBS certificate from a different organsation.  A DBS certifice only shows information about the person up to the date of the certificate.
You group can decide whether to accept an existing certificate, but it is your group's responsibliity to ensure people in regulated activity are not barred.  If an indiviual has an existing certificate you may be able to access up to date information about them using the DBS Update Service.
DBS Update Service
This allows organisation to find out whether there is any relevant new information about an individual since their DBS certificate was issued.  In order to do this the indiviudal themselves has to be registered with the update service.  This allows them to give persission for as many organisations as they like to check their DBS information.
Using Information from DBS Checks
As a group you must decide how you will use the information you receive, how you will store it, who will have access to it and how long it will be kept for and how will it be disposed of.  You will also need to follow the DBS Code of Practice and treat people fairly. 
A group should have a policy statement on employing people with criminal convictions and a policy on storage and handling of Disclosure information.


The Renewal Trust - Umbrella Organisation
The Renewal Trust is an Umbrella Organisation for DBS checks and they can help with the process:
  • They can help an individual applicant requiring a DBS check. 
  • They can help a group/organisation who may need to process a number of applications.  In which case, the group/organisation can nominate an individual to complete the applications and then send through to The Renewal Trust for processing.
  • Contact Kylie Walton tel:  0115 911 2226 email: for more information.
  • See attached guidelines.


If you need help in compiling policies or procedures related to any of the above then please contact Jane


Renewal Trust DBS Information
Renewal Trust DBS Information.docx
Microsoft Word document [15.9 KB]
DBS Regulated Activity - Children
Adobe Acrobat document [113.6 KB]
DBS Regulated Activity - Adults
Adobe Acrobat document [142.1 KB]
Activities Requiring DBS Standard, Enhanced, Barred List Checks
Who needs a DBS check.docx
Microsoft Word document [21.0 KB]
Regulated Activity - Flowchart
If you are unsure about whether the role requires a DBS check then this is a useful flowchart to use.
Adobe Acrobat document [91.9 KB]

Quality Assurance Framework

Castle Cavendish is keen for this quality assurance framework to be implemented across the partnership.  If groups are interested in 'starting the ball rolling' then please feel free to self-assess and use this form to check that you have everything in place that you need to run safely and effectively, or put in an action plan to make improvements.  If you need support with this then please contact Jane:


Quality Assurance Framework Checklist
Quality Assurance Framework for editing.[...]
Microsoft Word document [17.8 KB]
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