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Sylvania Community Stores & Café

Dawn, one of our Development Workers, has continued to support this fantastic community enterprise throughout the summer with their busiest period of development so far.

In June, they launched their community share offer and membership campaign. As a registered Community Benefit Society they have the unique ability to ensure that they are genuinely community-owned. This was a huge success with over 125 people joined as members with democratic voting rights and over £16,850 raised towards the start-up costs. The project held its grand opening day on Saturday 24th July, with entertainers, a congratulatory speech by deputy mayor Ian Quance and a barbeque.

Women smiling and playing the guitar outside at Sylvania Community Store's grand opening event

The project has been developing from strength to strength and hosts a range of community activities including art groups, lunchtime live music and a youth club. The shop and café are providing healthy and growing income streams to sustain and grow the enterprise – they have recently been able to employ two part-time project managers and have a growing team of volunteers to help keep the project open 7 days a week.

Find out more on their website or Facebook page.Two people sitting at a table paintingA group of teenagers around a table doing some craft activities

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Monthly Update – October 2021

Take a look below at the Exeter Connect monthly update for October. This edition includes:

  • Stories of community activity
  • Useful resources
  • Training & events
  • Funding information
  • Jobs & volunteering opportunities
  • Have your say

Exeter Connect Monthly Update October 2021

If you have any ideas for what you would like to see included in these updates, we would love to hear from you! Please get in touch with your suggestions.

Sign up to receive future editions of the Exeter Connect monthly update.

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Monthly Update – September 2021

Take a look below at the Exeter Connect monthly update for September. This edition includes:

  • Team news
  • Network news
  • Training & events
  • Funding information
  • Jobs & volunteering opportunities
  • Useful resources
  • Have your say

Exeter Connect Monthly Update September 2021

If you have any ideas for what you would like to see included in these updates, we would love to hear from you! Please get in touch with your suggestions.

Sign up to receive future editions of the Exeter Connect monthly update.

 

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Monthly Update – August 2021

Take a look below at the Exeter Connect monthly update for August. This edition includes funding information, local volunteering opportunities and some useful resources.

Exeter Connect Monthly Update August 2021

If you have any ideas for what you would like to see included in these updates, we would love to hear from you! Please get in touch with your suggestions.

 

Sign up to receive future editions of the Exeter Connect monthly update.

 

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Monthly Update – July 2021

Take a look below at the Exeter Connect monthly update in its brand new format!

Exeter Connect Monthly Update – July 2021

We hope our updates will be a place to celebrate the activity of local groups, as well as to promote training & events, funding opportunities and other useful resources for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in Exeter

Sign up to receive future editions of the Exeter Connect monthly update.

 

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Growing a Community Garden

 

Here at Exeter Connect, it is great that we get to meet so many local groups, hear their ideas, and see them grow.

One of these is St Thomas Community Garden, a small garden with a selection of fruit, vegetables and flowers. One of their aims is to grow food that could be supplied to the St Thomas Community Larder, as well as being keen to engage local residents. 

The group approached us for support earlier this year, looking for some advice on fundraising, as well as around governance. Funds were also needed to buy certain materials and equipment such as another compost bin and a chalkboard to leave messages for park users about what is happening in the garden. 

Working alongside one of our Development Workers, the group made a successful application for a Ward Grant from Exeter City Council, and are also moving towards constituting. 

Another group have donated some seeds and they are exploring how they can involve local residents, as well as finding more volunteers and group members.  

If you also have an idea or project you’re trying to grow, our team is always happy to have a chat about how we could support you.

You can also sign up to the Exeter Community Growers’ Network to hear more about greening and growing initiatives across Exeter.

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Job Vacancy – Development Worker

We are looking for an experienced Development Worker to join our team.

Flexibility, good people skills, experience of Community Development and knowledge & skills in supporting the development and sustainability of emerging, new and established VCS groups, is essential.

Hours negotiable up to 32 hours per week

NJC Scale Point 20

£25,991 pro rata

Closing Date: 5pm Monday 7th June 2021

Interview Dates: Thursday 17th/Friday 18th June 2021

Find out more and download an application form on the ECI website.

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A Year of Exeter Connect

We have come to the end of Exeter Connect’s first year, and what a year it has been! Since the launch of the service in March 2020, we have been busy supporting groups and building networks across the voluntary and community sector in Exeter.

Take a look at the infographic below for a summary of what we’ve achieved since launching.

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Training & Workshops (Summer 2021)

Getting Started with Canva – Thursday 24th June, 10:30 – 11:15

Are you looking for an easy-to-use tool to help you design leaflets, posters and social media posts for your community group?

Come along to this online introductory session on Canva, a free online graphic design tool. This session is for community groups with little or no experience of using Canva.

Email us to sign up and find out more.

 

Writing Winning Grant Applications – Thursday 1st July, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM (FULL)

This session is now full. Please email us if you would like to be added to the waiting list.

Join us for this online session to hear some top tips on how to write an effective grant application.

  • Learn the tricks of the trade to help your application really stand out.
  • It’s a lottery out there, and approximately only one in five grant applications are successful – make yours the one!
  • Discover what funders are looking for and how to press their buttons.
Community Asset Transfer Workshops – Tuesday 6th & Wednesday 7th July

Community Asset Transfer is the transfer of the management or ownership of public land and buildings from the local authority to a community organisation. Exeter City Council is in the process of developing a new policy and local groups are being encouraged to share their thoughts (survey closes 30th July).

We will be running two free online workshops for groups and residents to find out more about the policy, process and aspirations behind this initiative:

Tuesday 6th July: 2 pm – 3.30 pm
Wednesday 7th July: 6.30 pm – 8 pm

Email us to sign up and find out more.

Getting Started with Social Media – Thursday 22nd July, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

An online session focused on using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as a community group.

  • What to consider when starting out with social media
  • Choosing a platform and the differences between them
  • Steps for getting started
  • What different features there are
  • What, how & when to post

Email us to sign up and find out more.

Getting Started with Social Media Analytics – Monday 26th July, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

An online session aimed at community groups using Facebook and Twitter.

  • Reach, engagement, impressions – what do they all mean?!
  • Who is seeing your posts or tweets, and which ones are doing best?

Come along to this introductory session to find out where to start with getting the answers to these questions, and how it could help your group.

Email us to sign up and find out more.

Introduction to Legal Structures – Thursday 29th July, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM

An interactive workshop exploring the range of legal forms available to the VCSE sector.

Hear what previous attendees had to say!

“I’d say it was close to jolly perfect.  Am blown away frankly, everything was covered and summarised.”

“You presented difficult to understand shades of definition and categories well.”

  • In a dilemma about how to formally set up your new project?
  • What are the pros and cons of charity status?
  • CIC, CIO, CBS…finding it a bit confusing?
  • Want to understand better the legal structure of your community organisation and your options moving forward?

Join us for this online session and get the answers you are looking for.

Email us to sign up and find out more.

 

All our training sessions are completely free, and more will be coming soon.

We are also keen to find out more about your training needs! If you would like to attend an event, need more information, or have an idea for future training, please get in touch with the team.

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Exeter Connect’s State of the Sector Report

In November 2020, Exeter Connect undertook a survey to build a more detailed picture of the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector in Exeter. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their experiences, and we are now ready to share the final report that has been compiled.

The Coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on the VCSE sector, nationally and locally, both positive and negative. There are a growing number of reports based on research into the impact of Covid restrictions on community groups and organisations and how they have responded.

In this report, we have focussed on both the challenges and successes identified by the VCSE organisations and groups in the survey. The VCSE sector has had to find new ways to continue to deliver services online or develop services to meet new needs that emerged.  The report also looks forward to what support the VCSE sector will need in order to play a role in the recovery from Covid.

This report is the story of the experiences of all these groups and organisations.  It is a summary of the challenges and how groups have responded and adapted and focuses on 4 themes:

  • Physical Social Spaces
  • Changes to Ways of Operating
  • Financial Impact
  • Staff and Volunteers

We are planning to hold an event in due course to look at what we have learnt from the Survey, what the challenges are for the sector over the next year and to explore how we can address these.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss the report further, please get in touch.

Exeter Connect State of the Sector Report