A view of Bradgate Park, featuring deer park, and an area of woodland surrounded by a dry stone wall
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Geopark Continues Support For Community Groups

Over the last few weeks the Geopark team and Voluntary Action LeicesterShire have been getting stuck in to delivering a programme of training and support to our local community organisations from in and around the Geopark.

At the end of January we kicked off with ‘Cause and Communications’, held at the spacious Ulverscroft Activity Centre, surrounded by pretty woodland. The workshop focused on understanding the role our organisations play in their communities and how to distil its purpose and culture into just a few words. We looked at how we speak about people who interact with our organisation and the role of effective communications in generating support through fundraising and volunteering.

Back at the same venue at the end of February, we held another workshop exploring ‘Creative Volunteer Recruitment’. We discussed the benefits of volunteering and the reasons why people might want to volunteer, before using the national Vision for Volunteering to generate ideas for news ways to recruit volunteers, including through experimenting, collaborating and understanding equity and inclusion.

A week later and the new Youth and Community Hall in Woodhouse Eaves was the venue for the ‘Money Matters: Funding and Finance’ workshop. This was a whistle-stop tour of the national and regional funding scene, including a presentation from a colleague at the National Forest Company about their grants scheme, information about the Geopark’s small grants and a look at Voluntary Action LeicesterShire’s Funding Toolkit. We also explored other ways to generate income, utilising assets, community skills and paid-for services to financially support free and low-cost activities.

Over the coming weeks we have more training workshops coming up:

  • Introduction to working with volunteers – 10am – 1pm, Mount St Bernard’s Abbey
  • Treasurers’ Special – 9.15am – 11.45am, Woodhouse Eaves Youth and Community Hall
  • Better Bids: writing successful funding applications – 9.30am – 12noon, online

If you are interested in any of the upcoming workshops, or would like support for your community group on any topic, please get in touch with Ali Brand-Barker at abrand-barker@nationalforest.org.

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