The community sector really matters. It's part of the fabric that holds our communities together.
Having the opportunity to work and support community activism and organisations has always been massively important to me. I worked at Community Matters for 8 years, developing and running services for the community sector through consultancy, training and regional support programmes. It was a huge privilege to work with community organisations across England and Wales seeing the lives they were changing and helping them to be the best they could be.
What also struck me was how important it was that people who ran and used organisations could come together. Having a chance to be a part of something more than themselves, somewhere where it mattered that they turned up. I took the job at Advising London to allow me to work in the community where I lived.
This role has completely changed me as a person. Having an opportunity to work in the front line with individuals in need; seeing how the world is for them and designing services to meet their needs is humbling. The incredibly committed staff and volunteer team have shown me how to fight for those without a voice and not to give up for them.
Too many people have let them down. We are not going to be one of them. The community sector has been deeply affected by the onslaught of cuts, with many hugely important organisations closing.
The sad news of Community Matters closing bought the amazing team of community advisors from Community Matters to my door and together we have chosen to save the essential products and services that we all created and delivered. We are doing all we can to ensure that excellent legal and technical advice and support reaches the community and charity sector at the very best price we can.
We want to ensure that all community organisations; regardless of type, location, faith or language, are able to access what they need. So if you want to register a charity, a CIC or incorporate; if you need help with an employment matter, negotiating your lease or helping to navigate the complexities of the law in relation to your community building, we want to be the place you come to.
We are also going to continue offering the VISIBLE communities quality standards and the Community Asset Matters training course, which has been so hugely popular over the years. All the information sheets have come to us and we are going to develop more legal guidance and ensure that all the templates of legal documents and policies and procedures, which I know have been so hugely useful to 1,000's of organisations over the years.
We intend to evolve and meet the needs of modern communities across England and Wales, so we will do our best to develop what you all tell us you need. If you need us then please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org - we will do everything we can to make sure that you get excellent support across England and Wales - because you and your organisations truly matter.
Director, Advising Communities