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Community First and Community Action Fareham have joined forces Community First and Community...

Community First and Community Action Fareham have joined forces

Community First and Community Action Fareham completed their merger on 1st April 2018.   The new organisation will continue to be known as Community First and now provides services and support to the community and voluntary sector across East Hampshire, Fareham, Havant and Winchester and also delivers essential community transport services in Basingstoke & Deane and Gosport.

Whilst it remains a challenging time for many charities, this merger demonstrates a commitment to serving and supporting local communities enabling the organisation to consolidate its management and back office functions whilst retaining and investing in its local delivery teams.  There are no changes to services but there are clear opportunities to share expertise and innovation across a wider part of Hampshire.  The new organisation will expand its training offer to the sector, with a new and exciting apprenticeship programme building leadership and management skills in charities; seek to expand the successful Home Help services in Fareham and other health and wellbeing services work with Hampshire County Council to provide innovative and effective solutions to maintaining community transport services.

The merger was driven by a desire to improve the impact and reach of the voluntary and community sector.  The new organisation will continue to maintain close links with local groups and be responsive to their needs, whilst also looking outwards to ensure that new funding opportunities are pursued to the benefit of local communities.  This is particularly important in the context of rapidly changing health services.  Community First is already engaging and influencing new models of care and as a larger, strategic organisation has the ability to build long term partnerships and unlock funding to make social prescribing an inherent part of these new models of care.

Tim Houghton, CEO, Community First:

This is a great opportunity to create an organisation which will have real impact across a large part of Hampshire.  We are putting our customers and beneficiaries first and seeking to create a more efficient and effective organisation with the scale and capacity to bid for contracts and access new funding to invest in developing services.  Our partners and funders want to see as much money as possible spent directly on support and front line services for those in need; our merger will ensure that happens.  Our staff and volunteers are really excited by the opportunities that the merger brings knowing that their commitment and dedication will be sustained into the future. 

Community First Fareham works with community groups and charities in the Fareham borough, growing community spirit so that people feel included, and are active, healthier and happier.  Importantly, we work with our local councils who provide funding for us to support this community activity. Our activities include:

Support for Groups

We support groups and help groups to help each other.  Community groups are invited to become Members of Community Action Fareham. Support for groups ranges from helping a new group get started to interpreting the requirements of the Charity Commission and much more in between.  We help groups to operate safely and achieve their purpose without getting bogged down in the process or red-tape.

Support for People in our Communities

We operate a range of community services on a not-for-profit basis, with the support of fully-trained staff and volunteers.  Charges, fees or donations will apply, but are set at affordable rates.

Promoting and Organising Volunteering

Our Volunteer Centre knows where volunteers are needed in our local community and advertises volunteering vacancies.  We help people who are looking for a volunteering placement that matches their interests and skills. We support voluntary groups wanting to recruit volunteers.

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We must save Dial-a-Ride and Community Transport

Active Dial-a-Ride passenger age 90 and blind explains that "she would be devastated" without Dial-a-RIde. She says it is the thing she looks forward to in the week.
There has to be a different way of fixing the HCC budget - please share so the message about older person's desparate needs reach our Councillors who will be making their decision this Thursday 2nd Nov.  see her clip

Sign to support the campaign, please share on social media.

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