If there is no other group then you need to get some people together to start creating a group. The easiest way is to ask those you know if they would be interested in helping you and being a part of the group. You could see if your local church is an eco congregation and ask them if they would like to help you create a group or approach your community council.
You need to have a meeting to get people together and start a group. Simple is best. Decide if you are going to have an online or face to face meeting. Where it is safe to do so, face to face is the better choice to get people enthusiastic and joining in where they don’t know each other. Pick a place that is welcoming and accessible to all – a village hall, community centre etc. and a time that most people can make. Consider childcare provision to enable parents to attend. Give yourself a few weeks to publicise the event before you actually run it.
If you are creating a place based group, then making some posters and pop them up in the local library, shops, community centre, schools, churches etc. and on social media putting posts up in local group pages, where there are any, is a good way to publicise the event. Ask local groups to mention it at their meetings. Transition Network has some good guides on how to create a group and run an event.
When you get to the actual meeting, the basics are to let people know:
- why you are having the meeting and wanting to create a group
- what you hope will come out of it
- what the purpose of the organisation would be
- the kind of activities it would do
- what commitment is needed from people joining the group.
It is best to get everyone attending the meeting talking about what their thoughts are so that they feel a real part of the group’s creation. Depending on the number of people attending, you might to split into groups for this discussion. There needs to be a way to record the outcomes of these discussions.
Once you have a group of people interested in working with you to create a community organisation then you need to decide your vision, aim and objectives and what projects and activities you will start with. You will also need to think about if your group should be legally constituted. Should it be a charity? A community interest group? a company limited by guarantee? or just a simple group? To make the decision it is best to talk through all the pros and cons with your Third Sector Interface who can provide advice on this, other governance issues, funding and business planning support and gaining volunteers. If you live in Aberdeen contact ACVO and AVA in Aberdeenshire.
SCVO (Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations) has useful information about how to run a community organisation: https://scvo.scot/support/running-your-organisation. While Community Enterprise Scotland can provide dedicated support with funding, planning permission, securing assets and involving your community to turn your project from an idea into reality on the ground. We are here to signpost and help with whatever the other support services don’t cover, to ensure you get complete wrap around support from start to finish, so get in touch.