Title
Doncaster Neighbourhood Networks

Describe your best practice
The unification of volunteer groups and active volunteers within a geographic area to support one another and deliver locally agreed activity.

What did you do and why?
Advertised locally to all volunteer groups, businesses, Shop Watch, Neighbourhood Watch groups, Tenant’s and Resident’s Associations and active Community leaders that we were looking to create an overarching coordinating group called Neighbourhood Network. One where each member representing a group of volunteers could support the other and together they can agree on joint priorities and action to improve the local area.

We produced leaflets, banners and high vis jackets for members to wear to advertise the group and also to ensure they were visible when undertaking activity in the community. We raised funds and had a lot of media interest in our meetings as well as the work undertaken by the groups.

Duration of the project
The project began in January 2019 – it is still ongoing and we are expanding the network into other areas across Doncaster and South Yorkshire. We produced leaflets which took only a few weeks as one of the volunteers in the group owns a printing business

What worked well?
Excellent feedback from the public on the Networks first project which was two days of tidying up the local area where over 80 tonnes of rubbish was removed from public spaces.

We had volunteers attend from all ages and backgrounds varying from 14 to 84 year olds. There are a further 10 projects planned to be done in the next 12 months in just one area alone.

How did you overcome any challenges?
The greatest challenge was actually ‘selling the ethos’ to existing groups – this was achieved through extensive marketing, contacting people direct that we knew cold influence local groups and gaining support from the local councillor who has been an excellent ambassador for one of the Networks in his area.

How did you cover any costs?
Some funding was through the PCC and Local Council whilst others was donation of services or goods by local businesses.

Which main category does this fall into?
Vulnerable people

Force/ Borough area
South Yorkshire

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