Voluntary and community sector support

The Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) is huge and diverse and covers everything from Neighbourhood Watch and self-help groups to social enterprises and charities.

There are more than 700 such organisations in the Harrogate district.

Our partnership and engagement team is responsible for maintaining and developing links with the district's VCS. This is achieved by:

  • the voluntary and community sector forum
  • administration of corporate and community based grants
  • supporting the implementation of the North Yorkshire compact in the district, monitoring and dealing with issues arising from it
  • acting as the VCS's main link with Harrogate Borough Council

Voluntary and Community Sector Liaison Group

The Liaison Group meets twice a year to facilitate and enable a constructive relationship between Harrogate Borough Council and the VCS. It provides an opportunity for the council to share and involve key VCS organisations in its policy decisions, service planning and council consultations on areas of work that potentially have an impact on the local VCS. The Liaison Group ensures that issues important to the VCS are brought to the attention of the council and vice versa, always acknowledging that a diversity of views may exist. It will also provide a space for representatives of voluntary and community organisations throughout the district to meet and exchange information, ideas and good practice.

The Liaison Group's objectives are contained in the terms of reference and these are reviewed every year.

North Yorkshire compact

This is a written agreement between the VCS and the public sector detailing how they will work together effectively to achieve common goals and outcomes. These include:

  • a strong, diverse and independent civil society
  • effective and transparent design and development of policies, commissioning, programmes and public services
  • responsive and high-quality programmes and services
  • clear arrangements for managing changes to programmes and services
  • improved community health and wellbeing
  • an equal and fair society

The voluntary and community sector forum monitors and reports on whether the outcomes are achieved.

Harrogate and District Community Action (HADCA)

An independent charity supporting communities, charities and volunteers to make Harrogate district a great place to live and work.

From offices in Harrogate and Ripon, HADCA:

  • provides specialist information, resources, networks, promotion and support for charities, community groups and social enterprises
  • champions the role of the voluntary and community sector and supports local community fundraising
  • matches people who are interested in volunteering with opportunities that suit them through the HADCA volunteering directory
  • signposts to local voluntary and community organisations, support groups and community activities through the HADCA where to turn directory 
  • manages projects that provide support for older or vulnerable people and those with a disability to remain independent in their own home
  • owns and manages Harrogate Community House, a community hub for the local voluntary and community sector with affordable office accommodation and accessible, well equipped meeting rooms

If you'd like information and resources for your group, are interested in volunteering or would like to know more about local voluntary and community organisations, visit the HADCA website or email hadca@hadca.org.uk