Strengthening Communities

Resilience Building

Specialist support for local organisations

Through the Active Essex’s place-based work and alongside the Essex Local Delivery Pilot, the team have identified many organisations in need of specialist support. This related to legal structures, business planning, fundraising strategies and governance, which were halting their ability to develop their organisations to meet the aims of supporting more people to be active.

Over the past 2 years, Active Essex have developed 2 programmes, funded through the Essex Local Delivery Pilot and Tackling Inequalities/Together Fund, to provide specialist and bespoke support on business development, capacity, and resilience building to enable local community organisations who deliver physical activity, to be in a position of growth and sustained success.


Group 1
Who is it for?
Organisations that required specialist advice and support
Goal 1
Prime Objective:
to develop resilient organisations for sustainability and growth
Goal 2
Second Objective:
to support business plans to develop organisations further

Each organisation received a health check to understand their current position and help identify the priority areas of support in which the organisation needed. A bespoke programme of support was then offered and delivered to each organisation.

These health checks allowed a deepened understanding of each organisation, and helped to advice around policy development, staff terms of employment, accounting, human resource development and effective governance. To sustain this work, networking and referrals to like-minded individuals and groups was set up to continue to share and learn best practices.

business plans and/or strategic plans developed
organisations have developed fundraising strategies
organisations received budgeting support
Working with ‘MG – Training & Consultancy’, who specialise in third sector development, has resulted in 59 organisations having had support. Through these programmes, we have seen significant strengthening and growth of the fantastic work they do in their communities.
Hayley Chapman, Strengthening Communities Strategic Lead

Successes of the programme have seen 17 groups and organisations receive direct advice and support on funding bids, culminating in £2.38 million generated in new funds as a result of this programme’s intervention; thus showing the importance of focusing on business support and growth.

Additionally, 16 new Community Interest Companies have been incorporated to support the aims of the organisations’ development, whilst others have been advised on updating their structure for compliance and eligibility purposes.


Key Learnings

It's important to take time to reflect and understand the learnings from work undertaken, in order to focus on ways to improve in the future.

Commitment 1


organisations tend to be kept afloat by the dedication of 1 or 2 committed people


Delivery cycles

a real need to break down cycles to support longer term and sustainable planning.

Business Support 1

Business support

most organisations have good connections locally but need access to business support.

Legal Structures


poor business advice previously, results in legal structures which aren’t conducive to their ai...

It’s always so daunting when you realise another 5 years have slipped by, and another 5 years of funding is needed to carry on the vital support service we provide for the most vulnerable and marginalised communities. Mark, and this programme has helped to bring a very logical and steadying framework to our funding approach…this has been a genuine lifeline.
Sarah, Inclusion Ventures