The App is launched as part of a UK wide learning, support and outreach campaign funded by the Big Lottery Fund called Village SOS (Support, Outreach and Sustainability). The campaign provides advice and support to communities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to help them retain, sustain or reinvent the provision of vital services; such as meeting places, shops, pubs or transport where they live.
This App is available to everyone and we hope that members of the Village SOS campaign will use it to help them plan their own project activities. Whilst the App can be used from scratch without any direct support, we anticipate that in many cases it will be used to compliment the support offered by those delivering the Village SOS campaign. The VSOS support organisations and Village SOS Mentors are available to provide help and motivation to communities wanting to make progress with their project.
The App has a number of sections. These include:
• The background: A description of Village SOS which sets out the history and rationale of the campaign
• The support: A list of the partner organisations across the UK who act as the first point of contact in local areas. There are 4 different lead partners one for each of the participating countries within the UK.
• The learning: A series of case studies, with one case study for each participating country is set out in full, along with references and links to a wider range of case studies
• What else is out there: A directory of advice and information that is available for communities. This is contextualized to take account of the different policy environments in each of the four countries.
• Background reading: Extracts from the ‘How to Create a Successful Community Enterprise book, which is available to all VSOS Members signing up to the campaign.
• Tools to use: A simple spreadsheet which enables users to do basic financial planning. This includes a number of tips, hints and descriptions of generic good practice in community business planning
The App can be downloaded by all those communities and individuals who sign up as a Village SOS Member. It can be used by communities to actively plan and implement their projects. The App will also be used in the training and development of the Village SOS Mentors; these are individuals who sign up as a volunteer expert available to help projects grow and flourish.