Call to save local community pubs

May 14, 2016

save the pubCAMRA launch initiative to protect 3,000 pubs as new figures show 29 being lost every week across the UK

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is launching a new initiative to protect 3,000 pubs from demolition or conversion to other uses – as new statistics released today show 29 pubs a week are being lost across the UK.

CAMRA will be mobilising its members in England to nominate their local pub as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) and offer advice and guidance to other community groups looking to do the same. Currently pubs can be demolished or converted to other uses without planning permission, whereas pubs with ACV status are given planning protection under laws introduced in April.

With 800 pubs currently nominated, the initiative aims to raise the profile of ACVs to the pub-going public and increase the number with the status to 3,000 by the end of 2016 – an ambitious target, but one which CAMRA say is essential if England’s pubs are to be properly protected.

 “Holes in the current planning system allow pubs to be sold off, demolished or converted to many other uses without planning permission or the involvement of the local community. However when a pub is nominated as an Asset of Community Value it automatically receives planning protection meaning it is no longer a soft target to would-be developers looking to quickly purchase and convert  or demolish the pub – which in some instances has literally happened overnight.*” Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s Head of Communications.

CAMRA is inviting other local community groups to work with it in gaining this vital protection and urges community groups, or individuals, to get in touch with their local CAMRA branch to highlight valued pubs.

“Nominating a pub as an ACV is a surprisingly simple process. You can either nominate as an unincorporated group of 21 local people, as a Parish Council, or in connection with another local group including a CAMRA Branch. Some towns, such as Otley in West Yorkshire, have gone as far as nominating every pub in their area for ACV status to ensure all are protected in coming years.”  Tom Stainer added.

Despite the protection afforded to pubs through the ACV system CAMRA say this doesn’t go far enough to curb the closure of pubs in the UK and that the next logical step is to extend the same protection to all pubs across England.

For more information about your local branch, visit

For more information about the ACV campaign, please visit

For support and funding to save your local pub






Charities to Save Money!


in kind direct pic

‘In Kind Direct’  redistributes usable products donated by some of the UK’s best known manufacturers and retailers to charities working in the UK and abroad.

They were founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1996 and are one of The Prince’s Charities, which is the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise in the United Kingdom.

Since foundation in 1996, they have redistributed £140 million in value of goods from over 1,000 companies. To date 7,500 voluntary and community organisations have received products, helping millions of people in need every year.

Sometimes companies have too much stock. Sometimes they find samples, cosmetically damaged (but usable) goods, or end of line items sitting on shelves, taking up valuable warehouse space.

Those products might not seem to be worth much, but they could mean everything to a small charity or not-for-profit organisation.

So they take the items a company no longer wants and redistribute them to charities. This helps companies clear valuable space and support their corporate responsibility goals, while helping charities by giving them a convenient source of the things they need to operate.

And, as a result, those products in the warehouse get their value back.

They stop being worthless.

Because to someone, they’re priceless.

Helping charities invest in people

With every pound that charities spend on essential supplies and running costs, there’s less to spend on services.

Since 1996, In Kind Direct has redistributed hundreds of millions of pounds worth of goods. They have received product donations from over 1,000 companies and delivered them to over 7,500 organisations.

But what really matters are the charities they work with, who get everything they need to function – while saving on average over £5,000 a year.

So they can spend more of their money on support, not supplies.









Community Matters to close: the end of an era

March 15, 2016

A statement released today by respected Charity Community Matters..

Dear Community Matters Members, and Other Friends and Supporters

 cm logo

I am writing to you on behalf of the Board of Trustees to inform you that regrettably Community Matters is to be wound up after more than 70 years of support to the community sector. Members have been invited to attend an Extraordinary General Meeting on 31st March. If you are a member and haven’t received notice of the EGM please contact us urgently by email. You will I am sure be well aware of the financial challenges many organisations in our sector have faced in recent years, indeed many of you will have confronted similar challenges.  In 2011-12 we faced a more than 50% fall in our income and the new Chief Executive Graham Willmington with our Director of Enterprise Richard Bridge drew up a new 3-year business plan for 2013-16 with the aim to bring the organisation out of deficit through earned income alone. In the first two years the strategy paid off and we saw a healthy recovery of income over expenditure.  This year however the tide has turned.  The reasons are simple enough.  Aside from income from membership, which continues to hold up strongly, the bulk of income has been earned from consultancy, training and our quality tools delivered either to direct clients or under government programmes. Our most important client groups have been the local authorities who have much less to spend and of course our members who also have less money than in previous years.

The Board has monitored the finances carefully throughout this financial year and has reluctantly recognised that the organisation was no longer sustainable financially and that as Company Directors it was our responsibility to conclude that the organisation should be wound up.  This was not an easy decision and was arrived at only after careful consideration and with the benefit of professional guidance.

You may wonder why we have not entered into a merger.  We have explored this twice in recent years, but the reality is that saddled as we are with a pension deficit in excess of £330,000 it is of no surprise that no organisation has been willing to take on that liability.

In the last weeks the Chief Executive has been working on a legacy plan to find new host organisations for our key services.  Good progress has been made and we hope to make an announcement by the end of this month.   Read our recent Impact Assessment to find out why it is important to continue what we have started. I am delighted that the Bishopsgate Institute will be setting up the Community Matters Archive with our documents, newsletters, publications, films and photos dating throughout most of our 70 year history and this will be available in due course for study and research.

Finally I want to express on behalf of the Board and of our members our immense gratitude to Graham Willmington Chief Executive, to Richard Bridge Director of Enterprise, to Subita Begum our Finance and Membership Officer and we send our very best wishes to them all for the future.  It is an especially difficult time for staff faced as they are with redundancy, but they have not wavered in their commitment to ensuring the best achievable outcome.  I thank my fellow trustees Sheela Hammond, Joan Asby and Julian Hamlin who have loyally stuck with us through this difficult and challenging year.  I also want to give special thanks to our highly professional team of associates who are our front line in delivering our advice, support, training and consultancy and the outstanding quality of whose work has contributed enormously to Community Matters high reputation over recent years.


Kind regards and best wishes to you all

Fletcher Moss Press Statement RE Marcus Rashford

March 3, 2016

man u picfletcher moss picCan Do Communities are supporting Manchester Junior Club Fletcher Moss Rangers explore a Community Asset Transfer of the building at Merseybank playing fields. We are a Social Enterprise with expertise in the areas of; community consultation, business planning, asset transfer knowledge, building survey’s, architect proposals, charity set up, charity governance, organisational health checks and much more, we work throughout the UK supporting community groups and others develop their plans.

The following press release relates to Fletcher Moss Rangers and was released on 2nd March 2016, any enquiries re how we are supporting Fletcher Moss or about any of our services then please contact Marvin Symes (Co-founder) CDC 07910 276193

‘In light of recent press coverage, Fletcher Moss Rangers would like to clarify its current position and outline its plans for the future. We have hit the headlines recently because of Marcus Rashford’s exploits for Manchester United Football Club. Marcus is one of a long line of young players that started their football life at our club at a young age and went on to fame with a professional football club. It has been suggested in at least one national newspaper recently that Fletcher Moss Rangers are asking Manchester United for a donation of £2 million for the development of Marcus whilst with our club– this is not the case.

Fletcher Moss Rangers are currently exploring a Community Asset Transfer of the clubhouse where we base our activities as part of a strategy to secure the club’s long terms future. To this end we are working with our advisors (Can Do Communities CIC) in carrying out a feasibility study to develop a Community Hub on Merseybank playing fields. The feasibility study will include a Business Plan, Architect Drawings, Community Consultation, Governance strengthening & Incorporation. This will enable Fletcher Moss Rangers to be in a position to manage the building on a long-term lease from Manchester City Council and potentially develop the site, leading to the long-term sustainability of the club. Should this be the case our club will be working with partners to explore all relevant channels of funding or investment’


For Fletcher moss Enquiries: David Horrocks, Development Office & Skills Coach (Fletcher Moss Rangers) 07712 450181

For Feasibility Study background Enquiries: Marvin Symes, Co- Founder (Can Do Communities CIC) 07910 276193



January 22, 2016

peoples lottery pic


Many community groups are aware of Big Lottery (National Lottery) grant funding, with their excellent ‘Awards for All’ small grants programme of up to £10,000 in any one year. This month we feature a funder that not so many people are familiar with ‘People’s Postcode Lottery Funding’

People’s Postcode Lottery manages society lotteries on behalf of a range of charitable bodies. These lotteries support charities and good causes. Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised more than £99.6 Million for charity.

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery support sixteen Trusts. People’s Postcode Lottery has been operating in Great Britain since 2005. It mirrors the format of its sister lotteries in the Netherlands and Sweden.


There are three main pots that are open in the UK that we shall focus on with various eligibility and aims at different times of the calendar year

1. Peoples Postcode Lottery

The form will be open at the following times in 2016:

  • Sun 1st May – Tue 31st May 2016
  • Thu 1st Sep – Fri 30th Sep 2016


2. Postcode Community Trust

The form will be open at the following times in 2016:

  • Tue 5th Jan – Fri 29th Jan 2016
  • Sun 1st May – Tuesday 31st May 2016



3. Postcode Local Trust

The form will be open at the following times in 2016:

  • 5th Jan – 29th Jan 2016
  • 1st Sep – 30th Sep 2016

For more information on this or any general funding advice please feel free to call Can Do Communities on 01733 200906 or check this link