Resources for groups

South West Foundation worked with over 1,900 groups and 80 networks in the past decade, and this is what made them unique. The Foundation focussed on smaller Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations (VCSOs). We worked with these groups on both small and large projects in order to help them and further the amazing work that they do. They work in communties, not just in making communities a better place, especially for those most in need, but use their ability to engage with the wider community through volunteering and giving people a voice and say in their communities. This page contains helpful resources for VCSOs.


The Directory of Social Change is probably the most extensive resource of information about funders but it does charge for its services. See link below:

The Charity Comission
the Charity  Comission has a wide range of advice, information and sample documents that are usueful to charities and devloping charities.
Grin Coop
Grin is an award-winning social enterprise based in Devon that helps not for profit organisations secure the grant funding and resources that they need. They also send out a daily grants bulletin. There may be a charge for some services.

Materials helpful for Community Research


For the last ten years South West Foundation had been training community members to undertake their own research projects. Over 600 community members have taken part in the research projects. The Foundation and now South West Community Matters has developed its own unique Community Researcher Training Programme. This involves guided research with community groups aimed at engaging community members who may not previously have undertaken research to undertake research inot their own communities.


Below is information on the community researcher based project run in partnerhsip with the University of Bath, over a two year period. The project merged community researcher training with the university's Participatory Based Community Research (PBCR) and undertook research projects with six community groups and researchers from the university.



The Community Matters Project was an exciting new programme  undertaken with charitable voluntary organisations based in Bath and North East Somerset. It was a partnership project between the University of Bath and South West Foundation.


What did the project offer?

The project offered the opportunity for Voluntary Organisations in Bath and North East Somerset to undertake a Community Based Research project of their choice using the Community Based Participatory Research modle(CBPR).


Community Based Participatory Research  involves University researchers and members of a specific community working together in the development, implementation, and dissemination of small-scale research that is relevant to the community. CBPR focuses on real-world problems. As such, it is not about interpreting the world but about changing it.


Five Voluntary and Community Sector organisations in the Bath and North East Somerset area were selected to take part in this new and exciting programme. Programme participants were.

  • Creativity Works
  • Wansdyke Play Association
  • Tranisition Larkhall
  • Triumph Over Phobia(TOPS)
  • Black Familes Education Support Group.

The Community Matters project was delivered through a collaboration with the University of Bath’s Public Engagement Unit ( and South West Foundation (, an exempt charity with over a decade’s experience of facilitating and supporting research in local communities. Organisations collected their research data and presented their findings and reports at an exciting event in September 2017 in Bath.


Research undertaken by Community Matters participants

  • Wansdyke Play Association explored the impact that outdoor, outreach play services had on alleviating play deprivation across Somer Vale communities.

  • Triumph over Phobia wanted to understand how to encourage people with anxiety problems to seek help.

  • Black Families Education Support Group explored the role supplementary schooling can play in narrowing the educational achievement gaps between different ethnic groups.

  • Creativity Works, an organisation using creative activities, arts, drawing, writing and performance researched ways of heling people overcome anxiety and mental health challenges.

  • Transition Larkhall, an organisation dedicated to tackling climate change through local actions researched the impact of the school run in Larkhall.

Slideshow of photos from Community Matters event in Bath September 2017

Presentations from the Community Matters event are available to download below

Wansdyke Play Association Community Matters presentation
The impact that WPA’s outdoor, outreach play services has on alleviating play deprivation across Somer Valley communities.

Wandsyke Play Association - Presentation[...]
Microsoft Power Point presentation [3.8 MB]

Triumph Over Phobia Community Matters presentation
Seeking Help: A Comparison Between the NHS and a Mental Health Charity

Triumph Over Phobia _ presentation.ppt
Microsoft Power Point presentation [1.9 MB]

Transition Larkhall Community Matters report
How do parents take their children to school and why do they choose to travel this way?

Transition Larkhall report.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [4.6 MB]

Black Families Education Support Group

A video about their research into the role supplementary schooling can play in narrowing the educational achievement gaps between different ethnic groups is below.

Helpful media, documents and links

Other useful documents and links

social geography participatory research.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [236.5 KB]
History of community research.ppt
Microsoft Power Point presentation [2.8 MB]
Everyday ethics in community based parti[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [285.1 KB]
A common Language for CBPR.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [80.5 KB]
Adobe Acrobat document [687.3 KB]

Training Materials

Getting to Grips with the Terminology.pd[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [466.1 KB]
Primary and secondary sources of data ha[...]
Microsoft Word document [42.5 KB]
Stages of research handout 2.doc
Microsoft Word document [48.0 KB]
How to choose your research method basic[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [107.8 KB]
Check List for Community Based Participa[...]
Microsoft Word document [20.6 KB]
Qualitative and quantitative data handou[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [73.8 KB]

Working With Universities

getting_started (002).pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [283.4 KB]
Adobe Acrobat document [327.0 KB]
Adobe Acrobat document [261.5 KB]
Adobe Acrobat document [410.6 KB]
Adobe Acrobat document [200.5 KB]
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