About Us

What We Do

Communities 1st develops, connects and supports local voluntary and community organisations, helping to improve the quality of peoples lives across the East of England

We are home to the St. Albans, Hertsmere, Broxbourne and East Herts Volunteer Centres, providing support and guidance for those who want to become volunteers and those who want to recruit volunteers. 


We provide support services for older people and those with vulnerabilities and facilitate various meetings and events around health and wellbeing within the community and at a higher level. We offer Group Support resources for new community groups and ongoing information and advice on everything from funding to social media for existing groups in districts of St. Albans and Hertsmere. 

Through our buildings, we offer training, networking opportunities, room hire and office rental. We also deliver specific projects within the counties of Hertfordshire, Luton, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, West Essex and the surrounding areas

Volunteer Driver

Our Journey: The Story of Communities 1st

Roots and Beginnings


Communities 1st was born from a vision of unity and community service, a journey that began in 2018. Our foundation was laid through the merger of two pioneering charities - Community Action Hertsmere and Community Central St Albans. These organisations, each with a distinguished history of serving local communities, established Community Voluntary Services (CVS) and Volunteer Centres, becoming lifelines for the people in our region.  Community Action Hertsmere, tracing its history to the early 2000s, emerged from a union of Elstree and Borehamwood CVS, Potters Bar CVS, and Borehamwood Community Partnership. This amalgamation brought together a spectrum of services, significantly impacting individuals and communities.


Growth and Integration


Expanding our Family:

  • 2019: Broadening Our Reach - We embraced two new charities into our family with the inclusion of Hertsmere Community Transport and Aberford Social Club, each contributing unique strengths and deep-rooted community connections.

  • 2021: Enhancing Volunteer Engagement - In October 2021, the Volunteer Centre Broxbourne and East Herts became part of our network. This expanded our capacity for volunteer outreach and engagement, furthering our impact across a broader range of communities.


Inclusion and Diversity


  • 2023: Embracing New Dimensions - The latest addition to our family is Para Dance UK, joining us in October 2023. They bring an inspiring element of inclusive dance, championing the values of inclusion, accessibility, and participation for all, irrespective of ability.


Our Ongoing Mission


At Communities 1st, we are more than just a collection of services; we are a confluence of efforts aimed at empowering and uplifting communities. Each step in our journey has been about bringing people together, fostering inclusivity, and creating a space where everyone feels valued and supported.

Join Us in Our Mission: As we continue to grow and evolve, we invite you to be part of our story. Whether you're a volunteer, a donor, or someone looking to make a difference, there's a place for you in the Communities 1st family.


Together, we are stronger. Together, we build better communities.


Logo Map of Services and Partnerships

Check out our services and partnership projects using this easy-read map.