Setting Up and Running a Group

Starting a new group can be daunting with various new challenges.  Communities 1st can provide you with the information and resources to get you going.  Our range of supports includes:

  • Guidance to set up a new group
  • Choosing the right structure for your group
  • Guidance on the roles and responsibilities of trustees
  • Information on appropriate policies and procedures
  • Finding suitable funding for your group
  • Funding application checks

With policies and legislation constantly changing, it is best for us to provide links to resources that will be up-to-date. 

Please note that some links will take you to recommended official sites and we are not responsible for external materials.


Getting Started

So, you want to set up a new group?  You have a great idea.  Perhaps even a name.  But what next?


Management Committees:

Every community organisation has a governing body known as a Management Committee.  The Committee's job is basically to ensure that the group does what it was set up to do; has enough money and does not go into debt and is well run.


A Management Committee usually comprises:

  • A Chair
  • A Secretary
  • A Treasurer

Charity Trustees: What's Involved


Writing a Constitution:

A constitution is the aims and rules that your group will use.  It will include information on your Members and the Management Committee.  It will include details of your Annual General Meeting (AGM) and any other meetings.  It will also include rules of procedure and information on controlling finances.  Finally, it will include how you make changes to the constitution and details around dissolution.

Model Governing Documents


Essential Policies:

You may need a number of policies depending on what service and activities you are running, but it is vital you at least have the following:

  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Health & Safety Policy
  • Safeguarding Policy

Once you become a member of Communities 1st you will gain access to several model policies that you can tailor to your needs.



A group may wish to open a charity bank account.  It is always worth shopping around for the best advice on this.

Public Liability Insurance is needed for small groups to cover all group activities and should be regularly updated to include new ones.  There are various types of cover available.

We can give you advice around finances or we can signpost you to an organisation that can help.


Funding & Fundraising:

Fundraising is vital to keep your group sustainable and allow you to deliver your service. 

To apply for funding from grantmakers such as the Lottery, you will need to write funding applications.  Writing a funding application can be time-consuming and testing, but there is lots of advice out there should you need it.  A funding application may need to include job descriptions for project employees and a copy of your recent accounts.


We can give you advice around fundraising and bid and tender writing

You can also sign up to our Members Monday monthly eNewsletter for regular updates on funding opportunities.

DBS Checks:

Whether you have paid staff or volunteers if they are in contact with children or vulnerable adults they will need a DBS check before they can start work.

DBS checks 


In the early stages, you may wish to develop a logo and a brand around your group name. 

You can produce leaflets and flyers telling people about your service and could attend local networking events to promote your group and make new connections.

We can give you advice around logo development, brand awareness and graphic design

An email address is an essential point of communication for any new group.

If you wish to you can develop a website (there are lots of free website templates available) and create social media accounts such as a Facebook page or a Twitter page to get you an online presence.

We can give you advice around web design and hosting


By becoming a member, you can approach Communities 1st about putting your information on our website, and have information added to our newsletters, as well as access networks and forums helping you to make connections with like-minded groups.

For more information, please contact Christine on 01727 814622 / 020 8207 4504 or email us