Voluntary and Community Sector


Coronavirus voluntary and community groups

There are lots of ways that the community are coming together to help one another during the Coronavirus outbreak.

If you are part of a voluntary/community group that is helping others then you can have the work you are doing published on our list of Coronavirus voluntary and community groups. Please provide us with some detail around the help you can provide by completing our voluntary group form.

If you are individual that would like to help, you can complete our individual volunteering form. This information will be shared with Ashford Volunteer Centre who are working with us to co-ordinate help. 

Voluntary and community groups

In Ashford borough, the voluntary and community sector (VCS) delivers a broad range of local services to all kinds of people. From large formal charities, to small informal community groups, all play a crucial role in providing essential services, improving our quality of life and strengthening the fabric of our communities.

The Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in Ashford provides a wide range of activities and services including:

  • Advice and support for vulnerable people;
  • Health and social care services;
  • Mediation and Counselling Services;
  • Services for the disabled and older people;
  • Support for black and ethnic minority people;
  • Activities and support services for children and young people;
  • Protecting and enhancing our environment and rural areas;
  • Looking after our parks and open spaces;
  • Looking after heritage sites and museums;
  • Sport and leisure activities;
  • Manage leisure and community facilities;
  • Arts events, festivals and community fun days;
  • Community and resident groups and forums;
  • Faith groups.

The VCS is regarded by central government as a key partner in the delivery of better quality and more responsive public services. Departments across the council work closely with voluntary and community organisations to help deliver our services.

Grants and funding to the VCS are available through the council's single grants gateway.

Key VCS Partners

Our key partners including the following groups:

Ashford and District Volunteer Centre – provides help with volunteering opportunities for all, including placements and support to those who wish to volunteer and support and advice to organisations who use volunteers.

Ashford Borough Citizens Advice – provides free advice to all on employment, benefits, money and debt, housing and homelessness and immigration and nationality.

Uprising CIC – provides advice and support to young people and communities facing significant challenges.

Sk8side – a youth centre providing a free service for young people to provide them with an empowering and nurturing environment where they can develop as individuals and gain all the skills they need as they go into young adulthood.

In Kent, the VCS is supported by Stronger Kent Communities who can provide advice and training on strategic planning, fundraising and finance, governance and trustees, marketing and communications, and volunteering, amongst other things.

Urban Community Forums

Ashford Borough has four urban community forums which represent the views of people living and working in the urban area.

Each community forum is an independent voluntary group and is led by a committee of local volunteers who help to keep residents informed about what is happening in the local area. They also communicate their community's views to Ashford Borough Council and other statutory organisations.

For more information about the voluntary and community sector in Ashford, please contact:

Michelle Byrne
Funding and Partnerships Officer
michelle.byrne@ashford.gov.uk
01233 330485