Voluntary and Community Sector

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. It is made up of lots of different groups and organisations from large charities to small community groups. Whatever their size, they all play an important part in supporting and helping the people of Ashford and making the borough a better place to live.

Sometimes we all need a little help and whatever the issue is you are facing, the VCS is here to help and support you.

You can hear about some of the VCS organisations in Ashford and find a list of foodbanks in the links below

Here to Help Campaign

Ashford Food Banks and Other Essential Supplies

Other support and services provided by the VCS in Ashford includes:

  • 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 key in delivering services to the people of Ashford. Departments across the council work closely with voluntary and community organisations to help deliver our services.

Grants and Funding to the VCS 

Grants and funding to the VCS are available through the council's Community Grants Fund

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 two urban community forums which represent the views of people living and working in some parts of the urban area. Other parts of the urban area, and the rest of the borough, are represented by Local Councils

Each community forum is an independent voluntary group and is led by a committee of local volunteers. They 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.


Any queries regarding the voluntary and community sector in Ashford can be sent to the Grants and Funding Team at grantsandfunding@ashford.gov.uk.