Setting Up a User Led Organisation or community group

Setting Up a User Led Organisation or community group


1. Guidance and toolkits on setting up a User Led Organisation or community group


Starting Up – A guide for User Led Organisations

This learning video is based on the real life experiences of groups who have gone through the setting up and early development process. It includes extracts from interviews with three groups who are members of the Hampshire User Led Organisations Network talking about their own experience; the issues they had to deal with; and the solutions they found to deal with the challenges they faced.

Topics covered include, working out your direction, planning, funding and finance, and how to get advice and support. Each section of the video is accompanied by an introduction to the theme/topic and a summary of key learning points.

The film is part of a training package comprising of the video on how to set up your own User Led Organisation, plus supplementary learning notes and a written resource on obtaining funding.

The learning notes and funding guide will be available to download from the web site shortly.

The whole package will also be issued on CD and can be obtained from the free of charge on request. Contact: [email protected]

Watch the videos here:

1 Introduction – Starting up a ULO

2 Finding Your Identity

3 Working Out Your Direction

4 Planning

5 Funding

6 Advice and Support

7 Reflections and Learning Points


How to guide for small community groups in Southampton

Published by Southampton City Councils Communities & Improvement Team


This guide has been produced for use by community groups or by anyone who may be interested in starting up a new group. The guide aims to give clear, straightforward help and information. It covers a wide range of issues, including setting up, constitutions, finance, legal and insurance requirements, and advice on working with volunteers. Each section gives a basic outline of what is required and how you might go about achieving this. Examples of forms and further information can be found at the end of the guide.

Setting up a Community Organisation

Produced by Community Matters – The National Federation of Community Organisations

This guide is aimed at people who want to set up a small community group. It contains advice on how to turn your idea for a group into a practical reality and the different issues you will need to think about, like what interests or needs you are trying to address, and how your group fits in with what already exists in the community. It also covers the various steps you need to take in setting up a group.

Starting a New Charity FAQs

Produced by the Small Charities Coalition

This short guide aims to answer some of the most common questions people ask when they are thinking about setting up a small charity. This covers issues like whether or not setting up a charity is the best option for different groups; the legal form a charity needs to take; writing a constitution; and when and how to register with the Charity Commission.

The document includes links to Charity Commission guidance and other sources of information on each of the questions it covers.

Are You Ready for Business?

Published by Fusion/Living Options Devon

The ‘Are you ready for Business?’ resource pack is intended to provide a reference and audit guide for smaller/fledgling User Led Organisations. The purpose of the pack is to enable ULOs to assess current business capacity and skills, provide an example of governance and organisational structures and enable identification of strengths, weaknesses and areas for development. The pack has been produced by the Fusion User Led Organisation based on its own experiences.

Setting Up a Charity

Published by the Charity Commission

This guide covers all the basics of setting up a charity organisation – what it means to be a charity, including what charities can and can’t do; the role and responsibilities of trustees; the different types of charity and picking the right one for you.

Start Your Social Enterprise

Published by Social Enterprise UK

This guide takes you through the start-up essentials and includes advice from people who have already gone through the process. It is aimed at people who want to start a Social Enterprise from scratch, as well as existing charities and groups who want to change to a Social Enterprise.

You can download a copy here: Start your social enterprise.pdf

2. Other sources of information and advice on setting up and running a User Led Organisation or community group

The Charity Commission

The Charity Commission is the regulator for charities in England and Wales. In addition to dealing with registrations they also provide advice on all aspects of setting up and running a charity.

NCVO – National Council for Voluntary Organisations

NCVO is an umbrella organisation supporting the whole of the voluntary sector from large national organisations to small local community groups. They can offer advice and support on a very wide range of issues, including funding and finance, involving people, collaborative working, planning, and campaigning and influencing.

Community Matters – The National Federation of Community Organisations

Community Matters offers a range of services and tools to help support smaller community organisations. Their website also has free guidance and toolkits for download on a wide range of topics, including setting-up, finance and funding, and much more.

The Small Charities Coalition

The Small Charities Coalition exists to help small charities access the skills, experience and resources they need to achieve their aims. The Coalition also works like a voluntary sector matchmaking service, matching small charities with other organisations that have the skills that small charities might want help with.

Social Enterprise UK

The national body for social enterprise, providing a range of advice and support to members