Voluntary and community sector infrastructure review

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in North Yorkshire invest in the provision of practical and strategic support (sometimes known as infrastructure support or local support and development) to facilitate a strong, diverse and vibrant voluntary and community sector across North Yorkshire that is equitable, consistent and sustainable. 

This review was undertaken in 2015/16 to help inform decision making about future NYCC and CCG funding of infrastructure support. The review considered best practice, the views of providers and the views of a sample of voluntary and community organisations with regard to the current services they receive and demand for future support. This included the support which organisations require around volunteering, both in terms of strategic and practical support but did not consider volunteering support from an individual volunteer's perspective.


The review found that:

  • there is still a need for infrastructure support services in the county.
  • the current financial environment is challenging for many voluntary organisations and creates support needs.
  • funding and volunteer recruitment are the most demanded services and there is growing demand for tendering support.
  • the size and age of the organisation/group impacts on their support needs.
  • there is a wide variety of organisations that can provide infrastructure support in the county.
  • some organisations have poor understanding of their own support needs.
  • many voluntary organisations are unable or unwilling to pay for infrastructure services, particularly smaller organisations. 
  • services should be a mixture of information services, networks and contacts, toolkits, training and personal one to one support. Good quality pro-active information bulletins are key.
  • there is the potential for increased partnership working with the private sector including mentoring, networking, and sharing resources.
  • there is a need for infrastructure organisations to more effectively demonstrate outcomes and impact so that voluntary organisations can clearly understand what they are doing for them and the difference made.


Download a copy of the Voluntary and community sector infrastructure review - final report


Competitive grants process

Following a robust competitive process, the County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Groups have commissioned North Yorkshire & York Forum (NYYF) and Rural Action Yorkshire (RAY) to provide practical and strategic support to voluntary and community organisations and volunteering for three years from 1 April 2017. 

NYYF and RAY have merged to become Community First Yorkshire to provide enhanced support to voluntary, community and rural organisations across the county. 

The service will provide practical support to voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises. This includes:

  • Advice on running your organisation or group
  • Training and resources
  • Funding information
  • Volunteering - volunteering opportunities, volunteer recruitment and advice on volunteer management
  • Representing the voluntary and community sector

More information on the services available can be found on the Community First Yorkshire website

To contact Community First Yorkshire ring 01904 704177 or email info@communityfirstyorkshire.org.uk