Getting Started

Lisburn and Castlereagh Council support many different types of voluntary and community groups.  These groups have all been set up to deliver a service or activity for their local community.  This could be a men’s club that is run from someone’s back garden, a food bank in a church or a group that has got funding to build a community centre that offers different types of classes and activities to everyone in their area.

These groups are all very different but they have a number of things in common.

  • They are set up by a group of volunteers who have the time to run the group.
  • They are set up to deliver a service or activity that the community and the council think is needed and that people want.
  • The group has a clear idea of how they will run the group and for how long. Some groups are set up to run for a couple of months eg to organise an event.  Other groups are setup to deliver a service for years.
  • The group has at least one volunteer who knows how to complete all the paperwork that is needed to keep the group going eg to get funding from the council or submit reports to the Charities Commission.

If you are interested in setting up a group in your community or finding out how groups work then you’re in the right place!

Each voluntary or community group in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area runs a slightly different service or has been setup to carry out an activity that is needed for the local community. While each group might be different, each group will go through the same process of setting up the group and managing the group.

This resource takes you through these 2 key processes and is divided into six sections:

  • Setting up a group outlines the 7 stages from identifying the need through to planning and running meetings.
  • Managing projects outlines the 7 stages from organising an event through to writing a press release.
  • Managing money outlines the 8 stages from budgeting through to monitoring and evaluation.
  • Managing premises outlines the 7 stages from first steps through to completing a risk assessment.
  • Managing people outlines the 5 stages from policies and procedures through to recruiting new members.
  • Resources contains each of the websites and templates from each section in one location.

A Glossary has been included to explain terms that may be unfamiliar.