Our community leadership and partnership activities are also core strands of our work. We strive to use our insight, community knowledge and connections to challenge preconceptions and shape conversations which in turn help to develop new opportunities. 

We participate in key partnerships including Wiltshire Public Services Board, Wiltshire’s and Swindon’s VCS Leadership Alliances, Wiltshire and Swindon Health Inequalities Groups, the Wiltshire Inclusion Network, South West Funders, the Wiltshire Children and Families Voluntary Sector Forum and the Wiltshire Food Collaborative.  We also take part in more informal engagement with a wide range of health, local authority and voluntary sector colleagues.  We seek to increase the understanding of local needs and priorities and the value and contributions made locally by small and local voluntary and community sector (VCS) groups working in the heart of their communities. 

Our strategic engagement, along with insight gained from our grant-making and the Networks we facilitate means we are helping to inform local policy and decision-making and increasing sector connections.  

Along with our Needs Analysis, we use the insights gained from these activities to inform our grant programmes and philanthropy.

Understanding local need

Our 2023 Needs Analysis for Wiltshire and Swindon brings together a range of socio-economic data to explore local need and the issues that affect our communities:

  • Helping to increase understanding of local need
  • Shining a light on the inequalities that affect people’s opportunities and life choices
  • Sparking conversations and inspiring action
  • Informing our philanthropy, grant-making, voluntary sector support and partnership activities

Ours needs analysis, and the statistics it draws upon, are just part of a wider picture. It is only by also using local knowledge, insight from local communities and national research that we can complete the full picture of needs and priorities in our area.

Read our Needs Analysis

Connecting people

By hosting our Networks, Wiltshire Community Foundation helps to increase the impact of the voluntary sector, enabling connections, increasing confidence, knowledge, sharing and learning:

The Connecting People Networks bring together organisations who have an interest in or provide day to day activities that connect people and address loneliness. Last year we had nearly 200 people attending the Network events. Information on future meetings is available here.

The Wiltshire and Swindon Youth Work Network brings together youth work organisations to share experiences, learn and create new connections. Since November 2022, a cross-sector planning group from the Network, with the support of the Young People’s Foundation (YPF) Trust, has been working collaboratively to consider ambitions and undertaking development work for a Local Youth Partnership for Wiltshire and/or Swindon. If you have any questions/would like to discuss/offer your input to Partnership development please contact Margaret Firth, Director of Partnerships:

We also host the Wiltshire and Swindon Funders Network to improve connections between funders and improve the impact of funding and initiatives that support the VCSE sector and local communities in Wiltshire and Swindon to thrive.

Feedback from groups and organisations attending our networks highlights that new connections and partnerships have been created, confidence and knowledge has increased and groups welcome the opportunities to share and learn from each other. If you are interested in joining or hearing more about any of our Networks please contact us.

Case Study

The Rise Trust

Danielle Blake, youth co-ordinator of The Rise Trust in Chippenham, has been a member of the Wiltshire and Swindon Youth Work Network hosted by Wiltshire Community Foundation since its launch.

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