Open Site Navigation

West of England Rural Network

West of England Rural Network

Brief Description of Organisation

We support and work with communities, businesses, social enterprises, organisations and individuals on a wide range of matters that impact on rural areas.

Full Description of Organisation

We support and work with communities, businesses, social enterprises, organisations and individuals on a wide range of matters that impact on rural areas.


We work with local authorities, other statutory services, the West of England Combined Authority, the Local Enterprise Partnership and Clinical Commissioning Groups to influence policy and to ensure that the impacts on rural communities are always considered.


Being a member of ACRE (Action with Rural Communities in Rural England) we are able to call on the expertise and experience of colleague Rural Community Councils from across the network which gives us national reach. 


We work in a variety of areas to improve life for our community:

Social Prescribing

Social Prescribing seeks to address patients’ needs in an holistic way by supporting patients to take greater control of their own health and wellbeing. Many issues can affect you including:

  • money management and debt

  • addiction

  • homelessness

  • housing

  • stress, anxiety and depression

  • isolation

  • unemployment

  • study and access to learning

  • relationship difficulties

Once referred we can arrange your appointments either on the telephone or face to face for practical and emotional support through conversations and information. The link worker will also support patients to manage medical symptoms, by connecting with Care Coordinators, community groups and services and organisations who offer one to one support. This is a free service.

Rural Connections

Working with rural communities to strengthen opportunities and activities for older people. Rural Connections is a community project funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, working with rural communities to strengthen opportunities and activities for older people, particularly those who may be isolated and ‘off the radar’ and is delivered by the North Somerset Village Agents. 


Using an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach and with the support of community leaders such as Parish Councils, Churches, Village Hall committees and Community Transport groups, we intend to identify gaps and work with local volunteers, developing and publicising new activities. These may be groups such as:

  • Art classes

  • Knitting circles

  • Men’s sheds and sporting activities

  • Coffee and lunch clubs

Our goal is to:

  • Create opportunities for everyone in the rural areas we cover

  • Engage with their community, increase informal volunteering 

  • Ensure that everyone has the opportunity to take part in this great project funded by Her Majesty’s Government and the Big Lottery Community Fund

Rural Networks

Supporting and working with communities to help them find their own solutions for issues that can be unique for rural areas.

VCS Emergencies Partnership

The Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership recognises the crucial role that the voluntary sector plays, both nationally and locally, to support those in need. 


We also see the increasing demands made on the sector and are here as a safety net:

  • To boost and enhance support from national to VCS organisations, and to help raise the profile of grassroots organisations

  • To further strengthen coordination of national and local response efforts during emergencies

  • To provide a single access point between the government and the voluntary and community sector

The Emergencies Partnership has four strands of work:

  1. A national platform to gather intelligence on unmet need at national, regional and local levels

  2. Five regional multi-agency cells, with representatives from national and local voluntary organisations across England, to facilitate a more collaborative and coordinated response across the voluntary and community sector

  3. A request for support service for when the demand for support outstrips the supply available to meet it

  4. One national volunteering cell which has a national overview and provides a single point of contact for requests for large-scale volunteer support

West of England Civil Society Partnership

The West of England Civil Society Partnership (WoECSP) is a registered Community Interest Company established by Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector (VCSE) infrastructure and support organisations across the West of England. 


The partnership, originally established in 2011, brings together Voscur, CVS South Gloucestershire, The Care Forum, Voluntary Action North Somerset, Wesport, West of England Rural Network and the B&NES Third Sector Group.


The role of the Partnership is to provide:

  • Leadership, support and coordination for the VCSE sector across the West of England

  • A voice and focus for the VCSE sector to engage in, influence and scrutinise policy development at a West of England level with the new and emerging governance structures

West of England Rural Network

Brief Description of Organisation

We support and work with communities, businesses, social enterprises, organisations and individuals on a wide range of matters that impact on rural areas.

West of England Rural Network