Last edited 26 Feb 2019

Community group

A community group (full name ‘voluntary and community group’) is a collection of individuals located in a common geographical area who come together to promote a common cause for the public/community benefit. The aim may be to influence institutions, corporations or government and possibly to influence social reform or seek more representation on decision-making bodies.

Typical examples of community groups are community associations such as King’s Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association, which aims to improve the quality of life of local residents in the King’s Cross and Brunswick area of central London.

Community groups usually have a governing document called a ‘constitution’ which sets out the group’s rules, aims, obligations and powers. As well as providing a framework for action, the constitution ensures the group operates in accordance with the law and in a responsible manner.

The typical characteristics of a community group might include:

  • Activities are for the benefit of the community or general public.
  • It relies on volunteer support – none of the members are paid.
  • It is independent and self-governing, appointing its own management committee.
  • It is not for profit, therefore nobody is paid for what they do.

In the England and Wales, local government may offer grants for projects such as activities for young people, volunteer programmes and the development of communal facilities.

Community groups may be stakeholders in the built environment or in construction projects, and may need to be consulted, or may comment on, or object to planning applications and other activities.

In 2011, the Localism Act introduced a number of community rights, such as:

For more information see: Community rights.

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