Nova has funding to support the development of Community Anchors across Wakefield District. Find out more about this project below.

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About the Community Anchors Development Programme

Following a review of community development by Public Health, it was identified that Wakefield District has comparatively few Community Anchor organisations.

As a result, Public Health is investing in the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and the development of community anchors across Wakefield District. Nova has been funded to co-ordinate this work.

Community Anchors are defined locally as organisations that:

  • Are community run and led
  • Are rooted in a sense of place
  • Have multiple functions
  • Have a mission to improve the whole community not just a part
  • Are dynamic and evolving 

Community Anchor organisations are a driving force in community renewal at neighbourhood level. They are independent, often registered charities, and are based in geographically defined neighbourhoods. Their multi-purpose facilities are used by the local community for various reasons, providing activities which align with the Five Ways to Well-being – Connect, Be Active, Take notice, Keep learning, Give.


Expected outcomes of the programme

  • Development of a Community Anchors Network in Wakefield District (@Wakefield CAN)
  • Connecting Community Anchor organisations with the statutory referral routes (e.g. Early Offer, Connecting Care, Social Care Direct, Primary Care)
  • Identifying areas of need, for example, areas with high level of inequality, low levels of provision
  • Increased levels of volunteering in Wakefield District
  • More activities provided by the Community Anchors

Nova has established a Community Anchor Network (CAN), a strong network of organisations that meet the definition and quality standard agreed by the Network.

The CAN shares good practice, skills and knowledge to enable their organisations to be the best they can be. It provides a platform for strategic influence, information sharing, discussion and action to bring about positive social change.


Key characteristics of Community Anchor Organisations

  • A building: a physical space which is community controlled, owned and led
  • A focus for services and activities meeting local need
  • A vehicle for local voices to be heard, needs to be identified and for local leaders and community groups to be supported
  • A platform for community development promoting cohesion whilst respecting diversity
  • A home for the community sector which is supportive of the growth and development of community groups
  • A means of promoting community led enterprise, generating independent income whilst having a social, economic and environmental impact
  • A forum for dialogue within communities, creating community led solutions
  • A bridge between communities and the state which promotes and brings about social change.

What does this look like?

  • People supported into training and skills development
  • Accessing funding that is invested locally
  • Volunteering opportunities and volunteer development
  • An umbrella of support for smaller community groups
  • A voice for local people and peer support
  • Regenerated neighbourhoods and socio-economic development
  • Strengthened community involvement