Revolution in community resource provision gets rolled out in Bucks

  |  Published: Oct 21st 2013

October 7th 2013: A new partnership project has just been launched to help communities, charities, local authorities, businesses and individuals support each other.

Called xchangeBucks, the new resource acts as a single point of access for those involved in the voluntary and community sector, allowing local people to get involved and build links with each other.

The project came about when it became clear that while the infrastructure groups involved (Community Impact Bucks, The Clare Foundation, ngage, Action4Youth, Bucks Sport and the Buckinghamshire Community Foundation) knew the specialist differences between themselves and what they offered, the organisations looking for the support sometimes did not.

xchangeBucks aims to resolve that issue – helping to put those who need the service in touch with those that can provide it, as well as giving support, advice and training along the way.

Cora Carvey, Chief Executive of Community Impact Bucks, said: “The purpose of xchangeBucks is to make sure those needing help can get it more efficiently. It’s all about making things easier for them. As such, it will prove to be a better system to understand and give them and the end users a bigger benefit.”

xchangeBucks is a partnership between the six groups mentioned above, and has been funded by Buckinghamshire County Council and Wycombe District Council. The resource was launched to the county at the Annual Conference of Community Impact Bucks in Aylesbury last month.

The web portal, at www.xchangebucks.org.uk, is divided into six sections; Support and Advice, Training and Events, Volunteering, Jobs, Trading and Funding.

Paul O’Hare, Project Manager at Community Impact Bucks, said the first new aspect of the website is that front-line organisations can upload training opportunities and manage those bookings directly from the site itself. They can also post paid employment positions, giving them a vast potential pool of skills to recruit from.

There is also access to a range of free self-help guides produced by Community Impact Bucks to assist community groups in their running and administration.

Also for the first time the business sector has a forum to discover what resources are available within their own communities, and give them the change to ‘trade’ skills and services with the voluntary sector and organisations that support them.

xchangeBucks is also represented on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. For those without access to the internet, the web portal is backed up by a helpline telephone number (0300 11 11 250).

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