Village SOS launches Mobile Phone App
by David Emerson,

A new Mobile App which aims to help community groups with their project planning has been launched by Village SOS, a UK wide campaign funded by the Big Lottery fund. Village SOS is a campaign which offers one-to-one support and advice to community groups who are providing a service in their local community, via a network of partnership organisations across the UK. It is hoped that the Mobile App; which is available FREE to download on both Android and Apple devices, will make the process of developing project ideas easier.

Users can access case studies, useful project planning advice, business planning tips as well as make use of downloadable templates such as a ‘cashflow template’. The App is a resource for community groups to use when taking their project forward, understanding the complexities of keeping it going and also learning from those with experience of similar activities.

Chris Cowcher, Village SOS Community said: “Projects across the UK can access expert advice from our partners, which will help them to develop and grow their project ideas and we hope that this application will help them to consider what is needed to keep going in future. Packed full of case studies, this is a very useful resource to have at your fingertips. The App has been designed to work without internet connection, once downloaded and it is hoped that this will help those in the many rural communities where the ability to get online is limited or in some cases non-existent.”

To read more about the Village SOS Mobile App including how to download, please visit the Village SOS website www.villagesos.org.uk.

Notes to editors

Village SOS • Village SOS was launched by the Big Lottery Fund in 2009 to seize the challenges and opportunities faced by people living in rural communities. It saw more than 160 innovative village projects come to fruition, from community shops to a community forest company. • The Big Lottery Fund is keeping the spirit of this success alive with a new two-year Village SOS campaign, with Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and its network of 38 rural community councils leading on activity in England; in Wales it is WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action) in Scotland Rocket Science, Senscot and Forth Sector; and in Northern Ireland the Rural Community Network. • The aim of Village SOS is to keep communities alive and thriving by helping them to become more enterprising with the support of people who have already done it themselves. • For more information, please contact Chris Cowcher on 01285 653477.

Action with Communities in Rural England • ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) is the national body for the 38 rural community councils (RCCs) who make up the ACRE Network. We speak up for rural communities on the national stage and deliver projects that enable our communities to find innovative solutions to the challenges they face. ACRE are the lead partner for the Village SOS campaign across the UK.

Rose Regeneration • Rose Regeneration is an economic and community development business. Based in Lincoln it undertakes rural and coastal orientated projects across the UK. The organisation has a key role in facilitating the development of Village SOS mentors.

The Big Lottery Fund • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes. • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans. • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £33 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.

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