Village SOS

The Village SOS (Support, Outreach and Sustainability) Campaign aims to make communities more enterprising, and assist you to reinvent and reinvigorate existing services.  The campaign is being delivered across the UK by a partnership including The ACRE Network (Action with Communities in Rural England) the Big Lottery Fund, Rocket Science and Rose Regeneration.  Support is available to lead rural projects from the early stages of planning through to a stage where they are ready to get their ideas off the ground and into motion. Within Northumberland the campaign is being led by CAN.


Does your community have a great idea or project?

Village SOS is all about helping communities to survive and thrive. The campaign will help communities to become more enterprising - this might be by retaining services such as shops, libraries or playgroups in your village, or by starting up a new project that generates money for the benefit of the local area.

Village SOS works through building capacity, supporting development and empowering communities to take action. Participant projects will be able to access one-to-one support adapted to their individual needs, and will be mentored towards sustainability.


Help available through Village SOS includes:

·                One-to-one mentoring with a network of experts - face-to-face, via the telephone, or via Skype (or similar)

·                Local partner support from the relevant organisation, in this case, CAN

·                Funding to bring ideas and/or projects to a stage where they can move forward seamlessly

·                Regular updates, tips, advice and stories through newsletters and eBulletins

·                A how-to guide on setting up a social enterprise, which takes you through all of the stages for a successful community-owned initiative

·                A Plan of Support which will set out actions, responsibilities, and all costs associated with the project at hand

·                Community-to-community learning and sharing models of best practice - learning from the experience and expertise of other projects out there


Village SOS Mentors

A network of mentors will help you to progress some of your ideas and actions, so you can benefit from a real expert in your relevant field. You might need expertise on subjects like: websites, consultations, funding, business plans, marketing or volunteer management. Mentors are available for these areas and so much more. 


Getting Started

The official website where you can sign up for updates, and to be part of the campaign, can be found at

Alternatively please contact CAN on 01670 517178   or email  us via our contact page to discuss your project idea or find out more information.