Starting a Group

We provide support and information to small, new and emerging voluntary, community and faith groups in Merton.

Our team of development workers can support you on your journey of starting a new group, by highlighting the things you need to consider before setting up and what you need to do if you decide to go ahead. 

Please be aware that due to the current climate, support to set up a group will be over the phone, by email or on Zoom.  

Helpful Information

Strong financial management systems are an important key to success in any organisation. Our Community Accountancy Service aims to help local voluntary organisations improve their accounting systems and records. We can offer a range of different kinds of support to help you get on top of financial management.

One to One Advice Sessions
These are available to anyone involved in running an organisation’s finances. We can help with setting up financial policies and procedures, keeping proper books and records, reporting to the committee, computerising accounts and complying with statutory and funder requirements.

Group Training Courses
In addition to the one to one training we also offer a range of financial training courses. 

Financial Health Checks
Through partner organisations, we can conduct a thorough review of financial systems and make recommendations. An alternative to this is the new Financial Feet Finder which is slightly less detailed than a full financial health check but will highlight areas of weakness.

Independent Examinations
We can prepare and examine the accounts of charities and other voluntary sector organisations. We offer a high quality value for money service which is carried out at an agreed price for an agreed time-scale. Our staff are members of relevant professional bodies and continually update their knowledge and develop their expertise in charity accounts.

We offer organisations a range of model policies that you can personalise to fit your own requirements. 

These are designed to help organisations in formulating your own policies and procedures. 

Please note when using our policies that the personalised versions you produce need to go to your trustees for approval. Once adopted they need to be integral to the day to day working of your organisation. It is good practice to revisit policies every few years and update them for factual and legal changes and to reflect any developments in good practice.

Model budgeting policy
Model business ethics and anti bribery policy
Model complaints checklist Model complaints notice
Model complaints policy and procedure
Model computer policy
Model confidentiality policy
Model conflict of interest policy
Model customer care policy
Model data protection policy
Model delegated authority policy
Model diversity and equal opportunities policy
Model employee volunteering policy and procedure
Model environmental policy
Model expenses claim
Model financial control policy
Model harassment and bullying policy
Model health and safety policy
Model leave policy
Model recruitment and selection policy
Model register of interests
Model reserves policy Model social media policy
Model staff and volunteer supervision record
Model staff supervision policy
Model staff training policy
Model trustee code of conduct
Model visual display units policy
Model volunteer policy
Model whistle blowing policy
Model working from home policy

To access any of the polices listed above, please email

provides lots of information on a wide range of topics of interest to voluntary, community and not for profit organisations

My Community Starter is a useful resource for people who want to get involved in organising smaller, straightforward community activities

Get Legal 
provides online advice on legal structures and issues such as governance for charities, social enterprises and co-ops

Charity Trustee Networks 
provides information and support for Trustees

NCVO Trustee and Governance Information Centre 
provides information on a wide range of subjects relating to voluntary and community sector governance and trusteeship

The Charity Commission 
provides advice and information on running charities, including information on how to manage money and accounts

is an ICT support and development project, run by and for the voluntary and community sector and based in South London

Sandy Adirondack 
runs the invaluable site on legal updates for voluntary organisations

(which also runs some of the other services listed here) provides a wide range of support and advice services for voluntary organisation

Setting up a Social Enterprise
If you want to set up a business that helps people or communities and has social, charitable or community-based objectives, this link outlines the different organisation types you can establish.

Please note that we cannot take any responsibility for the services or information offered by third parties. Do let us know if any of these links are broken or if you’d like to suggest adding any.

Get In Touch

Can't find what you are looking for above? Reach out to our development team who will be happy to help you on your journey of starting a group.