Community engagement is the process by which
Bedford Borough Council establishes and develops positive
relationships with diverse community groups and voluntary / third
The purpose of the Community Engagement team
is to serve as a bridge and facilitate relationship between the
Council and the Bedford Borough Strategic Partners Board and
Bedford Borough’s diverse communities and key stakeholders,
including Parish & Town Councillors.
Effective community engagement will help
ensure that the Council and the Bedford Borough Strategic Partners
Board priorities understand, consider and respond to needs of
communities. It will also help to ensure strategies have community
The Community Engagement team has a three fold
objective to carry out specific engagement activities that inform,
involve and support the VCS.
Develop new, and maintain existing,
relationships with VCS to:
- Build an ongoing understanding of communities
and share relevant community issues with Council directorates and
partners as appropriate
- Provide VCS with easy to understand information
to assist in engaging with the Council and the wider
Work together in partnership with VCS to:
- Ensure VCS concerns are heard, understood,
considered and responded to by providing opportunity for regular
dialogue, scrutiny and influence
- Support VCS networks and partnerships and
help ensure their outcomes are considered by the Council and key
partners in the development of priorities and strategies
- Facilitate involvement in key Council
Facilitate development of a strong
local VCS by:
- Working in partnership with infrastructure
organisations to identify joint objectives with the VCS and
opportunities for partnership working
- Ensure feedback to VCS on the outcomes of
specific community engagement activities
- Supporting community led initiatives and
projects in line with Council priorities.
The Community Engagement team will target its
activities with VCS groups and organisations that currently have no
formal structure for engagement with the Council and the wider
Bedford Borough Partnership. These are largely groups and
organisations working with women, ethnic minority communities, LGBT
communities and faith communities.
The Community Engagement Team would like to keep up to date with
the different groups in Bedford Borough, so we are collecting
information about new or existing community groups.
If you are a member of a new community group, one that has been
around for a while, or know of a community group that we may not be
aware of, please go to Community
Engagement Mapping and fill in the form.
Once we have your details we will contact you to chat about
what your group does and how you could become more involved with
Bedford Borough Council.
Bedford Borough Strategic Partners Board
The Bedford Borough Strategic Partners Board is made up of
representatives from the Borough Council, health, police and
Their website has information on a number of issues which may be
of interest to you or your group, but also has a
What's On page and a
Community News & Information page. Follow
this link to see what's on the site, and if you have an event
that you would like to promote on the site or something for the
Community News page, please email the details to Jo Tester at
enter them yourselves using the on-line forms.
Planning an Event
Is your group planning an event? Are they thinking of
holding a Party in the Park, having a Picnic by the River or
arranging a Street Parade?
Follow this link to all the information you'll need - what
forms you have to fill in, who you need to tell about the
event and much more.
The Community Engagement Team has a small budget and can use
this to support local community or voluntary groups in their work.
They can also offer other kinds of support, such as event
advice; photo-copying/printing; poster/leaflet design.
If your organisation would like to make a request for funding,
one or more of these criteria must be met:
- Encourages participation from underrepresented/hard to reach
- Promotes understanding
- New/ emerging community
- Partnership working
Requests should be put in writing, explaining the work of the
group, what the funding will be used for and how it meets the above
criteria and emailed to Jo Tester, Community Engagement Officer at
or posted to:
Community Engagement Team
Room 317, 3rd Floor
Bedford, MK42 9AP
If you have any questions, please call Jo on (01234) 276204
You can find a list of other potential
funding opportunities at the
Grant Funding Information