Village SOS

Village SOS seeks to make communities more enterprising, and assist you to reinvent and reinvigorate existing services.

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

The ACRE Network (Action with Communities in Rural England) has joined forces with the Big Lottery Fund, Rocket Science and Rose Regeneration 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. This campaign is called Village SOS, which stands for Support, Outreach, and Sustainability, and is available across the UK.

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:

  • 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, Rural Action Yorkshire
  • 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

Check out our 52 Things campaign for some great project ideas you could try today.

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

Register your interest now by contacting Rural Action Yorkshire on 0845 313 0270 or by sending a quick email to Someone will call you back and we will go from there.

*For more information about funding please get in touch.

Related stories

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.