Hello! we’re Community Action Network (CAN), a local infrastructure charity covering both the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset Council areas.

Our values underpin everything we do - we’re about

collaboration | compassion | inspiration | integrity | respect

We want to ensure local communities are healthy, diverse and thriving, we do this by creating environments for community led empowerment through inspiring community and voluntary action by:

EMPOWERING voluntary and community groups to survive and thrive, by providing expertise, support and training 

ENABLING volunteering, helping everyone to play an active role in their community

CONNECTING communities by championing and representing the voluntary and community sector. We facilitate great local networking and encourage people to work together with and for the benefit of our communities

We’re member led by a board of volunteer trustees drawn predominantly from the local voluntary and community sector. Our Board provide our strategic direction and importantly accountability to the sector.


We are proud members of NAVCA, our national membership body, and hold their quality mark (seen as an exemplar holder), NCVO who unite to champion the remarkable role of charities and volunteers, and Dorset Chamber who support Dorset’s businesses and its economy by promoting excellence, driving growth and providing a voice for business.

We empower the sector

We provide professional and practical advice to help build and grow charities and community organisations. Help on offer: One to one expert advice and guidance; High quality training; Help for organisations work collaboratively and share resources.


Author: Karen Hollocks

We enable volunteering

We support and champion volunteers to promote the incredible value of volunteering, We also provide a platform for promoting volunteering opportunities and sharing good practice – our volunteering hub.


Author: Phil Treble

We CONNECT communities

The voluntary sector makes an amazing difference to the local community, and we believe it deserves a bigger voice. We provide a network for connecting organisations and speak up on behalf of our sector.


Author: Melissa Guest

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Latest news

Latest events

  • DorPIP Dads FREE Online Course

    DorPIP Dads is a place for any Dad in Dorset or surrounding areas to explore their fatherhood journey, and learn skills, tools and techniques to help them along the way. Read more

  • Courageous Conversations Conference

    After the success of our last Courageous Conversations conference in November 2022, local mental health charity Dorset Mind is pleased to announce our second FREE Mental Health Community Conference, that will take place on Friday 16th June, 11am-2pm at Dorchester Community Church, focusing on living with Trauma and PTSD. Read more