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

We’re member led by a board of trustees drawn predominantly from the local voluntary and community sector.

Our values underpin everything we do - we’re about

collaboration | compassion | inspiration | integrity | respect

We want to see communities that are healthy, diverse, vibrant and flourishing. We do this through inspiring community and voluntary action by:

EMPOWERING the voluntary sector to survive and thrive, by providing expertise, support, development opportunities and training

ENABLINvolunteering through our Volunteering Hub, helping everyone to play an active role in their community

CONNECTING communities by helping to create conditions where everyone’s voice is valued and heard by facilitating great local networking and communication


We are proud members of NAVCA, our national membership body, and hold their quality mark (seen as an exemplar holder), and NCVO who unite to champion the remarkable role of charities and volunteers.

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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vital work that we do

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Latest news

  • CAN volunteering pop-ups and fairs

    Volunteering can transform your life for the better - and the team at CAN have a brilliant line-up of events to help aspiring volunteers to find their dream role. Read more

  • Access to Food Partnership

    Access to Food Partnership’s vision is for “a Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole where everyone is able to feed themselves and their family nutritious food, all of the time.” Read more

  • Boost to local charities and community groups in Dorset

    Dorset Council have commissioned Community Action Network (CAN) to be the local VCS infrastructure charity, focussed on empowering a strong and resilient voluntary and community sector. Read more

Latest events

  • Festival of Wellbeing (FREE)

    BCHA Learn's FREE Festival of Wellbeing returns to Boscombe Chine Gardens for the first time in two years; bringing together local organisations that support our community. Our event is fun for all the family with activities to suit everyone.
    Read more

  • Basic start up governance (Free webinar)

    This session will provide an insight in to the key governance steps when first setting up a voluntary and community sector organisation. Read more

  • Volunteers and the Law (Repeat session - online)

    This session is a basic overview and focuses on the legal obligations in managing volunteers. Open to all volunteer managers. Read more