As a CAN member, our experience and facilities are at your disposal.

From influencing the development of local services to offering expert advice and support, we’re here to help. We offer practical and professional support to organisations – whether you need guidance on choosing a charity legal structure, vital training for your team, a platform to advertise your volunteer vacancies... or simply want to borrow a projector!

The many benefits of CAN full membership include:

Expert advice and guidance

Unlimited access to our senior advisor and team services such as:

  • Advice and guidance on starting, running or closing your organisation
  • Free or discounted tailored training and group facilitation, including introduction to trusteeship, how to be successful in raising funds, recruiting staff and much more
  • Organisation and project consultations, evaluations and reports
  • Advice on becoming or converting to a constituted voluntary group, charity or community interest company (CIC)
  • Guidance on policies, safeguarding, financial management, monitoring and evaluation, governance and trustees, employment and health and safety
  • New Quality Mark for smaller organisations, enabling you to evidence good practice – coming soon

Volunteering Hub

  • Our Volunteering Hub offers a one-stop-shop for volunteering across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. You'll also have access to our Volunteer Coordinators network – providing support and guidance to help you promote, recruit and manage volunteers

News and information

  • Free advertising of job vacancies on the CAN website, our social media channels and in our weekly email bulletin
  • ‘Know your stuff’ – a regular e-newsletter with snippets of news, information and advice about running a charity, voluntary and community organisation
  • Access to e-networks – providing information by email that is most relevant to your organisation, such as the latest VCS news, jobs and events, training courses, funding opportunities, and much more
  • Membership zone on our website – where you’ll find a wealth of information and signposting to lots of valuable information, advice and guidance
  • Quarterly e-newsletter promoting the work of our sector

Practical services

  • Free short-term equipment loan, such as screens, projectors, laptops etc.
  • Option to use us as a postal or registration address

A wider voice and influence

  • Opportunity to be part of our partnership forums and VCS Leaders exCHANGE – working in partnership with the VCS and BCP Council, the NHS, Public Health and other public sector organisations to facilitate a ‘conversation’ supporting the development and implementation of services
  • An opportunity to become a VCS representative, and elect VCS representatives
  • Right to attend and vote at our annual general meeting and extraordinary meetings
  • Right to stand for election to the board of trustees of CAN

Network opportunities

  • Who’s who in the VCS across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole – we’ll share our knowledge of all the local voluntary and community groups with you
  • Membership of our Trustee Network offering support and advice, along with opportunities to connect with other trustees
  • Invitation to our VCS annual celebration event


In return, we’d love you to get involved – to support our organisation and the wider VCS. It’s not compulsory, but occasionally we’ll invite you to:

  • Network with and share your expertise with other VCS groups and organisations
  • Complete surveys about the VCS to support evidence of need and/or good practice
  • Support people from local VCS groups that represent the sector locally on boards or at strategic meetings by attending forums or events
  • Take part in our AGM

Affiliate members

You’ll have access to the many benefits of full membership, but with the following exceptions:

  • We can only offer up to five hours in one year, free expert advice and guidance on starting, running and closing your organisation
  • We’ll offer you access to training opportunities, project consultations, advertising job vacancies, and our new Quality Mark, but there will be a negotiable fee. Please talk to us for more information
  • ‘Know your stuff’ is only available to full members
  • We’ll welcome you at our AGM, however, voting and standing for election as a Board member is only available to full members.