COMMUNITY groups are being given a helping hand with a new online ‘advice shop.’

The newly-launched pages, which have been created by West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, aim to help community groups looking for support on a wide range of topics. Advice on everything from how to manage projects, run and govern community groups, health and safety, fundraising and licensing is available.

Social inclusion spokesman for the borough council Cllr Francis Drake said: “I am delighted that we have been able to launch this to help community groups that make such a valuable contribution to our communities. Any group from lunch clubs for the elderly to playgroups will be able to use it to access advice.”

Vice chairman of the district council’s Executive Committee Cllr Anthony Alford said: “Providing online advice for community groups who might be struggling with certain issues is important. Hopefully this will help them carry on being such a force for good in our district.”

The new web pages also provide useful links to a range of organisations that offer help and support, including Dorset Community Action and the Volunteer Centre Dorset.

Chief Executive of Dorset Community Action Alex Picot said: “We are pleased to support the work of West Dorset and Weymouth Borough Councils in bringing together this useful introductory resource for local communities.

“Dorset Community Action looks forward to working with our council colleagues in supporting local groups and volunteers that play such an important role in delivering services for local people . These webpages will be another step in making it easier for groups to find the assistance they require.”

The web pages can be accessed by anyone and groups from other parts of the county will also find them useful. See

Anybody not online can either request a paper copy of the information or go into the council reception and print off the pages they need.

More help and information is available from the Community Planning and Development Team on 01305 252305.