Support for community groups and organisations

With our help, Whitby and Esk Valley Active Travel were set up as a registered charity in just 3 months.

Deciding on the right charitable structure has allowed Whitby and Esk Valley Active Travel to start their journey to improve a local cinder path for public access.
What was the challenge?

Whitby and Esk Valley Active Travel are a group of local people keen to see the local cinder path used as a walking and cycling route for local children and families. They decided to set up as a charity and the Woodsmith Foundation referred them to Community First Yorkshire for support.

How did Community First Yorkshire help?

Working with on of our development officers helped the group to get on track. The development officer was knowledgeable and supportive which helped the group feel as though they could make progress, which they did. Within less than three months of contacting Community First Yorkshire, and with the Development Officer’s expert support, they are now established as a registered charity.

Going through the process of becoming a CIO was challenging and the Development Officer helped the group to clarify what they wanted to achieve.

What does the future look like?

The difference for the group in being a recognised body means that they now feel they are being listened to, invited to the table for discussions and able to access start-up funds, as well as promoting what they do.

The group now has the confidence to talk to similar organisations across the country, sharing experiences and resources. In the long term they hope to shape the future of the cinder track alongside North Yorkshire Council. They want to raise funds themselves but also work in partnership with others, and they know that they can come back to Community First Yorkshire for help with this.

The group are visiting schools to raise awareness with the aim of facilitating children and young people to use the track to get to school. Ultimately, they would like to see the cinder path connect all the villages along the Esk Valley and to complete the National Cycle Route 1 between Whitby and Staithes.

“Having someone to talk to about this was a game changer. We would have been nowhere without you – we had no idea. The support has been excellent, and we are very grateful. We would definitely recommend to others.”
Trustee, Whitby and Esk Valley Active Travel
About the organisation

Whitby and Esk Valley Active Travel promotes and facilitates the update of active travel in the Whitby area.

How we can help you

As a registered charity, we understand your needs. Our local advisers work across North Yorkshire and will come to you to ensure you get access to the best quality advice and guidance including funding advice, helping you set up as a community organisation, governance and trustees, finance support, marketing advice, and exploring ways to further develop your organisation.

If you know a community group, charity or social enterprise that needs some support to be even more successful, contact one of our friendly advisors on 01904 704177 or

Community Support North Yorkshire is funded by North Yorkshire Council and NHS North Yorkshire.

Do you need help with:
  • securing income for your organisation or project?
  • turning your ideas of becoming a new community organisation into a reality?
  • benefiting from greater security as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)?
  • thinking about reviewing your organisation and planning ahead?
  • understanding trustee’s legal roles and responsibilities?
  • benefitting from a financial health check?

Our advisers can help. Call us today 01904 704177 or email