Each rural community will have a unique set of needs when setting up or running a community co-operative. This is why Plunkett is committed to offering support at every stage of the community's journey. 'The Plunkett Way', summarises four key stages as Inspire, Explore, Create and Thrive. 


We inspire people to consider community ownership to address the challenges they face, for example, through communications and outreach activity.


We then help communities explore what options are available to them, for example through study visits or providing advice.


Our team of experts then provide specialist and technical support to help them create new community co-operatives.


Once trading, we provide ongoing support, information and networking opportunities to help community co-operatives thrive.

What kind of help do we offer?

Plunkett Foundation offers a wide range of support to communities setting up and running community co-operatives:

  • Initially, all communities can expect to receive at least 30 minutes of free support by phone or email to discuss ideas.
  • If you meet our core criteria for a community co-operative, you can expect to receive ongoing support from our Frontline co-ordinators free of charge. This support is not time bound, but you should not expect specialist support at this stage.
  • If you wish to access specialist support, you can apply for 'funded' support. Funded support is made possible through funding and income generated from membership and donations. Therefore, this support is time-bound and requires communities to provide feedback on the level and quality of service. 
  • Funded support is based on our assessment to a number of questions the panel will answer when considering applications.

Our support includes our central support team all of whom respond to enquiries by phone and email. You can contact us here - we're always happy to hear from you. 

We also have a network of advisers, mentors and specialists based across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland ready to help. In addition we produce a range of tools, resources and information available online to help communities, wherever they are based, through every step of the process. Depending on our programmes, we sometimes have funding available for communities, too.