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South Ayrshire Community Benefits - Community Group Seeking Support Guidance

  1. What are Community Benefits?
  2. What is a Seeking Support request?
  3. How does the process work?
  4. How long does the process take?
  5. Completing the Community Group Seeking Support form
  6. Community Benefit Restrictions

1. What are 'Community Benefits'?

Community benefits are built into the Council's procurement processes, designed to bring added value to communities when the Council tenders for a service.

Social, environmental and employability support can be provided by companies who have goods and services contracts over £50,000 and works contracts over £500,000, ensuring that the impact of them winning that tender is not just to their own financial benefit; it gives something back to the people of South Ayrshire directly.

2. What is a Seeking Support request?

As part of South Ayrshire's commitment to Community Wealth Building, we are reviewing how our community benefits are delivered, with the aim of improving the process for both communities and contractors.

The Seeking Support portal allows us to share the requests for support that the Council has received from groups across the local authority and acts as a 'one stop shop' for Council contractors to see the range of opportunities available for them to give back to local people.

Registering support with us helps to get your needs out there and spread the word.

3. How does the process work?

The Seeking Support form is open to any community group, organisation, association, or charity within South Ayrshire who would like to request external support.

A simplified version of the process can be seen below:

Cb Wishlist process

There are several steps to the process:

Up to 3 requests at a time can be requested using the Seeking Support form which is available online:

Submit a request here

Once you have completed the form, we will receive a notification and review what you have submitted. You may have up to 3 requests on the Seeking support at any one time. Additional requests cannot be added until one of your existing requests has been completed.

If we have any questions or need any further information from you, we will be in touch using the contact details you have submitted. We will only use this contact information for communication regarding community benefits, and you may ask us to remove it, along with any requests, at any time.

After receiving your form, we will either:

  • Upload your requests to our portal
  • Discuss with you whether your requests might be better met by another public sector organisation
  • Inform you of any requests we are unable to include on the portal. Examples of what we cannot include are listed at the end of this document
  • Be in touch to clarify any questions we have about what has been submitted to ensure the request is as clear as possible for contractors.

The portal is regularly updated, so check back within 5 working days to see when your requests have been added. At this stage, your requests are visible to the public. Any businesses working with the Council as contractors will also be able to have a look at the requests from the community. Behind the scenes, we will be looking at upcoming Council contracts, and matching community benefit requests with contract winners where we can. You will see a status against each request showing you were in the process it is, along with the date of submission. Completed examples of community benefit are also available to view on the portal.

If a contractor feels they could help you with your request, we will put you in touch so that you can work together directly. Support is available if you need it during this phase - your Locality Officer or the Third Sector Interface can signpost you in the right direction.

Once you have agreed the scope and timeframe for the community benefit to be delivered, the contractor will fulfil their side of the agreement and undertake the work, support, donation, or other help they have agreed to. Once this has been done, we will carry out a brief review with you and the business to establish how it went and the level of benefit provided, which feeds into our reporting to the Scottish Government, as well as ongoing improvements to community benefits processes at South Ayrshire Council.

4. How long does the process take?

We aim to review all new requests within five working days of submission - you should hear back from us within this timeframe to confirm what happens next with your requests. From there, they will be uploaded to the portal for review by contractors for South Ayrshire Council, and the public generally.

There are no guarantees around how long it might take for your request to be selected, and we unfortunately cannot promise that your request will be fulfilled. However, we will do all we can to signpost contractors who work with the Council to the requests on the portal and promote the many opportunities to give back to them as part of our procurement processes.

To ensure that the list remains accurate, requests that have not been selected after one year will be removed from the list. You may then submit a new request if you choose.

5. Completing the Community Groups Seeking Support Form

You can access the form here or by following this link: Community Groups Seeking Support Form

If you need any help to complete it, you can request support by emailing the Community Benefits inbox communitybenefits@south-ayrshire.gov.uk  and we will get back to you.

5.1 Below is an explanation of each question to help you provide the right information and minimise the delay between submitting it and our portal being updated.

5.1.1  Name of Community Group, Organisation, Association or Charitable Organisation.

If you are requesting support for a specific project your organisation is running, you can specify this here.

5.1.2  Please upload a copy of your organisation's logo

We will add it to your request on our online portal, increasing the visibility of your brand to the public and contractors.

5.1.3  Contact name and role in your organisation

Who will be the main person for us to speak to about community benefits? Your secretary or chairperson? A funding officer? A group leader?

5.1.4  Contact email

Is it your organisation or group's main inbox, or should we email your named contact directly?

5.1.5  Contact phone number(s)

If you have a main line and a mobile number for your named contact, you can give us them both if you would like - whatever you think the best way of getting in touch is.

5.1.6   Which locality are you based in?

The Council has broken South Ayrshire down into 6 'localities', and we will be using this information to help identify particular contracts that are going on in the area you are based in. You can check which locality your town falls into by following the links below

South Ayrshire is made up of six localities: 

  1. Troon and surrounding districts and villages: Troon, Barassie, Muirhead, Dundonald and Loans
  2. Prestwick and surrounding districts and villages: Prestwick, Prestwick Airport, Monkton, Prestwick East, Prestwick West, Symington, Heathfield, and Newton North
  3. Ayr and surrounding districts and villages: Harbour, Wallacetown, Newton South, Dalmilling, Craigie, Lochside, Braehead, Whitletts, Annbank, Mossblown, Tarbolton
  4. Alloway, Doonfoot, Ayr South Harbour, Ayr town centre, Belmont, Castlehill, Kincaidston, Holmston, Forehill
  5. Girvan and South Carrick villages: Dailly, Barr, Colmonell, Lendalfoot, Ballantrae, Barrhill and Pinmore
  6. Maybole and North Carrick villages:  Fisherton, Dunure, Maidens, Kirkoswald, Turnberry, Minishant, Kirkmichael, Crosshill and Straiton

5.1.7   Please provide a short overview of what your group does

This helps to provide some context for contractors who may not be familiar with your group. If you have a website or social media pages, please also provide these here, and we can share them with interested businesses. For example:

Children's After School Club supports school age children and young people in Girvan and South Carrick Villages with activities to build their confidence, support their learning and grow their interests in a safe and fun environment. We are open to any pupil in Girvan and South Carrick Villages, Monday to Friday, xx-xx pm. Link to Facebook page: xxxxx"

5.1.8  Type Support Request

Please select one of the options listed on the online form which best describes what you're looking for. If none of the options are quite right, please select other. You will have the chance to then populate more detail within the next question.

5.1.9  What do you need?

Use this space to give us some information about the support you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a donation of materials, how much do you need? What kind of materials? Is it for a specific project? Is there a deadline? What else might a business need to know to be able to give you the help you need? For example: "Our after-schoolers are creative, and our activities encourage them to express this through crafts like painting, modelling, sculpting, and drawing. We are looking for donations of art and craft supplies, particularly pens, pencils, glue, clay, and paint. Our club reopens again at the start of the new school term, so would ideally like to have new supplies in place for then."

Questions 8 and 9 appear on the form 3 times to provide space for 3 separate requests to be submitted. There is no requirement to submit 3 requests at once, and if your group only need support with one request, you can leave the second and third request sections blank. Any additional requests you would like to submit later can be added by completing the form again until you have 3 requests on the list. If you would like to remove a request from the list (it may no longer be relevant, or have been delivered in another way), you can do so by emailing communitybenefits@south-ayrshire.gov.uk There is a data retention statement included on the form, which we encourage you to read in full before pressing 'submit.' It outlines how we will store the contact details you provide to us, and the circumstances in which this information will be shared with Council contractors.

5.2  GDPR

Please note that it is essential that all organisations who wish to submit a request via the Community Groups Seeking Support forum must read and agree to the terms as detailed within the 'Privacy Statement' found within the form and can also be accessed

Submit a request here.

Further information on our Privacy Policy can be found at the footer of all South Ayrshire Council Webpages.

6.  Community Benefit Restrictions

A wide range of support can be provided to groups requesting a Community Benefit, but there are some restrictions on this. These are broadly outlined below for reference and clarity. All requests submitted through the Seeking Support form will be reviewed before being uploaded to the portal, and you will be notified of any that are out-with the remit of this process in advance.

Requests for services (e.g. voluntary time from a business to support a project through activities such as painting, gardening, or advice) will be agreed based on the time required to complete the request. For example, some additional help to paint a hall may only be required for an afternoon, and a business is more likely to be able to support a project like this compared to one that takes several days and several staff away from their core jobs to complete. This does not mean the latter is not possible; it is just worth bearing in mind when you are thinking about support you need.

Requests for financial donations are capped at £1000. If your project requires financial support greater than £1000, you should explore the grant funding options open to you - we can signpost to this support if required. A good starting point is the Community Funding page on the South Ayrshire Council website.

If you are looking for support for a large or complex project, it may be advisable to proactively seek out funding support in addition to requesting help via the Seeking Support portal, particularly if there is an element of time pressure around the work. One common example that falls into this category are requests for portacabins or containers, which often come with hidden costs (transportation, connections to services, installation of doors, windows, insulation etc). It's not to say that it's impossible for a cabin to be donated as a community benefit, but it may take some time to happen, or a contractor may only be able to deliver part of the work needed to get the cabin into a working state; this is where having a funding plan in the background becomes very useful.

If you require support with funding, the Third Sector Interface or your Locality Team will be able to work with you.

Type of Request

How to Proceed

Construction (homes, premises, shops, facilities, roads Installation of large systems (electrical, heating, security)

Requests of this scale are not possible through Community Benefits processes due to the cost and the legal processes in place to make them happen

 

If you have a request of this nature, please contact the appropriate Council service for advice, support or to read guidance on processes for these large projects - see below email address.

 

planning.development@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

 

Installation of large systems (electrical, heating, security)

Requests of this scale are not possible through Community Benefits processes due to the cost and the legal processes in place to make them happen

 

If you have a request of this nature, please contact the appropriate Council service for advice, support or to read guidance on processes for these large projects - see below email address.

 

planning.development@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

 

Creation of paid employment opportunities

Employability and the creation of paid opportunities for local people is centrally managed, and forms part of the formal procurement contract between South Ayrshire Council and the successful contract holder. This is laid out in Scottish procurement legislation, namely the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.

 

Contact the employability and skills team at youthemployment@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

 

However, requests for volunteering opportunities or work shadowing could be requested through the Community Groups Seeking Support portal - select 'other,' and then describe what your group would like to ask for in the space for further detail.

 

A request which serves one individual, family, or informal group (e.g. friends)

Community benefits are, by definition, for the benefit of a community - a community defined by location or shared interest. We cannot proceed with requests from a single individual, a family, or a group of friends; requests can only be accepted from community groups, community associations, community organisations, voluntary organisations, or other formal Third Sector organisations

A request that concerns land or property your group or organisation doesn't own

In most cases, any requests concerning changes to land (e.g. tidying up pitches) or property (e.g. painting a hall) must come from the group or organisation who own or lease the asset. If you require work to be carried out on an area of land, please ensure that you either own the land or have written permission from the landowner.

For example, planting wildflowers for a bio-diversity project where your community group does not own the land can still be carried out if there is clear written permission from the landowner.

 

Please be aware that if your organisation has a live/active contract with South Ayrshire Council then you may not be eligible to apply for support via the Community Groups seeking support forum however each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

This video explains what community benefits are and how to submit a request to the community benefits seeking support. 

View Community benefits Video in an external player