About us

We’re a charity that exists to support charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises across the Dorset community. Our mission is to bring people together to develop community based solutions that deliver better services for the benefit of all. We support new and established groups and projects though 1:1 advice, tailored consultancy and group-based training to enable them to be successful and financially sustainable. We also facilitate networking and peer support through our events, promote VCSE sector/funding news and invite collaboration between the VCSE sector and Statutory bodies, partners and stakeholders.

Our principles

  • Local need at the heart of Community Action – providing services where a local need is clearly identified
  • Inclusion of those most disadvantaged – actively encouraging and involving people and groups who are most often excluded
  • Empowerment of local people and groups – to develop their own solutions to the challenges they face
  • Independence to challenge for good – enabling advocacy on behalf of local people and groups
  • Partnership as a positive way forward – collaborating with local people, groups, and stakeholders to find the best local solutions

Our Impact and Results

We have a long-standing proven track record in delivering our services across the Dorset area. By facilitating the vital collaborative link between the Dorset VCSE sector, Statutory bodies and other organisations along with delivering our advice, training and consultancy services we enable local communities to flourish with sustainable networks and initiatives. We also run projects such as the ‘Inspire Dorset’ programme (funded by the Big Lottery Community Fund) and act as Accountable Bodies to projects such the Big4Littlemoor Project (Sustainable Communities).

In 2018-2019 we helped groups across Dorset access £1.5 million in funding; actioned requests for help from nearly 200 groups; connected approximately 500 individuals through our networking events and trained over 360 people, all with a 100% recommendation and satisfaction rate.

Our Staff & Trustees

Based in the Dorchester Head Office and Wimborne’s Community Learning & Resource Centre.

Meet the team

Our Reports

Our library of past Project, Conference, Survey, Annual Reports and Accounts.

Read more

We’re a member of Action with Rural Communities in England (ACRE) and as part of the ACRE network we support local rural communities in Dorset. DCA is funded by and works in partnership with the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Dorset Council and other statutory and grant-making bodies.