Supporting Strong and Thriving Communities with Know Your Patch

Know Your Patch connects the Voluntary and Community Sector, Statutory Services and local residents in a way which creates better ways of working.

The Forest of Dean Know Your Patch Network is designed to connect the Voluntary and Community Sector, Statutory Services and local residents in a way which creates better ways of working which ultimately strengthens our communities. This 'community offer' is particularly vital in preventing or delaying the escalation of health needs.  

We host quarterley events throughout the Forest of Dean where we invite stakeholders to join the discussion around what matters in their community and how services and voluntary sector groups can help support this. Every Know Your Patch event is FREE and open to anyone that wants to be part of the conversation. If you'd like to attend please call on 01594 822073 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We also send regular e-mails and updates to our Know Your Patch Network regarding what's going on in the Forest of Dean. If you would like to join this network, please subscribe here.

Thanks to funding from Gloucestershire County Council, Know Your Patch is also available in every other District in Gloucestershire. If you would like to find out more about these please visit here.

Here is some of the research which underlines our thinking:

  • "We all have a role to play in helping individuals and communities to develop social capital. There is growing recognition that although disadvantaged social groups and communities have a range of complex and inter-related needs, they also have assets at the social and community level that can help improve health, and strengthen resilience to health problems" (The Kings Fund, 2018)
  • "Those with adequate social relationships had a 50 per cent greater survival rate compared with individuals with poor social relationships" (Holt-Lunstad et al 2010)
  • "Social networks have been shown to be as powerful predictors of mortality as common lifestyle and clinical risks such as moderate smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity and high cholesterol and blood pressure" (Pantell et al 2013; Holt-Lunstad et al, 2010).
  • "Social support is particularly important in increasing resilience and promoting recovery from illness" (Pevalin and Rose, 2003)
  • "Lack of social networks and support makes it harder to self-regulate behaviour and build willpower and resilience over time, leading to engagement in unhealthy behaviours" (Cacioppo and Patrick 2009).
  • "Community Participation reduces isolation, exclusion and loneliness" (Farrell and Bryant 2009; Sevigny et al 2010; Ryan-Collins et al 2008)
  • "Strong social capital improves the chances of avoiding lifestyle risks such as smoking" (Folland 2008; Brown et al, 2006)
Forest Voluntary
Action Forum

Belle Vue Centre
Rheola House
4 Belle Vue Rd
Cinderford, GL14 2AB
Phone: 01594 822073
Directions: Click Here

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How to contact us

Get in touch with us

Belle Vue Centre, Rheola House, 4 Belle Vue Rd, Cinderford GL14 2AB
01594 822073
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Voluntary Support

Since forming in 1994 we have developed a reputation for encouraging, embracing and enhancing community action throughout the Forest of Dean.


Many community groups within the Forest of Dean see FVAF as the first point of contact with regards to setting up new groups or activities. As a result we contributed significantly to the creation of 10 new groups throughout the year.


Never miss out on another volunteering opportunity in or around the Forest of Dean.