The web site was originally created in 2009 by “Community Matters”, the National Federation of Community Organisations founded in 1945 (now closed), which represented the largest network of grassroots community organisations in the UK with over 1200 members.
The ‘MyCommunitySpace’ project received funding from the Cabinet Office and the National Lottery on the condition that Community Matters maintained it as a free-of-charge service to Users. Its grant funding came to an end in 2013 and efforts were made to raise funds to pay for it from sponsorship and eventually a £1 + VAT charge for a listing was announced in October 2014, to come into effect on 1st January 2015.
Unfortunately, even though in 2014 there were over 1.5m page views the take up of this invitation was very low and Community Matters further announced on 2nd January 2015 that there would not be sufficient funds raised from this method to cover the basic webhosting and maintenance costs. They gave notice that the site would be going offline on 1st February 2015.
On 8th January 2015 the Chief Executive of Community Matters was contacted and an interest expressed to enable the site’s survival; this was because of the clear benefit MyCommunitySpace provided to the voluntary sector and its high usage by a national range of charities.
Relief Aid Logistics was originally formed as a charitable trust in 1994 organising warehouse and vehicle sharing for small charities on relief convoys to Bosnia; the charity incorporated on 18th July 2008. It operates on an ad-hoc basis, with a minimal level of activity in between various large-scale natural and man-made disasters. In a crisis, it sprang into life and helped charities deliver relief for those in need with a focus on transport, groupage and storage for transhipment.
Providing space for other charities for their day-to-day requirements is something the Trustees have done before in creating charity centres including 100,000 sq ft at 89 Albert Embankment in 1999, known as ‘Charity Towers’, and the 40,000 sq ft Kensington Charity Centre in 2004, both of which were full to capacity. MyCommunitySpace seemed a worthwhile and beneficial service as well as a natural and logical extension of the charity’s existing activities, and so we sought to continue the excellent work that Community Matters had begun.
After many weeks of detailed negotiation, in which both sides sought the greater good of the voluntary sector, agreement was reached on 17th April 2015 and the transfer of ownership completed on 10th June 2015. New charitable objects were added with agreement from the Charity Commission. On 24th June 2015 Relief Aid Logistics changed its name to “My Community Space” and a new web site launched on 10th November 2016.
MyCommunitySpace is excited about the future with the new web site having the facility built in to move to on-line bookings for all ‘Space2Share’ Providers, each Provider having their own web site and booking page if they wish. This also opens up the possibility of MyCommunitySpace making a 10% charge for on-line bookings, thus beginning to become more viable.
It became clear to MyCommunitySpace Trustees that numerous charities, including many of our partners, were seeking volunteers. The Charity then applied to the Charity Commission for additional charitable objects, allowing it to promote volunteering and after several weeks of discussion agreement was reached on 21st October 2016. This enabled the Charity to put on ‘Charities in the Community’ exhibitions around the UK; this encourages volunteering among the unemployed, students, the retired and the public in support of our partner charities.
On 14th March 2019, the website and domain name was sold to Computer Contracting Limited (company no 11227567).