POP supports and leads real, purposeful and lasting change in Plymouth.​

Our purpose is to build strong grassroots organisations, charities and social enterprises by supporting them to work together and take a lead role in creating change.

We are driven by the energy, passion and skills of local people taking action to make our society and environment a better place to live. A small team of dedicated staff, associates and trustees do this by influencing, connecting, training and creating opportunities. ​

​​​​​​​Our values define everything we do: 

  1. building and strengthening trust and relationships
  2. collaborating with others 
  3. being innovative
  4. strive to learn – and encourage learning – through our actions.​

With all our work we strive to learn – and encourage learning – through our actions.

  • We advocate and support the growth of active citizens and social connectivity
  • We have a membership of grassroots groups and organisations who we nurture through our core offer.
  • We work strategically to support grassroots organisations, charities and social enterprises. 

We are known for:​

  • Convening and facilitating exciting, innovative spaces in which people connect ​
  • Providing provide excellent advice to grassroots groups​
  • Being system thinkers and bringing new ways to understands the challenges we face​
  • Our funding advice & support to members ​
  • Achieving high levels of success regarding funding applications​
  • Our appetite for risk; our willingness to try new things and to learn as we go

More information about POP

There are different ways POP amplifies the voices of communities and community groups. Our starting point is to create times and places where people can meet one another and share their passions and energy. This is why we support networks across Plymouth. 

Within this we are working with Diversity Business Incubator to develop approaches that better support Diverse Voices across Plymouth to be heard. 

We also ensure that the VCSE sector and community groups is recognised strategically. We do this in two ways:

Finally, thanks to a significant investment through the National Lottery Community Fund, we have taken significant steps in developing approaches to co-design that place citizen voice at the very centre of the process. 

Diversity, equity & inclusion

A particularly strong drive for shifting decision making, governance and increasing citizen voice is the need to ensure voices can be heard and have routes to influence and take leadership roles.

It is a moral imperative but, ultimately, it will also lead to creative process likely to produce an outcome that is richer and more valuable in terms of its potential insights and solutions. Through our experiences, we believe that there is another level of work that exists especially in level two of the Place Based Evaluation Framework. The foundation that affords ‘enablers for change’ is clearly fundamental, but we believe we also need to focus on Diverse Voices, that is, a specific focus to support those people who are, through one reason and another, excluded from integrating with the open structures, processes and practices. POP’s role is to seek to ensure that, as citizen-led action and groups arise out of these communities, dedicated attention is given to increase capacity and connection.

Diverse Voices

We believe our efforts can be best spent in amplifying the voices of those on the edge of society. Where needed, we therefore support organisations and people to connect to ensure these voices are heard. 

Our Associates Pool is always open – if you would like to be a part of this exciting organisation please submit your CV to info@plymouthoctopus.org


POP represents the VCSE sector, particularly grassroots community organisations at a number of strategic meetings:

POPs transparency

POP believes that transparency leads to greater accountability, involvement and better decision making. We are testing a new way of working and publishing data. The thinking behind this is that to make good decisions we need to have good data, and this data needs to be open because who knows where the critical insight may come from? And of course as members you will want to know what POP is doing. We also need to know what decisions have been made in the past, and what we have learnt from them.

Submitting funding applications

POP’s purpose is to build strong grassroots organisations, charities and social enterprises by supporting them to work together and take a lead role in creating change. This means we must prioritise members interests over our own. This can prove a tricky balance when funding and livelihoods are involved. The way we manage this is by operating by a ‘rule of thumb’:

  • Never directly compete
  • Always lead collaborative bids
  • Aim to distribute at 50% beyond the ‘boundary’ of POP into the sector

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