12 years ago this week, with my volunteering hat on, I stood in a devastated village in North Cornwall as part of Cornwall Rescue Group and gazed in disbelief at the unfolding scene. Of course, everyone is familiar with the scenes from Boscastle, shown on TVs and newspapers around the world but at the time it seemed like something from a Hollywood blockbuster movie - not something that happens in rural Cornwall. How on earth could a community could come back from such destruction and loss?

12 years on and of course Boscastle has rebuilt and the community spirit there is as strong as ever. But what is this much discussed "community spirit"? How do you get it? Can you make or engineer it? Or is it something organic that can only be grown through nurture and development? These are questions I have been discussing with my team of 'Community Makers' - staff who support voluntary action amongst individuals at a very local level.

We don't have answers to these huge questions which have challenged academics and experts for many years. But what we do know is that everything starts with individuals - ordinary people who see a need in their community and decide to do something about it. Often, people are put off taking action because they are worried that others might criticise them. Or they might run into bureacracy and red tape which would bog them down and waste their time. And that is where our Community Makers come in. We are there to help you to overcome those early hurdles and barriers and to help you get started on whatever action you think is needed in your community. From litter picks and tidy groups to taking ownership of assets like libraries and loos, we are ready to help.

So we'd love to hear from you if there is something in your community that is bugging you and you want to tackle it but don't know where to start. Give us a call, drop us an email or use our website or social media to get in touch and tell us what we can do to help you and your community.