is host to a large number of community websites. Anyone can visit and read these sites. 

Some (but not all) community websites allow you to join them. The advantages of joining vary between sites but can include some of the following:

  • The opportunity to participate in the site - for example if the site has a discussion area, you will be able to post and reply to messages on it.
  • Email newsletters sent to site members to keep them informed of the group's activities.
  • Access to pages or features that are not available to the general public.


To join a community website

Before you can join a community site, you must register with and be logged in.

  • Visit the site that you want to join.
  • If you can join it, you'll see a link to subscribe to this group. This is normally at the top of each page but, depending on the site's design, could be elsewhere.
  • Click the subscribe to this group link.
  • You will be asked to confirm that you want to join. Click the join button.

An email with your application will be sent to the people who run that site. They will then be able to approve your request and add you as a member. You will normally get an email to let you know this has happened.

Keep in mind that:

  • many community sites are run by volunteers and they may not be able to immediately approve your request. Please be patient! 
  • some sites restrict who can join them - for example, membership may be limited to people living in a certain area or who are already members of another group. If this is the case, the people running the site will normally reply to you to let you know.


To leave a community website

If you change your mind before your request to join has been processed, you can click the Cancel request link. This will appear in the same place as the subscribe to this group link that you used to apply to join the site. This will cancel your request - you can reapply again later if you want to.

Once your membership of a group has been approved, you will see an unsubscribe from this group link when you are on the website (you must be logged in to see the link). You can click on this to leave the group.