All posts by Andrew Glover


Shortlist announced for the Selnet Enterprise In Society Awards 2018.

After a flurry of nominations, the shortlist has now been announced for the Selnet Enterprise In Society Awards 2018. The winners will be announced at a glitzy dinner at Blackpool’s Devere hotel on May 4th with entertainment on the evening from Britain’s Got Talent finalist, James Edgington and his band Off The Edge.

Companies that work for the social good have applied for the awards from across Lancashire, including Blackpool, Skelmersdale, Blackburn and central Lancashire. And the work they undertake to benefit the community includes helping vulnerable people, improving the local environment, projects that help ex-offenders, women in society and the arts.

Now a panel of judges have the painstaking task of choosing a winner in each category, including deciding on Lancashire’s Social Enterprise of the Year and its Social Enterprise Champion.

Lancashire’s social enterprise awards are different than other similar business awards as they also reward the army of volunteers who are the lifeblood of the third sector.

Selnet chief executive, Liz Tapner, said: “It is the highlight of our year and a great achievement for all those who have been shortlisted to be recognised for their work.

“The awards dinner is a great opportunity for networking, catching up with partner organisations and meeting key people in the sector so I urge everyone to get their tickets now.”


For details of how to purchase tickets check the website or call Selnet on 01772 200690 to reserve your space.



The 2018 Finalists


Start-up Social Enterprise of the Year

Made In Haslingden

The Growing Club CIC

Top Class Tuition UK



Small Social Enterprise of the Year

Artz for All C.I.C

In Di Go

Preston Vocational Centre

U-Night Group (Meet’n’Match)



Enabling Ability Award

Artz for All C.I.C

The Birchwood Centre

The Growing Club CIC

U-Night Group (Meet’n’Match)



Volunteer of the Year

Alex Kent (The Birchwood Centre)

Amanda Shepherd (Spring into Action)

Callum Lea (The Birchwood Centre)

David Smith (UR Potential)

Ian Wheelan (The Birchwood Centre)

Farmeen Akhtar (Advocacy Focus)

Norma Rodgers (Spiral Health CIC)

Pip Brodest (Spring into Action)

Sarah Harrison (Lancashire Women’s Centres)



Excellence in Training or Mentoring

Lancashire Women’s Centres

Newground CIC

The Growing Club CIC

The Sewing Rooms



Most Effective Collaboration

Artz for All C.I.C

Bootstrap Enterprises / Community Clothing

Lancashire Women’s Centres

The Birchwood Centre

Urban Organic (UK) CIC



Social Enterprise of the Year

In Di Go


Lancashire Women’s Centres

Social Enterprise Solutions CIC

Urban Organic (UK) CIC




Social Enterprise Champion 2018

Diane Price OBE (In Di Go)

Patt Trow (Social Enterprise Solutions CIC)

Paula Gamester (The Sewing Rooms)



Best of luck to all of these amazing businesses and individuals




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Selnet’s Enterprise in Society Awards 2018 Book Now!


Celebrating the very best in social enterprise across Lancashire the annual Selnet Enterprise In Society Awards return in May 2018 and this year will be staged at the fabulous De Vere Hotel in Blackpool. 

The glittering occasion, now in its eighth year, sees social enterprises compete in a wide range of categories for the honour and pride of being recognised by their peers.


Book Now

Whether you’re nominating for an award or not, the Selnet Awards are always a fantastic night. It’s a great opportunity to meet other social enterprises, key decision makers and sponsors from across Lancashire, network and share ideas. Plus great entertainment, a fabulous meal and, of course, the ceremony itself.

To book, either head over to our dedicated awards website and use the booking portal or contact stating the number of tickets required and who to invoice.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Our Sponsors

Selnet are thrilled to have the First Ark group back as headline sponsors of the 2018 Enterprise in Society Awards. Showing their commitment to our sector in Lancashire and supporting our vibrant network of social businesses and the amazing work they do in Lancashire’s communities.

“We are keen to encourage the growth of a strong social economy in Lancashire. Working with Selnet allows the First Ark Group to recognise how we can best provide support and appropriate mechanisms to deliver growth and social impact within the sector.”
Tony Cahill, First Ark


Looking to sponsor a Selnet Award? Click here for more information.



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Provision of Mid-Term Evaluation for 3 Building Better Opportunities Projects in Lancashire

You are invited to submit a tender for the Provision of Mid-Term Evaluation for three Building Better Opportunities Projects. Selnet Ltd wishes to appoint a Contractor/s who can clearly demonstrate the ability to meet our requirements and who offers the most economically advantageous tender.

Applications are invited from a suitably qualified and experienced Organisation or Individual to undertake mid-term evaluation for Selnet’s three Building Better Opportunities Projects for Lancashire: Age of Opportunity, working with People 50+, Invest in Youth, working with Younger People (NEETS) and Changing Futures, working with Disadvantaged Groups.

The opportunity is advertised on The Chest:



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The Lancashire Social Enterprise Project

At Selnet we specialise in social enterprises; business models that help to address social problems. We provide information, training and networking opportunities for our members across Lancashire, including guidance from qualified business advisors and workshops on important business topics.

Through the NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund we are able to deliver the Lancashire Social Enterprise Project which will support aspiring entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds, to explore self-employment and social enterprise to help improve their economic circumstances. We will provide support across the county, particularly in deprived areas, for people looking to set up their own enterprises and to promote social enterprise and self-employment as alternatives to the traditional labour market.

From April 2018, we will be running sessions to explore opportunities both within self-employment and social enterprise careers, and run business skills workshops to small groups. Those interested in pursuing a business idea will receive 1:1 development and start up support from a chartered business advisor.

For more information and how to participate please email and join us on social media for events and updates!


Thank you to NatWest for funding this project.



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Arts 2 Heal

22 Shear Bank Rd

Contact: Banu Adam

Tel: 07792 998963




About Us

The Charity “Arts 2 Heal” is set up for “The advancement of health” – specifically mental health of vulnerable individuals. Primary aim to provide arts based activities to develop skills of emotional resilience, control, self-acceptance, tolerance, and responsibility. Secondary aim to increase: engagement with culture, social interaction, and contribution to the group / society (employability skills).



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Ski Rossendale Limited

Haslingden Old Road

Contact: David Fuller

Tel: 01706 226457



About Us

Ski Rossendale’s mission is to create a winter sports centre of excellence whilst promoting community participation in recreation and sport.

Ski Rosendale was formed by snowsports instructors Dave Fuller, Karon Driver and Sue and Steve Foulkes after acquiring the lease from Rossendale council to run and develop Ski Rossendale. We are now developing Ski Rossendale as a facility where all people can come together to have fun, whilst learning to Ski and Board. It has long been an iconic leisure facility in Rossendale and we aim to once again put Ski Rossendale on the map as a ‘must visit’ attraction within the North West of England. Our new beginners and intermediate slope opened in Nov 2016 ans the new main facilities building will be open for the Winter 2017/18 ski season.



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Building Better Opportunities Lancashire

Building Better Opportunities is a national programme from The Big Lottery Fund who are matching funds from the European Social Fund (ESF) 2014-2020 to invest in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth.

Selnet is leading three partnerships of over 60 primarily Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise Organisations to deliver specialist support for key groups across Lancashire. Over three years, 3270 disadvantaged people will benefit from support tailored to their individual needs and interests to overcome complex barriers and move towards work and training.

Perhaps one of our projects could help you or someone you know?

Selnet’s Role

Selnet led a 12-month process of developing three Lancashire-wide partnerships to provide specialist employability and skills support to disadvantaged people. Two projects began in August 2016; the ‘Age of Opportunity’, supports the over-50s, and ‘Invest in Youth’, supports young people aged 15-24. The third project, ‘Changing Futures’, began in February 2017 and supports people with multiple and complex barriers to employment. 

To find out more, click on the links below to visit the project pages:







More Information on European Funding in Lancashire

The 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme provides funds to help local areas stimulate growth. The funds support investment in innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs.

A single ESIF Growth Programme has been set up to combine three separate European Funds. The Growth Programme provides funding to help projects in England that create jobs and economic growth.

For more information:

Lancashire LEP developed arrangements to ‘opt-in’ to the Big Lottery Fund to enable Lancashire to build a strong foundation for social inclusion programmes. This resulted in a £12.5m project for Lancashire in Building Better Opportunities joint funded by The Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund that will encompass 5 Lancashire projects.

Read more here:



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National Fellowship for Lancashire social enterprise leader

The driving force behind Selnet – the Social Enterprise Lancashire Network – has been awarded one of the first Honorary Fellowships of the national body, Social Enterprise UK.

The Honorary Fellowships were awarded to 15 outstanding sector leaders who have taken their own organisations from strength to strength but also play a large part in shaping, guiding and championing the social enterprise movement as a whole. Recognising those who have contributed to creating a diverse, thriving and truly impactful community of businesses, the Fellowships celebrate key individuals who are making great strides to drive the sector forwards now.

Selnet Chief Executive Liz Tapner was named along with the leaders in the social enterprise world alongside the founder of the Big Issue magazine, Lord John Bird, and Sophi Tranchell MBE of pioneering Fairtrade company Divine Chocolate.

Since joining Selnet over 10 years ago, Liz has grown the organisation from a small project to a major body which represents and supports the social enterprises that operate across Lancashire.

When you think of social enterprise in Lancashire, you think of Liz Tapner. She has put her heart and her soul into the job and the board is delighted that she has been recognised on the national stage by Social Enterprise UK.

Liz is undoubtedly one of the main reasons why Selnet has been so successful over the last 10 years and we’re delighted to have her at the helm.

Graham Jones

Bootstrap Enterprises

Liz led Selnet in securing a £9.2m project called Building Better Opportunities, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund where a partnership of 64 organisations are helping the most vulnerable in society to be more resilient and closer to the world of work.

Social Enterprise UK is a national body which regularly has the ear of government to advise them on issues within the sector and, as it has been running for 15 years, has appointed 15 honorary fellows

Speaking of her appointment, Liz said: “It is a huge honour for me personally and a great testament to the work that we achieve here in Lancashire. My job is to secure and manage contracts, but I get my satisfaction from seeing the work being undertaken by the social enterprises that we represent who are helping people when they need it most.

I am supported by a fantastic board of directors drawn from social enterprises across Lancashire and have an amazing team working with me.

And we don’t work in isolation – our projects are often delivered in partnership, particularly with Lancashire County Council, the LEP, local authorities and funding bodies nationally and across Europe.” 

It’s a view echoed by the chair of the board, Graham Jones from Bootstrap Enterprises, based in Blackburn. He said: “When you think of social enterprise in Lancashire, you think of Liz Tapner. She has put her heart and her soul into the job and the board is delighted that she has been recognised on the national stage by Social Enterprise UK.

“Liz is undoubtedly one of the main reasons why Selnet has been so successful over the last 10 years and we’re delighted to have her at the helm.”



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Looking to Grow?

Funded business support is available, talk to us:

Selnet is working with Boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, to deliver professional, impartial business support to ambitious companies across the county.

Boost helps business to grow and develop through advice, support and access to funding. Our role is to connect enterprising Lancashire businesses with these funded programmes, including mentoring, business masterclasses, product development, leadership development and accessing finance.


How we can help

Selnet’s delivery team will work with your business to identify growth opportunities and introduce you to the best support programmes to help you achieve your goals. With so much support available, this impartial and professional advice can save your business time and ensure that the support offered is relevant and valuable to your business.


Who we can help

The support is targeted towards companies (private and social enterprise) that are business-to-business and already trading.

Collectively, the team holds over 180 years’ experience of helping organisations just like yours.


For more information and to access support please contact Selnet on 01772 200690 or email .

We look forward to hearing from you.




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Selnet Wins Funding to Support Enterprise Programme

Selnet Ltd has been awarded £34,030.50 of funding from NatWest as part of its Skills and Opportunities Fund.

We are delighted to be one of seven organisations from across the North of England to be awarded a share of the £200,000 funding pot following a public vote. The grant will be used by Selnet to support its Lancashire Social Enterprise Project which aims to deliver a project targeting people across Lancashire, particularly in deprived areas, to promote social enterprise and self employment as alternatives to the traditional labour market, and to deliver 1:1 specialist support and enterprise skills seminars to help 30 new business ideas be realised.

NatWest’s Skills & Opportunities Fund aims to help people in some of our most deprived communities help themselves to move towards a better future, with improved financial skills and/or self-employment prospects.

Selnet CEO Liz Tapner
, said: “The funding from the NatWest Skills and Opportunities fund will enable us deliver the ‘Lancashire Social Enterprise Project’, which will support aspiring entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds, to explore self-employment and social enterprise to help improve their economic circumstances. We want to thank everyone who voted for us and NatWest for its support.”

Richard Topliss, Chairman of the NatWest North Regional Board, said: “Through the Skills and Opportunities Fund, we have been able to support a range of programmes across the North of England in their development and delivery, and like those programmes that have won previously, Selnet  has created a fantastic programme through  its Lancashire Social Enterprise Project which will have a positive impact on the local community.

“The impact of these projects, which are helping people to build new skills, get into work or start their own business, is fantastic and I would encourage anyone who wasn’t successful this time to try again when applications open early next year.”


A huge thank you from Selnet to everyone who kindly voted for our project among all those shortlisted for the North. We are one of 7 successful organisations and are looking forward to launching the project in the New Year!

You can find out more about the Lancashire Social Enterprise Project and all of the other winners here.



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