All posts by Andrew Glover

Over £2m up for grabs for Lancashire’s social enterprises

Social enterprises across Lancashire are being encouraged to apply for social investment, offered by a Merseyside-based funder, to help them become more sustainable and enhance their social impact.

First Ark Social Investment (FASI) works with social enterprises and charities across the North West and is especially keen to partner with organisations in Lancashire.

FASI, together with Lancaster University and the Social Enterprise Network for Lancashire (Selnet) is offering local social enterprises the chance to attend a free ‘social investment workshop’. Held on 23 September, from 12.30 – 3.30pm, at FASS Meeting Room 2, North Campus, at the University, it will offer individuals face-to-face funding advice, support around applying for investment and there’s an opportunity to listen to talks by all partners.

FASI recently received an additional commitment of top-up funding from The Growth Fund, a partnership between The National Lottery Community Fund, Big Society Capital and Access – The Foundation for Social Investment. This additional backing will enable FASI to offer up to an additional £2.3m in ‘blended’ finance investments, made up of grants and loans, to social enterprises across the North West, including Lancashire.

Léann Hearne, Group Chief Executive Officer at First Ark Group, said:

 “We’re looking to work with any social enterprises in the area that promote social investment – from an organisation that upskills unemployed people, to a creative enterprise or sporting venture.

“If you’re wondering about how to grow your social organisation or charity come along to our free workshop at Lancaster University and speak to one of our team and listen to informed speakers.

“Many organisations in Lancashire might not be aware of the funds and strategic support we offer. We’re here to help social enterprises grow, become more sustainable, increase their social value and make a real difference within their communities.

“We’re particularly keen to support organisations in the area and want to raise awareness of how FASI can help create additional social impact and develop financial sustainability.”

Glyn Jones, Commercial Programme Manager at Lancaster University, added:

“Funding is a vital part of business growth and key to sustainability. It’s also one that causes the most concern for entrepreneurs and company owners. Social investment is a great option to consider through First Ark Social Investment, especially when supported by organisations like Selnet, which has a deep understanding of the social space in Lancashire.

“Selnet and First Ark both support our aspirations. Selnet is a great example of a pro-active network that positively contributes to the success and sustainability of its members, and First Ark’s social business model chimes with our aims in population health and sustainable care.”

Liz Tapner, Chief Executive Officer at Selnet, Lancashire’s social enterprise network, commented:

“Selnet is here to help Lancashire social enterprises to develop. We’re thrilled be working with First Ark Group again, in collaboration with Lancaster University. Many organisations might be wary of social investment, assuming it is too complex or out of reach to achieve. This is a great chance to understand how it actually works in practice, how it can enable organisations grow, access new opportunities and have an even greater impact.”

To book a place on the free social investment workshop please register here:

To apply for funding from FASI please visit:



Download the press release here




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Selnet Awards 2019 – Shortlist announcement coming soon!

The nominations for Lancashire’s Enterprise in Society Awards 2019 are now closed! We have had a phenomenal response from organisations across Lancashire and will be announcing the shortlist very soon.

Tickets for the big night at The Villa in Wrea Green will be released when the shortlist is announced. Stay tuned on social media for updates and to support or sponsor the event itself click here




On the biggest year in Selnet’s history we are planning our annual celebration of Lancashire’s social enterprises to match! We are delighted to announce First Ark Social Investment as our 2019 headline sponsor. First Ark Social Investment get finance to the people making a difference; through flexible investment and support, they help North West social organisations have an even wider impact. 

Join us to celebrate outstanding organisations, remarkable start-ups and inspirational enablers.



Start-up Social Enterprise of the Year *
Small Social Enterprise of the Year *
Large Social Enterprise of the Year *
Community Impact Award *
Enabling Ability Award *
Environmental Champion of the Year *
Volunteer of the Year
Social Enterprise Employee of the Year
Lancashire’s Social Enterprise Champion 2019

Lancashire’s Social Enterprise of the Year 2019;
This is the judge’s choice category, awarded from all organisational nominations received.
* Big or small, new or established, any organisation submitting nominations in the Enterprise in Society Awards 2019 could win this category.

An expert judging panel will score the nominations submitted and the highest overall score per category will be the winner.

Winners will be announced on the big night!



The Selnet Enterprise in Society Awards 2019 will be staged at the luxurious 4* Villa at Wrea Green, in the countryside just a few miles north of Preston.

The Villa started life as an impressive 19th century country residence and it retains the air of quiet elegance that befits its distinguished heritage. Set amidst rolling parkland, The Villa presents an imposing aspect from the sweeping private approach and, once inside, the beautifully designed pavilion marquee room will play host to a night of superb food, great entertainment and, of course, the announcement of the winners of the Enterprise In Society awards!

Dress to impress!

The Villa, Wrea Greenthe-venue


Tickets will be on sale once the shortlist is announced – stay tuned for exciting announcements! #SelnetAwards#selnetawards


Our Sponsors

Selnet are delighted to have First Ark Social Investment as headline sponsors of the 2019 Enterprise in Society Awards. First Ark Social Investment get finance to the people making a difference; through flexible investment and support, they help North West social organisations have an even wider impact.



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Procurement Support Tender

Applications are invited from a suitably qualified and experienced organisation or individual to offer a professional, comprehensive and responsive service which looks to support procurement activity undertaken by Selnet Limited which does not currently have an internal procurement department. The procurement support is related to three Building Better Opportunities Projects for which Selnet is lead partner.

The three BBO projects are currently in delivery and were originally commissioned to deliver to December 2019. The need for procurement support has arisen as the projects are due to be extended to 2022, subject to a formal offer of funding from both funders (ESF and The National Lottery Community Fund). There are some delivery gaps at present which need to be fulfilled by tendering for new delivery partners or contractors.

Deadline for submissions: Friday 27th September at 5pm



Procurement Support – General Instructions to Tenderers

Procurement Support – Tender Return Document


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Selnet member notice! Annual General Meeting on Friday 4th October 2019

On the biggest year in Selnet’s history, we are pleased to give members formal notice of Selnet’s Annual General Meeting on Friday 4th October 2019.

We are planning to incorporate the AGM in to a Members Trade Fair and guided networking event to make sure attendees get the most value from coming along. The Trade Fair event will be 9:45 – 13:30 and include lunch on Friday 4th October 2019. Everything will take place at the premises of our long term network members INTACT, at The Intact Centre, 49 Whitby Avenue, Ingol, Preston PR2 3YP.

To participate in the Trade Fair, members are invited to bring banners, promotional materials (case studies, impact reports, examples of work), to out your stall and share with other members, Directors, partners and supporters. You will also get ‘time at the mic’ to talk about what your organisation is currently doing, the impact you are having and to share opportunities or ask for support or input from the network.


Booking is now open online:


At the AGM and in line with Selnet company rules there will be FOUR seats available for members to nominate their representative to the board of directors. I am sure I speak for all directors when I say we are looking for people from the membership to step forward to support and help influence Selnet’s strategic direction.

Any full Selnet member can put forward a nomination, to do this please complete a ‘Director Nomination Form’ and return this to before 1st October. To find out what would be expected of you as a Selnet Director download this form. If you have any questions regarding a position on the board please get in touch.

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Empowered Mothers Network CIC

Contact: Sarah Tomlinson





Social Media      


About Us

Empowered Mothers Network provides help and support with perinatal mental / emotional health and wellbeing – we help mothers to build their own village in the absence of the traditional one – via in-home and online postpartum doulas, mother’s circles, groups, workshops and courses.



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Open Door Furniture Recycling

Unit 6 Briercliffe Business Centre
Townley Street, Briercliffe,
BB10 2HG

Tel: 01282 452400



About Us

Open Door Furniture Recycling is YOUR community based furniture scheme which has been set up on a not for profit basis to provide:

  • Basic furniture, household goods and domestic appliances for disadvantaged people living within Burnley and Pendle who are excluded from buying these items through traditional outlets.
  • A real work experience with vocational training towards a recognised qualification that will help the long-term unemployed secure worthwhile jobs.
  • An opportunity to reduce the volume of waste, re-useable furniture and domestic appliances, going to land fill sites.



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Contact: Peter Metcalf





About Us

Gift92 helps those in real need to build a stable home. We help people with limited finance and receiving state benefits to furnish a property. The charity has been doing this since 1992.

Many of those we help have moved into an empty property and do not have the funds to furnish it. We supply the essential furniture and household items to help them and their family create a home. We collaborate with several local agencies and charities to enhance the household items clients receive through our service.

Our work is supported by generous members of the public who donate usable furniture and household items, we are always in need of more due to demand. The furniture collected has enabled us to help over 750 people in 2018.



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Lancashire’s Leading Light: Selnet CEO Liz Tapner brings huge national award home to Lancashire

Liz Tapner, CEO of Lancashire’s social enterprise network Selnet, has won a national award recognising her as the UK’s most influential woman in social enterprise.

Liz was awarded the Women in Social Enterprise award at the UK Social Enterprise Awards, held on Wednesday night at the Guildhall in the City of London.

The national awards organised by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) shines a spotlight on the leading lights of the social enterprise community, recognising the outstanding achievements of businesses which trade for a social purpose.

There are approximately 100,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing £60 billion to the economy each year and employing approximately two million people. They operate in nearly every sector from selling quality consumer goods to providing health and social care services.  

As the lead body representing social enterprise in Lancashire, Selnet enables Lancashire Social Enterprise to access the support and resources to aid business development and growth.

The people who make change happen

On presenting the Women in Social Enterprise award, VCSE Crown Representative Claire Dove said “just last week I was at an event marking 100 years since women had the vote. Now the third sector is leading the way for gender equality”. Notably, the shortlist of 8 leading women from the sector included two from Lancashire; Liz Tapner of Selnet and Tracey Bush, CEO of Spiral Health CIC.

Following the award presentation, Liz said:


“I am so proud to have been recognised from such a phenomenal list of women!

I’ve been with Selnet for more than 10 years and I am so honoured to represent the social enterprise sector and will continue to shout about the amazing work that happens across Lancashire.

I’ve really come a long way. I would like to take the opportunity to thank my incredible team, Selnet board of directors and everyone who has supported me on my own journey.

We’ve got big plans for the coming year so bring on 2019! “


Liz was one of the first 15 social enterprise leaders to be awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Social Enterprise UK in 2017. This latest award sets Liz apart as the UK’s most influential woman in social enterprise.

The Awards were hosted by award-winning comedian Mark Watson and was also attended by SEUK patron, Chris Addison, who said to the audience of social enterprise representatives:

“What you do is so thrillingly amazing. Your passion and thought and ideas and energy; you will change the world. You are some of the most impressive people I have met. I know it’s a really hard job, but you are the people who make change happen.”

Commenting on this years’ ceremony, Peter Holbrook Chief Executive of SEUK said:

“In the troubling, uncertain times we’re living in, social enterprises are a beacon of hope. They are showing that another way of doing business is possible, one rooted in the values of community, equality and fairness.

This year’s winners are testament to the strength and diversity of the social enterprise movement. It can no longer be seen as a fringe part of our economy but rather as a sector creating real impact both socially and economically.

Social enterprises are showing us what the future of business can look like.”

Social enterprise supply chain

Liz Tapner and the other winners were presented with bespoke trophies made by the social enterprise, Designs in Mind, which employs people with mental health issues. Social enterprises also supplied all the goods and services on the night, including the catering, rigging, drinks, flower displays and goody bags.

The Awards were sponsored by Big Society Capital, The British Council, The Co-op, Deloitte, Employers for Childcare, GLL, Landmarc, Linklaters, NatWest, Pinnacle, Power to Change, Prospective, PwC, Santander and Unity Trust Bank. The Big Issue, itself a social enterprise was the official media partner.


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The 180 Programme C.I.C

Contact: Caroline Sagar






About Us

The 180 Project is a community recovery programme in Lancashire and is one of the first of its kind in the UK. It is unique, effective and unlike anything else for those recovering from addiction problems. We use sport [an adapted CrossFit programme] combined with education, mentoring and peer support to achieve total wellness so participants are physically, emotionally and mentally well and socially connected.

180 gives focus and hope to offenders in the system and those recovering from addiction. It also has the potential to reach those people who are at risk of falling into this cycle as early as possible. Through this we aim to break the cycle of substance abuse, crime and prison to help rebuild lives. The long term goal is to impact positively on criminal re-offense rates, improve local communities and to assist individuals in gaining education, volunteer and employment opportunities.



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