Category Archives: News

COVID-19 Selnet Statement & Resources

How Selnet are supporting Lancashire’s social enterprises through Covid-19: 

 

Selnet believe that social enterprise can transform lives and change the world for social good. Now more than ever, the skills, passion and expertise of social enterprises are needed to support our vulnerable and marginalised communities who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

We are seeing Lancashire’s phenomenal social enterprises step up, innovate and collaborate to respond to need; whether that’s getting good food out to disadvantaged communities and maintaining critical services for marginalised people, to manufacturing masks for the NHS and providing advice and support for entrepreneurs.

The Selnet team are working hard to continue delivery of the social enterprise partnerships we lead and helping our amazing sector in Lancashire stay connected, up to date and supported:

The Covid-19 pandemic is presenting uncertainty and challenges to our organisations, teams and the communities we support. As your social enterprise network, Selnet are here to help you navigate through this uncharted territory. We will do everything we can to support you now and as we adapt to ‘the new normal’… So keep in touch!

    Liz and Team Selnet

 

 

Selnet Ltd – Business Continuation Plan (pdf) updated 14/05/20

 

Funding Updates

The National Lottery Community Fund

Lancashire COVID-19 Community Support Fund – As a result of the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, particularly for those most vulnerable people within our communities, the Community Foundation for Lancashire has launched the Lancashire COVID-19 Community Support Fund for community and voluntary organisations on the frontline.

DEFRA Covid-19 Food Charity Grant Scheme – The grant aims to provide immediate support for a limited period of time to help to feed those most vulnerable due to the economic impacts of Covid-19. This ensures that they can access a continual supply of food in a time of increased demand. This will feed numerous economically vulnerable groups including the homeless, the elderly and those in rehabilitation.

DCMS Loneliness Covid-19 Grant Fund – As part of the Government’s plan to tackle loneliness during the coronavirus lockdown, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has launched a £5 million to fund national organisations working to tackle loneliness and build social connections.

Good Finance – information, resources and tools designed to support charities and social enterprises navigating COVID-19

Charity Bank – If you would like to receive our regular updates and newsletters please sign up here. Information about Charity Bank’s response to COVID-19 can be found here.

Institute of Fundraising – Information for fundraisers to help everyone in the fundraising community have the right information to guide any action you might need to take

Charity Finance Group– Coronavirus and your charity – What can you do to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus?

 

Council and Government Guidance

Boost Business Lancashire

  • Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. The #AskForHelp service is available to all Lancashire business owners. Call 0800 488 0057 to discuss all business issues related to the coronavirus outbreak. Our team will advise where possible, as well as directing businesses to expert advisers across Lancashire.
  • We have also built a dedicated #AskForHelp hub with resilience guides, access to Government updates and partner advice as well information about webinars, virtual drop-in sessions and other support.
  • A Lancashire-wide relief efforthas been launched to support those in isolation by utilising the spare capacity of hospitality businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Coronavirus: Government advice for businesses

Local Authorities

  • Lancashire County Councilare continuing to work with colleagues in the NHS and Public Health England to do everything we can to delay the spread of coronavirus and ensure the people of Lancashire are protected.
  • Blackpool Council– Blackpool Council’s business support team is in the process of setting up a dedicated helpline to ensure that local businesses can access the support announced by the Chancellor. Details will be issued on this website shortly.
  • Blackburn with Darwen Council– includes guidance on building closures, prevention and business rates.

Government Guidance

 

Social Enterprise Guidance

Social Enterprise UK

NCVO

  • Information and guidance about coronavirus and what it means for voluntary organisations and volunteers.  This is to help you plan and access the latest up to date advice.
  • NCVO have also taken down all pay walls on the Knowhow website. This means that all online content is now free to all to use. So, whether it’s information about governance or online training for staff who are working from home unable to do their jobs, they hope this will provide that little bit of extra support.

Employment Related Services Association (ERSA)

School for Social Entrepreneurs

  • We want to do everything we can to help you, and the people you support, weather the storm. This blog shares links to resources you might find useful. We’ll update it as new resources become available or visible to us.

Pioneers Post 

  • The magazine and news source for social enterprises and the social-impact sector will be sharing news and updates specific to our sector on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Other resources:

  • Plunkett Foundation– Information about Community Business and Coronavirus
  • Charity Commission– Guidance for the charity sector
  • Institute of Fundraising– Information for fundraisers to help everyone in the fundraising community have the right information to guide any action you might need to take
  • Charity Finance Group– Coronavirus and your charity – What can you do to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus?
  • Good Finance – information, resources and tools designed to support charities and social enterprises navigating COVID-19
  • Charity Bank – If you would like to receive our regular updates and newsletters please sign up here. Information about Charity Bank’s response to COVID-19 can be found here.
  • Co-operatives UK have put together a guide on HR issues answering questions such as ‘how do we treat employees who follow guidance to self-isolate?’ and ‘what about parents who are off work because their child’s school has closed?’.
  • Shelter: Coronavirus housing advice and resources to support for helping those who are homeless during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Groundswell: Resources to support people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. All developed together with people who have been homeless themselves. 

 

National business and employer support

  • Chamber of Commerce As the situation surrounding coronavirus / COVID-19 continues to unfold the Chamber is working hard to keep you informed. With advice constantly changing and new support becoming available the Chamber will be sending regular updates to give you the information businesses need.
  • This Federation for Small Business (FSB) guide includes sections on if you have to close your organisation, business insurance, advice for employers and measures for the workplace. It’s aimed at small businesses but the advice is also relevant to small charities, social enterprises, community businesses and impact organisations.
  • Enterprise Nation– Support for small businesses during Coronavirus
  • ACAS– Advice for employers and employees
  • CIPD– Understand how to support your business and workforce through this global health emergency
  • Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)– Advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed
  • Charity Comms offers a free crisis communications planning template. The same page includes links to online advice guides.

 

These links are external and are provided for information only.

Selnet is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in these links.

 

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Digital Freedom

Selnet and the Lancashire Skills Hub have secured funding to provide digital devices and connectivity to disadvantaged over 50s in Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen.

Applications for support must be completed by approved Distribution Partners, on service users’ behalf. As the funding is limited, we can only support a limited number of applications and therefore the project is operating on a first come basis.

 

Distribution Partners

Is your organisation working with local residents aged 50 and over whose situation is made so much worse because of their inability to connect within the digital world?

Selnet, in partnership with Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership (DSP), has secured funding from Community Foundation for Lancashire, to purchase a limited amount of technical equipment for residents in every district in the County, ensuring the 14 Lancashire districts are equally resourced.

If you are working with older people who are digitally excluded and can support them to make effective use of this equipment, please work with us as a Distribution Partner. Register your organisations’ interest through our Distribution Partner request form and return it to liz@selnet-uk.com or to dawn@selnet-uk.com as soon as you can.

Digital Freedom Lancs – Partner application form v4

 

Applications

Approved Distribution Partners will be able to apply for support on service users’ behalf. The form to do so will be available here – stay tuned for updates.

 

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Selnet in UK’s Top 100 Social Enterprises

For the second consecutive year, Selnet has been ranked in the top 100 leading UK social enterprises at the NatWest SE100 Awards. This recognition comes after securing £5.5M extensions to 3 Building Better Opportunities projects we lead on behalf of 45 social enterprise partners in Lancashire, securing the Two/Zero social enterprise scale up project, delivering the Building for Sustainability Leadership programme, the success of our annual Enterprise in Society Awards and ensuring the continuation of Lancashire’s crisis support (furniture) service.

The UK’s most impressive start-up social enterprises have been growing at a staggering rate of 355% over the past year – but this was before the onset of the coronavirus crisis. The figure is revealed as part of a series of announcements around this year’s NatWest SE100 Index, the annual list of the UK’s leading 100 social enterprises, compiled by Pioneers Post in partnership with NatWest Social & Community Capital.

The top 100 list was released after a rigorous process to assess the best performers of the year from almost 300 applicants. Applicants to the NatWest SE100 were asked to complete a comprehensive survey exploring key aspects of their business performance: from turnover, growth, profit and how effectively they manage their impact, to leadership, resilience and storytelling.

Selnet CEO Liz Tapner said:

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While we’re working hard to support our membership through these challenging times, it’s wonderful to have this good news and recognition! Plus it’s a great boost for a brilliant team who are separated and missing our daily interactions.

Selnet are proud to be the recognised lead for social enterprise in Lancashire and we do not take this responsibility lightly. As an infrastructure organisation we’re a step removed from the front-line social enterprises; but we’re here to help our sector achieve and further their individual missions. We’re continuing to lobby on behalf of our sector (#SaveOurSocEnts), to bring in partnership and capacity building opportunities, and raise the profile of members and your impact supporting communities across Lancashire.

Social Enterprise services have never been more needed than now and will be at the heart of the UK’s economic, social and environmental recovery from Covid-19; and we’re here to help you be resilient, robust and responsive through the pandemic and beyond.


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The Sewing Rooms were also included in the Top 100 Index and joined Selnet in proudly representing Lancashire. Co-Founder of The Sewing Rooms, Paula Gamester, is Selnet’s reigning Social Enterprise Champion (Enterprise in Society Awards 2019).

Ben Carpenter, CEO of Social Value UK, which advises on the impact aspects of the SE100, commented:

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“It’s heartening to see that impact management is becoming a growing focus for the UK’s leading social enterprises, as revealed in the SE100 Index. I am also particularly encouraged that the UK’s best start-up social businesses – with so many things to focus on to get up and running – are recognising that impact systems and processes must be a key priority early on, and not just a ’nice to have’ that they should think about only once the business has matured.”

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More detailed figures will be revealed later this month, in the NatWest SE100 Health & Fitness report – which uses data and insight from two of last year’s SE100 surveys to assess how social enterprises were performing and feeling about the future before the pandemic took hold.

Eddie Finch, partner in the charity and not-for-profit team at Buzzacott accountants, whose team did much of the due diligence for the SE100 judging, said:

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“While the incredible events of 2020 to date continue to take shape I have been warmed by the response of social businesses – including many of our past SE100 Award winners – stepping in to meet new needs. While no doubt some businesses will be broken by the crisis, there are clear signs that the speed of adaptation and resilience of the sector are making massive contributions to lessening its worst effects on individuals and communities – I look forward to recognising those astonishing achievements next year.” 

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You can find the top 100 and top 25 newcomer lists here, to view and also to download (enterprises are listed in alphabetical order).

 

 

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Save our Social Enterprises

We know that Social Enterprises are at the heart of the fight against coronavirus and that they will be vital for the social and economic recovery from this crisis, but too many are falling through the cracks in Government support.

Selnet are joining the calls of other sector bodies to urge Government to do more to support social enterprises and co-operatives and have signed this letter to the Chancellor containing a four-point plan to give social enterprises the support and recognition they deserve.

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Social enterprises are more likely to work in the poorest areas than traditional SMEs or charities – with 1 in 5 based in our most deprived communities. 

Social enterprises also employ those furthest from the labour market. They employ tens of thousands of vulnerable and disadvantaged people such as those with disabilities, homeless people and veterans. Many of these workers will struggle to find employment if the social enterprises they work for close. 

Social enterprises are also more likely to be led by women and BAME people, the loss of their businesses will compound the inequalities in British business.

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If things remain unchanged half the sector could run out of money by June. The situation is urgent and we need as many organisations as possible to sign the letter. Social enterprises are too important to be ignored and a failure to support them will push back the fight against inequality, poverty and the climate emergency. They are the key to the recovery out of Covid-19 and must be given the support they need.

Add your signature to the form below to demonstrate to Government how important it is to #SaveOurSocents so we can #BuildBackBetter

 

Action:

Please complete this short form to add your support to our urgent call to the Government for a four-point plan to save the social enterprise sector. By doing this, you are backing our proposal for the below actions from Government:

  1. Extending existing business grants to include social enterprises;
  2. Changing the delivery of loan finance to work for social enterprises;
  3. Opening up emergency financing for public services to social enterprises delivering services on behalf of the state;
  4. Providing business support so that social enterprises can use any funds they do receive effectively to transition their business.

You can view the full four-point plan here.

You can view the letter to the Chancellor here.

 

This campaign is a collaboration between Community Leisure UK, Co-operatives UK, Locality, Plunkett Foundation, School for Social Entrepreneurs, Social Enterprise Mark CIC, Social Enterprise UK, Social Value UK, and UnLtd.

 

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Beyond the EU Projects: What next for Lancashire?

The event Selnet had been planning with Network For Europe on the 1st April was postponed due to Covid-19. We are committed to continuing to lobby in the best interests of our sector and keeping our members informed as the consultation progresses.

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“The consultation on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, to replace ESF and ERDF, still seems far away, given the pandemic, but it is becoming more urgent as time passes” –
Andy Churchill

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Network for Europe have shared an update including a Briefing Paper that refers to the ERSA-NCVO letter sent last year to the Prime Minister. Click here for the latest update from Network For Europe.

Background and issues for consideration concerning the Government’s proposed Shared Prosperity Fund, which will replace EU structural funding now that the UK has left the EU:

Now that the UK has left the EU, this funding will cease. In order to replace it, the Government has pledged to set up a Shared Prosperity Fund to “reduce inequalities between communities”. There are several issues that will need to be considered when setting up the Fund. These include:

  • the priorities and objectives of the Fund;
  • the amount of money to be allocated;
  • the method of allocating it between the countries and regions of the UK, and whether this is based on need (and what measure is used to determine need);
  • the model by which funding will be allocated, whether pre-allocating an amount for a country or region or inviting competitive bids from across the UK;
  • the length of the planning period and the way in which this could conflict with domestic spending priorities;
  • who administers the funds (whether they are controlled from Westminster or by the devolved administrations) and the degree to which local authorities are involved;
  • the implications of the Fund for state aid rules.

Although the Government has not yet published its consultation on the Fund, a number of organisations have already made comments about the possible design. Although these vary in their emphasis (for example, the Welsh Government is strongly opposed to the idea of administering the Fund from Westminster), most organisations seem to agree that the level of funding should be at least maintained at its current level, it should largely be allocated based on need, and local authorities and partners should be closely involved.

Read the full report here.

 

1st April event – postponed

The UK has left the EU, and so EU Structural Funds (ESIF) will start to taper off from 2020-21. The ‘UK Shared Prosperity Fund’ (UK SPF) has been proposed to replace ESIF funding but as yet there is no replacement prepared for when ESIF ends.

Selnet have facilitated EU programme-funded delivery partnerships for 13 years. We are currently managing 3 Building Better Opportunities projects for 50 partners, having secured £14.7M for our sector over 6 years.

Selnet are working to ensure funding is secured for the sector to continue delivering on their missions and building on the impacts being achieved in communities across Lancashire.

As the recognised lead for social enterprise in Lancashire, we are collaborating with Network For Europe to deliver “Beyond the EU Projects What next for Lancashire”; a Consultation Readiness Event to update and prepare our sector in advance of a national consultation on what will replace ESIF.

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“Unfortunately this event has been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course. In the meantime, on this page and via the Selnet Informer, we will be issuing some information regarding the Shared Prosperity Fund and the implications for Lancashire of ESIF funds coming to an end.”

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New date TBA 
Click here for more information and to book online

 

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Selnet Vice Chair awarded MBE for services to Social Enterprise in Lancashire

Selnet Vice Chair Alistair Clarke has been awarded an MBE for his work with social enterprises across Lancashire. A former radio news editor, Alistair is a chartered business advisor and professional marketer as Director of Tick The Publicity Box CIC – a community interest company established in 2008 to aid social enterprises and charitable groups to raise awareness through marketing, PR and events.

Selnet members will recognise Alistair as one of our specialist Business Advisors, and as the host of our annual Enterprise in Society Awards, most recently held in November 2019 at the Villa in Wrea Green. He is also the Chair of Social Enterprise Solutions CIC in Blackpool.

Alistair said: “I’m delighted and honoured that my work with social enterprises in Lancashire has been recognised. I’m passionate about supporting people and social businesses that want to help others in their community.

“If you’ve ever bought a copy of the Big Issue, been shopping at the Coop, seen a show at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre, or you’re one of the volunteers at Integrate Preston, then you’re already helping social enterprises. It’s about selling goods and services and then using the profits to help others in the community.

“I work with so many people across Lancashire that do amazing work often with vulnerable people, in difficult circumstances and with limited funds and I want to see all of them considered for a national honour in the future.”

Selnet CEO Liz Tapner said “Huge congratulations to Alistair on this fantastic achievement! Alistair is an advocate for the sector in Blackpool and as part of the Selnet Business support team has supported many individuals and organisations across Lancashire to realise both their business and social ambitions. Alistair’s enthusiasm for our sector is huge and this is well deserved recognition”.

 

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Selnet’s Wonder Women in UK WISE100

Selnet have again drawn the UK’s social enterprise spotlight on Lancashire, with two members of the team receiving national Top 100 recognition in the UK’s Women in Social Enterprise WISE100 Awards.

The annual NatWest WISE100 recognises the most inspiring and influential women in social enterprise, impact investment and mission-driven business. Produced annually by Pioneers Post in partnership with NatWest Social & Community Capital, the WISE100 – Women in Social Enterprise 100 – recognises the most inspiring and influential women in social enterprise, impact investment and mission-driven business.

Selnet CEO Liz was named in the Top 100 having been nominated in the ‘Social Business Leader of the Year’ category, which recognises a CEO or senior manager with more than three years of career experience building revenue and social impact success. This recognition reflects overall qualities as well as successes during the past year. This follows a string of high profile awards including the UK’s most influential Woman in Social Enterprise at the Social Enterprise UK Awards a year ago, and recognition as a Northern Power Woman in February.

Partnership Manager Donna Sadler was also named in the WISE100 as Selnet’s own Anchor-woman, recognising her as a woman who keeps things moving and gets things done, often behind the scenes, and may not necessarily be defined as a leader in social enterprise.

Earlier this year Selnet was recognised as one of the UK’s top Social Enterprises at the SE100 Awards.

 

‘Wonder Women of UK social enterprise’

Names were selected this year from almost 300 nominations submitted by the public, with the final 100 revealed at a special celebration event at NatWest’s conference centre in Bishopsgate, central London. 

The awards event followed our very first WISEUP event – a day of learning and networking for women in the WISE100 network, delving into real-life business challenges and debating the role of women in social enterprise. Speakers on the day included Mursal Hedayat, co-founder and CEO of social enterprise Chatterbox and Sam Smethers, CEO of the gender equality campaigning organisation Fawcett Society. The evening celebration is to be opened by the campaigner against modern slavery and member of the House of Lords, Baroness Lola Young.

The WISE100 judges for this third annual celebration of female leadership were: Mary Rose Gunn, CEO at The Fore; Celia Hodson, founder and CEO at Hey Girls; Niamh Goggin, director at Small Change; Bayo Adelaja, ‘chief do-er’ at Do it Now Now; Parveen Bird, director at The Big Issue; and Jo Hand, founder of Giki. They were supported by a judging panel with representatives from both Pioneers Post and NatWest, including CEO of Social & Community Capital, Megan Peat.

Read more on who made the list in each of the six categories – and for more insight and inspiration from leading women in social enterprise, have a look at the WISE100 Collection

 

 

 

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Buy Social for a Better World

Buy Social for a Better World

Selnet joins national campaign encouraging Lancashire businesses and public sector to use their spending power to build a better world.

Selnet, Lancashire’s Social Enterprise Network, is taking part in the Buy Social for a Better World Campaign urging commissioners and local businesses to spend their money with social enterprises and create a positive impact through their everyday spend.

Social enterprises are businesses set up to build a better world – trading for a social or environmental purpose and re-investing the majority of their profits back towards their social mission. There are over 100,000 of these businesses in the UK, contributing £60billion to the economy.

There are over 2500 social enterprises registered in Lancashire, whose goods and services direct investment into strengthening communities and changing lives; from providing childcare services, work readiness and training support, arts and culture, manufacturing, housing associations, community transport services or horticulture services.

Selnet specialise social enterprise development and growth. They have secured over £15m in contracts and project funding since 2007, to support the sector to achieve real change for disadvantaged people and deprived communities across the Lancashire area.

Selnet, this year ranked as one of the top 100 social enterprises in the NatWest SE100, is encouraging commissioners and companies across the Lancashire area to use their spending power to help address social challenges across the county.

Selnet CEO Liz Tapner, recognised as the UK’s most influential woman in social enterprise, said

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“Commissioning social enterprises means investment is directed into tackling inequality and disadvantage across Lancashire communities. Our sector specialises in transforming lives through providing opportunities and developing skills, abilities, confidence and resilience.”

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Selnet’s free online Trade Directory showcases the range of goods and services available from Selnet members, categorised into their specialist areas. It is intended to help new customers, commissioners and partners to engage more easily with individual organisations.

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 “As a network, we are all about connections. Our Trade Directory is a great place to start for connecting buyers with social enterprises, who can provide real social value and community impact to investments in goods or services.

We are joining the nationwide campaign to encourage commissioners and procurement teams to capitalise on the social value their investment can achieve and build a better Lancashire by buying from social enterprises like those in our Trade Directory!”

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The Buy Social for a Better World campaign is being supported by Hollywood star, Michael Sheen, author and activist Caitlin Moran, actor and comedian Chris Addison and writer Sali Hughes, who have released a series of films as part of an augmented reality experience tied into the broader campaign. Shoppers at The Co-op can scan the packaging of four social enterprise products available in-store and be greeted by one of the celebrities who will describe the social impact they are helping to create by buying them. It is all part of a nation-wide awareness raising drive, mobilising communities to support social enterprises and help transform how we do business.

Commenting on the campaign, Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK (who are behind Buy Social for a Better World) said:

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“All businesses must do more to meet the urgent challenges ahead; social enterprises are at the forefront of developing the solutions and fairness that we need. Social enterprises are the future of business – they are growing right across our economy and scaling quickly, creating outstanding products whilst doing what’s right for people and planet. Whether it’s creating fair and secure work or running renewable community energy schemes, they offer a beacon of hope and a blueprint towards a more sustainable and fairer future.

However, in order to succeed, social enterprises need your support. Consumers have real power and social enterprises can only create impact if people continue to buy from them. When you buy social, you’re helping to build a better world.”

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Find Selnet’s Trade Directory at https://selnet-uk.com/trade-directory/ and follow #BuySocial for more about the campaign.

 

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Enterprise in Society Awards 2019: A massive night for Lancashire!

Lancashire awards event showcases region’s top social enterprises, including Child Action North West, Preston Vocational Centre and Lancashire Women

Lancashire is a national hot spot for Social Enterprise; businesses that are changing the world for the better. Social enterprises create employment and reinvest their profits into our local communities; they tackle social problems, improve people’s life chances, provide training and opportunities for disadvantaged people and help the environment.

Each year Selnet, Lancashire’s social enterprise network, hosts the Enterprise in Society Awards to promote, celebrate and reward the achievements of social enterprises across the area.

On Friday, Lancashire’s top social enterprises joined together to celebrate their achievements over the past year. 250 representatives of the sector’s top organisations came together at The Villa in Wrea Green to celebrate excellence in categories including ‘Community Impact’, ‘Enabling Ability’ and the ‘Social Enterprise Champion’.

Having drawn over £12M investment into Lancashire, Selnet have gathered increasing notorieity as one of the UK’s Top 100 social enterprises (NatWest SE100 2019) and are using this platform to draw national attention to Lancashire.

New to the judging panel this year, Paul Halfpenny (Director at Northern Social Investment Group) said:

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“SELNET has been one of the most successful, respected and long-standing of the social enterprise networks in the UK and having seen the incredible quality of applications this year I can see why.

The Lancashire sector seems to be booming, not just with a wide range of large and small businesses, but with really exciting innovations. Long may it continue!”

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Selnet CEO Liz Tapner, named the UK’s current ‘most influential woman in social enterprise’ and top 100 ‘Northern Power Woman’ said:

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“On the biggest year in our history, we wanted this, our ninth annual celebration of Lancashire’s social enterprises, to match – and we were absolutely blown away by number and quality of nominations this year! 56 separate nominations over 9 categories show just how vibrant and successful this sector is.

“This is a massive night for Lancashire – The successes we are celebrating tonight are felt by individuals across Lancashire who benefit from improved health and wellbeing, support to face daily challenges and newly expanded horizons. And in the words of Gary Barlow, you’re all giants!

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All 25 shortlisted organisations were in line for the top award, the judges’ choice “Social Enterprise of the Year”, in what was described as an ‘inspirational but gruelling afternoon’ for the independent judging panel Paula Brown (First Ark), Margaret Porter (Unity Trust Bank) and Paul Halfpenny (Director at Northern Social Investment Group).

Speaking on behalf of headline sponsor First Ark Social Investment, Paula Brown said:

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“I was tremendously impressed by the quality of the applications and the social impact being delivered and it was a difficult decision to single out a winner in each category! We chose to be headline sponsor again to support the valuable work that Selnet do for social enterprises in the region, and to raise awareness of the investment funds we have available to help organisations throughout Lancashire to grow and become more sustainable.”

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Speaking on behalf of sponsor Unity Trust Bank, Margaret Porter said:

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“This is the fifth consecutive year I have had the pleasure of judging the awards and have to say it has been the most difficult. The job of the judge is very difficult indeed, as all are worthy winners. Unity is delighted to be a sponsor of the awards as we are a Bank with a social conscience and support organisations with like-minded values”

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The Enterprise in Society Awards 2019 was held in association with First Ark Social Investment. Selnet would like to thank First Ark, Unity Trust Bank, The Sewing Rooms, Connector Media CIC and Recycling Lives for supporting this wonderful event and celebrating Lancashire’s vibrant social enterprise sector. For more about Lancashire’s annual celebration of our social enterprise sector visit awards.selnet-uk.com.

 

And the winners are…

 

 

Start Up Social Enterprise of the Year
Enterprise in Society Awards 2019 Start Up SE of the Year

The Therapeutic Forest provides free therapeutic woodland sessions for children with additional challenges co-led by Forest School Leaders and a Multidisciplinary Therapy Team. We run programmes for children with complex needs and disabilities as well as projects for young carers in Rossendale.

 

 

Small Social Enterprise of the Year
Enterprise in Society Awards 2019 Small SE of the Year

Preston Vocational Centre’s aim is to deliver the highest quality vocational construction training and support to enable young people and adults to gain skills, qualifications and confidence that enhances their potential and builds a positive future.

 

 

Large Social Enterprise of the Year

Enterprise in Society Awards 2019 Large SE of the Year

Lancashire Women is a leading charity for Women, established since 1982 and has grown over the years to now support over 8,616 women in the past year (with 4,850 being new women to our service). Lancashire Women value its active volunteers who support delivery of their services. Their vision is where all women in Lancashire are valued and treated as equals. Lancashire Women empower women to be able to transform their lives by bringing them together to: find their voice, share experiences and understanding, develop their knowledge and skills and challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about them, so that they can have choices in becoming the individuals they want to be.

 

 

Community Impact Award

Enterprise in Society Awards 2019 Community Impact Winner

Despite challenging circumstances in the sector today URPotential continues to provide and deliver services that demonstrate how we are making a difference to the lives of local people and their families. We continue to support young people and adults, improving their future prospects and life choices. We work with the community to enhance community cohesion and make a difference.

 

 

Enabling Ability Award
Enterprise in Society Awards 2019 Enabling Ability WinnerHIS Provision

Over 18 months, we have developed a number of services at The Grange in Blackpool for people from all backgrounds and with deep social issues. These include free family meals and subsidised breakfasts, a volunteer programme to gain time credits which can be spent on food and clothing, a commercial laundry service so that people can wash their clothes at the Grange, school uniforms, so no child has to go without, a variety of intergenerational projects to bring young and older together, older people have reported that their worries have reduced, incidences of vandalism have reduced, and a fragile sense of community is returning to the neighbourhood.

 

 

Environmental Champion
Enterprise in Society Awards 2019 Environmental Champion
The Larder is a small social enterprise with a big heart and even bigger ambition to achieve ‘food fairness for all’. We do this by providing education and access to good food and believe that everyone is entitled to a healthy, sustainable diet, regardless of income. We promote food that is good for people and for the environment.

 

 

Volunteer of the Year
John Raper
Active Lancashire

Enterprise in Society Awards 2019 Volunteer of the Year

John joined our project as a participant after having befriended one of our support workers. He attended and facilitated activities in the Hyndburn and Blackburn area until he was ready to go it alone as an independent volunteer. He is now changing people’s lives and giving them hope and a vision to go forward.

 

 

Employee of the Year
Rachael Gallagher
Child Action North West

Enterprise in Society Awards 2019 Employee of the Year

Rachael is passionate, compassionate and builds a fantastic relationship with the young people she supports. In the last year she has supported a high number of young people to return to education and employment, helping them realise their goals and potential. She over achieves against all targets and goes above and beyond. She is an asset to all and makes an outstandingly positive impact on the communities in which she works.

 

 

Social Enterprise Champion 2019
Paula Gamester
The Sewing Rooms

Selnet Awards 2019 SE Champion

A significant part of Paula’s career was forged in the private, public and third sector and possesses over 30 years’ experience of assisting business develop and grow. She has been a director of numerous successful SME’s businesses with some of her work international in nature. Paula is currently an Ambassador on the Government’s Well North Pathway Programme; West Lancs Borough Council’s Placeboard Initiative; Lancashire County Council’s Over 50 Platform and is a current board member of Selnet. She was awarded the High Sheriff of Lancashire Award 2019 in March in recognition for outstanding commitment to the people of the county and was invited to attend Buckingham Palace Garden Party in May.

 

 

Social Enterprise of the Year

Selnet Awards 2019 Judges Choice Winner

CANW Solutions CIC was established in 2009 to provide services and opportunities for vulnerable young people and adults. We passionately believe that everyone has the right to achieve their potential, whatever challenges or barriers they face. We work across the Northwest, predominantly in Lancashire.

 

 

Congratulations to all!!!

Photos from the night available here

See the story from Twitter here

 

Enterprise in Society Awards

 

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Selnet Awards 2019 Oh What a Night!!

The story from Twitter

   

Morning

 

Afternoon

 

Evening

 

The Awards

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