Selnet are members of Social Enterprise UK and the Employment and Related Services Association, ERSA, and work closely with Network for Europe; we keep a watchful eye on issues associated with the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UK-SPF) and will keep members up to date with the progress and implications of Brexit.
Now that the UK has left the EU, ESIF funding will cease. In order to replace it, the Government pledged to set up a Shared Prosperity Fund to “reduce inequalities between communities”.
At the beginning of 2020 we were organising a sector-wide event ‘Beyond the EU Projects: What Next for Lancashire?” bringing specialist speakers together with our VCSE sector for the most current picture on the UK-SPF and to help prepare for anticipated consultations. This event was postponed in response to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Our sector is deeply rooted within our communities and is at the forefront of solutions to the crisis; they are on the health and social care front line and providing crucial community support to the most vulnerable.
– Selnet CEO Liz Tapner
Although the budget is cancelled due to the uncertainty caused by Covid, the Comprehensive Spending Review seems to be going ahead before the end of this year.
This could include the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, to replace the approximately €13bn (£11.7bn) we would have received from Europe over the next seven years for ESF and ERDF.
The open consultation that we had been promised does not appear to be taking place. Without the proper involvement of the Partners in discussions and the creation of the new fund, it will not be efficient or effective.
NCVO will shortly be publishing an updated paper on UK-SPF, calling for a fund designed around places and needs – we will keep members informed on this.
NCVO and ERSA
In July 2019, the national Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Employment-Related Services Association (ERSA), umbrella bodies representing charities, sent a letter to the new Prime Minister urging him to confirm that:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
In October 2018, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (a social policy research charity focusing on poverty) published a report on Designing a Shared Prosperity Fund, which came to the following conclusions:
VCSE, Covid and policy
Leaders of Manchester-based charities have shared their experiences of the Covid-19 crisis and their thoughts for the future in a new report produced by Macc, Manchester’s local voluntary and community sector support organisation.
“Invest in a crucial sector or risk losing it”
‘Getting Brexit Done’
The UK left the European Union at the end of January, and we are in the Transition Period, so we do not influence EU policy, but are bound by the rules.
We still have funding – for example for ESF and ERDF. The UK failed to ask for an extension at end June, so the Transition Period ends on 31st December 2020.
The ninth and final round of the planned trade talks has finished with no agreement. Some further negotiations will take place over the next few weeks, so we will either have no deal, or have a thin deal.
“Third sector organisations should be preparing for some disruptions”
The agreement needs to be by late October/early November in order to be ratified by the Member States, and the European Parliament, so we are almost out of time. None of this has been helped by the UK saying it could break international law, which was met with disbelief across Europe.
The UK has some preparations for the extra bureaucracy and transport delays expected from January, and third sector organisations should be preparing for some disruptions.
On behalf of everyone at Selnet, congratulations to Stella Connell OBE, Mohammed Sidat MBE and Kay Johnson MBE, whose work in communities across Lancashire has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2020:
Chief Executive of the Birchwood Centre, Stella Connell OBE has been recognised for services to Homeless and Vulnerable People (based in Skelmersdale, Lancashire)
Birchwood were awarded the Most Effective Collaboration title at Selnet 2018 Enterprise in Society Awards, described as a Birchwood was described as “a leading light for how civil society organisations can embrace social enterprise and yet retain their values, services and character.”
‘MTS’ founded this charity in 2006 to help support disadvantaged young people and their families in Blackburn and joined the charity as Director of Operations in 2018. Prior to joining the charity, he has worked in Local Government, Prison Services and the NHS. Join IMO on social media.
Founder of The Lancashire and Region Dietary and Educational Resource ‘The Larder’, Kay Johnson MBE was recognised for services to food nutrition and the community in Lancashire, particularly during Covid-19 (based in Preston, Lancashire)
The Larder were recognised as Lancashire’s Environmental Champion at Selnet’s 2019 Enterprise in Society Awards.
“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.”
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
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
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
Social Enterprise Guidance
National business and employer support
These links are external and are provided for information only.
Selnet is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in these links.
Selnet and the Lancashire Skills Hub secured funding from the Community Foundation for Lancashire, to provide digital devices and connectivity to disadvantaged over 50s in Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen.
Applications for support through Digital Freedom 50+ are completed by approved Distribution Partners, on individual beneficiaries’ behalf. The funding for this project has secured a limited number of devices for residents in every district in the County, ensuring the 14 Lancashire districts are equally resourced.
At the end of 2020 the project team had allocated 484 devices for older people who had been digitally excluded, helping connect them with people and services during lockdowns.
Working in partnership
Applications for organisations to become Distribution Partners are now closed, and applications are active .
Over 40 organisations working with local residents have expressed an interest in becoming Distribution Partners, to apply for digital devices and connectivity on behalf of disadvantaged over 50s. As the funding is limited, we can only support a limited number of applications and therefore the project is making awards based on eligibility and clearly evidenced need, on a first come, first served basis.
For information about this project please send your enquiry to email@example.com
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:
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:
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:
You can find the top 100 and top 25 newcomer lists here, to view and also to download (enterprises are listed in alphabetical order).
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
New date TBA
Click here for more information and to book online
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”.
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.