Lancashire social enterprises celebrated and promoted for their phenomenal impacts and achievements!
The story from Twitter
And the winners are!
Winner – Beanstalk Business Support CIC
Beanstalk Business Support CIC is passionate about helping businesses become stronger, sustainable and profitable. Our trading enterprise delivers business support and administration services to entrepreneurs, start-ups, not-for-profits and SMEs. In addition, we provide employment, apprenticeships and work experience opportunities, with job coaching and pastoral support, helping people towards employment.
Let’s Grow Preston is a charity, established in 2011, whose aims are to improve and maintain for the benefit of the inhabitants of Preston (defined as the PR postcodes) and its visitors, the gardens, landscaped areas, open spaces, playing fields, playgrounds and recreational amenity spaces with the object of improving the conditions of life of the public by providing resources and support which are ancillary to those provided by the local authority.
Recycling Lives Social Enterprise is changing lives. Our rehabilitation programmes equip people with skills and confidence to improve their lifestyles and employability and reduce re-offending rates. Our food redistribution work supplies charities and community groups with goods to feed people in need, tackling food poverty while also preventing food waste.
Our application focuses on Active Lancashire’s Pendle YES Hub (PYH) and Rossendale Works (RW), two employment and training programmes we designed in partnership with councils, the DWP and others, with our colleagues delivering services.
PYH launched in February 2021 as a base to support young people in Pendle affected by Covid-19, offering tailored access to courses, work opportunities, and health and wellbeing activities.
RW launched in 2018 to reduce unemployment in Rossendale. Alongside one-to-one coaching and job fairs, it offers a skills course in collaboration with employers, featuring interviews at the end.
“Dominic goes above and beyond with his participants on his caseload to make sure that they are supported throughout their journey. He is helpful, cheery and a team player and does not let his barrier of being partially sighted get in the way of work; from helping us move furniture within the office to picking up young people in a taxi ensuring they are supported with appointments.”
Renaissance-UK supports all members of the LGBTQ+ community, those suffering with substance misuse and issues around sexual health, which naturally encircles complex mental health issues. There is a constant drive and unwaivering focus to ensure all strands of equality are recognised and advocated for.
CANW promotes environmental sustainability across our services and is committed to reduce waste, limit energy consumption and procure sustainably. An Environmental Task and Finish Group convenes bi-annually to monitor / review agreed organisational targets.
“Kizzy is one of a group of ambassadors, all of whom have lived experience of a learning disability, physical disability or autism. During lockdown, the group did lots of work to promote friendships via zoom, they spoke to people in the NHS and organised a friendship conference which took place in November 2021 when people were able to gather in larger groups. Kizzy has shone over and above in her role as a volunteer ambassador, taking it upon herself to organise the other ambassadors, as well as supporting them both within sessions and outside of sessions.”
Martin established the Rainbow Youth Centre after personal experience made it clear to him that help and advice surrounding Trans / LGBTQI+ issues, and mental health in children, was incredibly hard to obtain and harder to access. Having closed his business to concentrate on providing support in this area, Martin self-financed the youth centre for the first 2 years.
Communicate SLT is a Community Interest Company providing high quality speech, language and communication services and training, predominantly in Lancashire. We empower individuals aged 0-25 years directly and through others, using high-quality, evidenced-based approaches to maximise impact where they live and learn. Our mission is to enable effective communication for all to improve children and young people’s inclusion, independence and life chances.
The final category shortlisted 27 social enterprises from all categories entered at the 2022 awards.
A huge thank you to our Sponsors
On behalf of all our members, Selnet Directors would like to thank the following organisations for supporting the Social Enterprise in Society Awards 2022!
DR!VE was an ambitious project, designed and managed by Selnet, aiming to support more than 200 new-start and existing businesses to grow in Lancashire over two years.
This project is now completed, however –
Selnet was founded by social enterprises, for social enterprises – our specialist support is available for our sector. We may be able to support you through a funded programme free of charge, or if you are not eligible, we will give you a transparent quote of the cost.
If you are a private sector/mainstream business looking for advice and support and we can redirect you based on your needs.
Whether you need start up or growth support, or advice on operating a successful social enterprise, get in touch to see how we can help. Phone us on 01772 200690 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were delighted to head up our partnership of qualified business advisors whose professional support helped turn good business plans into business for good. We designed DR!VE and planned our DR!VE targets from our experience and our well-established track record (visit Two/Zero, Boost and NatWest Skills and Opportunities).
Our partnership of friendly and approachable advisors spent up to two days supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs to increase the chances of their business thriving and surviving, including help starting up, growing businesses, creating new work and guidance to wider support. The was tailored to the needs of each participant, at no cost to them (funded by the European Regional Development Fund with support from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government).
Specialising in supporting social enterprises, DR!VE was delivered to help get business moving in Lancashire.
Selnet are delighted to share our partnership’s fantastic outcomes:
5,016 hoursprovided engaging in business advice – covering a range of activities including one-to-one business development support, identifying routes to market, aftercare support and referrals to specialist providers.
797clientswere supported over 28 months.
New businesses started: We exceeded our target for potential entrepreneurs who went on to set up a business – 90% of the pre-starts we supported then began a new business. By the close of DR!VE, 85 new businesses were established, including 42 social enterprises.
New jobs created: DR!VE overachieved our jobs target and increase employment through 101 roles. GVA background: As the programme supports 101 new jobs this would equate to an increase in GVA per annum of £2.4million pounds.
Value for money: DR!VE provided value for money with a net economic return of £16 for every pound invested.
Raising awareness of Social Enterprise:One of the key impacts Selnet had was in raising the profile and awareness of Social Enterprise.
One business advisor commented, “everyone has a different understanding of social enterprise”. With so much confusion around the sector, it was imperative to have advisors who could help shape the sector and guide people through the process start to finish.
Our DR!VE for Lancashire
DR!VE was designed to provide access to support for under-represented groups and understands that best practice is a continual process which will continue to evolve over time.
Focus on disadvantaged areas: 60% of businesses supported through DR!VE are in the most deprived half of the UK. Deprivation is a key issue in Lancashire, identified in the original project rationale, “In Lancashire, 2 of the 14 local authority areas are in the most deprived 10% of the lower-tier local authorities within England (IMD rank of average rank measure). A further two local authorities are both in the most deprived 20%.”
Enabling Female leadership: 53% of businesses supported were female-led. Women are still very underrepresented in business, a recent report commissioned by Boost, Growing Women, Growing Lancashire revealed that only 19% of businesses are led by women and only 20% of directors are women.
Manufacturing sector in DR!VE is female dominated. The other highest female dominated sectors included administration and support sectors and education. Overall, the balance of genders was even across the sectors with the exception of construction and the motor trade.
Clients with disabilities: Overall, the project has reached an average of 10% of disabled clients. “The disability employment rate was 53% in 2021, compared to 81% for non-disabled people.” Disabled workers move out of work at nearly twice the rate (9%) of non-disabled workers (5%), and unemployed disabled people move into work at nearly one-third of the rate (11%) of unemployed non-disabled people (27%).
Clients from ethnic minority backgrounds: 10% of clients from an ethnic minority backgrounds. The increase in ethnic minority enquiries really started to take off in December 2022, whatever activities the project team carried out at this time did work well at reaching a wider range of potential entrepreneurs.
The arts attracted higher number of disabilities and ethnic minorities, although this was a very small sample, it would be useful to continue to monitor this. Other service activities were the most dominant sector in DR!VE, but they were reaching low numbers of ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.
We will share insight and feedback on DR!VE in the coming weeks, starting with this feedback is from the CEO of Mandus House:
Business Expo event
At our Business Expo in January 2023, Selnet had clearly thought about what their clients needed and quite a few of the speakers focussed on inspiring and building confidence.
One speaker talked about “the truth about motivation is that no one really motivates you… you motivate yourself” and shared the top tip that if you think of public speaking as just sharing information with people it may remove some nerves.
Ultimately, it was clear that the social enterprise sector is connected around Selnet, as one speaker commented, “This sector works well in partnership. It is very important for social enterprise.”
Lancashire’s social enterprise teams “perform miracles: day after day after day”
Social Enterprises across Lancashire celebrated and promoted for their phenomenal impacts and achievements throughout Covid at the Enterprise in Society Awards 2021
On 2nd December 2021, at the Crow Wood Hotel, Burnley, Selnet’s 10th awards event for social enterprises highlighted how social businesses adapted services to Covid challenges, in order to continue supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged people across Lancashire.
Selnet is the lead organisation representing social enterprises across Lancashire, increasing our sector’s competitiveness, sustainability and impact. We support and enable the vital work of frontline social enterprises, from training, to contract delivery and enabling partnerships.
Social enterprises across Lancashire have gone above and beyond expectations in response to Covid-19, helping people in crisis and keeping lives together. Our phenomenal sector deserves the recognition, celebration and wider promotion, joining together and sharing impactful stories in person at the Enterprise in Society Awards 2021.
The story from Twitter
And the winners are!
Start-Up Social Enterprise of the Year Sponsored by The Sewing Rooms
Start Up Social Enterprise of the Year 2021, sponsored by The Sewing Rooms, awarded by co-Directors Paula Gamester and Maureen Fazal to Growing Resilience CIC:
“We are just under a year old, set up to support people around mental health. Teaching people how to cook with foodbank items, horticulture, introducing different concepts of mental health, meditation, conflict resolution, chaotic lifestyles, becoming physically and mentally better, working with UCLan to support LGBTQ+ communities and homeless people.” Glen Duckett, Growing Resilience CIC.
Highly commended award presented to We Be Kids CIC (collected by Suzanne Murray, Groundwork)
Shortlisted were Beanstalk Business Support CIC, Growing Resilience, Mindsight and We Be Kids CIC.
Small Social Enterprise of the Year Presented by awards judge Adam Holden
The category ‘Small Social Enterprise of the Year’ category was highlighted as the category celebrating ‘the lifeblood of our sector’, presented by judge Adam Holden and awarded to Divine Days Creative Arts:
“We tackle inequalities with health, working with people with complex needs or disabilities, helping them access social entrepreneurship we use the arts predominantly. Everyone in our category is phenomenal, so we are just so thrilled, everyone is just absolutely wonderful, and we are absolutely honoured!” Katie Whitehead, MD.
Shortlisted were Barks and Recreation, Brew Me Sunshine, Divine Days Creative Arts, Let’s Grow Preston and SHAPE Lancashire.
Large Social Enterprise of the Year Sponsored by Unity Trust Bank
Large Social Enterprise of the Year category was sponsored by Unity Trust Bank, and announced and presented by Margaret Porter to Furniture Matters:
“I didn’t expect this at all, we’re 20 years old, we work in Morecambe and the surrounding area of Morecambe, through Covid we really came into our own, what we’re about is helping people in need, in crisis, – where others closed around us, we kept on going and honestly, we had a really great 18 months!” – Steph Buchanan, Manager at Furniture Matters.
Shortlisted were Child Action Northwest, Furniture Matters (Calico Enterprise Ltd), Intact, Lancashire Women, Recycling Lives Social Enterprises and Travel Assist.
Social Enterprise Covid Hero Sponsored by Recycling Lives Commercial
The Covid Hero category recognises the great efforts that organisations have gone to over the last 18 months; the new category Covid Hero, presented by David Allen on behalf of the sponsor ‘Recycling Lives Commercial’ to @TheGrange Community Centre:
“The Grange is right sat the centre of Grange Park in Blackpool, we support the residents of Grange Park, during Covid while services closed, we stayed open and we supported the people that were the most vulnerable – most of all what came to light out of it, is there are some very vulnerable people who were not known to use before Covid, but now they are known and have support and care put into place so a lot of good has come out of the work that was done during lockdowns – we did meals on wheels, Christmas dinners, housed people off the streets – and that support just continues and continues. We’re very proud of what we do!” Ellen Ryan @TheGrange.
Alistair Clarke reflected the crowd’s response: “Amazing, amazing organisation!”
Shortlisted were CANWe Solutions CIC, Intact, New Era Enterprises, The Sewing Rooms and @TheGrange Community Centre.
Work and Training Social Enterprise of the Year Sponsored by Livv Housing
The Work and Training Social Enterprise of the Year category was presented by judge Paula Brown on behalf of sponsor by Livv Housing to Brew Me Sunshine.
Alistair Clarke said “The winners can’t be here tonight – why? Because they’re on their Christmas party!”
Video “Thank you very much for this award, it means so much here to us at Brew Me Sunshine, it’s been really rewarding to see our volunteers overcome their challenges and develop their confidence and skills throughout our training schemes – it’s been even greater to see one of those volunteers join our team as a member of staff, who will also get a well-deserved nomination in one of the other categories this evening. We are incredibly proud of our team and we are not just a café that serves a cup of coffee and delicious cakes. We continue to be a safe, accessible community space for some of the most isolated members of our community. Thank you again and you are all very welcome to see us here at Brew Me Sunshine to celebrate the hard work of all of those this evening” Claire Lloyd – Cafe Manager
Shortlisted were AFC Fylde Community Foundation, Brew Me Sunshine, Calico Enterprise Ltd, Child Action Northwest, Recycling Lives (Social Enterprises) Ltd and Social Enterprise Solutions.
Social Enterprise Employee of the Year Awarded by Selnet Membership Lead, Yvette Holden
Employee of the Year, presented by Selnet Membership Lead, Yvette Holden, awarded to Natalie Hall of CANWe Solutions.
Accepting the award on her behalf was Michelle Dixon, Head of Service at Child Action Northwest: “I have the pleasure of working with Natalie and her team. She’s heavily pregnant and was advised to take some time off to rest! Working with Natalie she’s amazing, she gives her all to everything – on behalf of Natalie thank you very much!”
Shortlisted were Carl Simms of Child Action Northwest, Craig Kirby of The Sewing Rooms, Jez Palmer of CANWe Solutions CIC, Julie Smith of SHAPE Lancashire, Natalie Hall of CANWe Solutions CIC and Vicky Hutchinson of Lancashire Women.
Striving for Equality Award Sponsored by Calico Enterprises
Presented to Zed Ali, Chief Officer: “We help organisations in the public, private and voluntary sector to implement best practice policies that promote equality. We provide advice and advocacy on a whole range of practical issues and we are absolutely blown away to win this award, all I can say is thank you!”
Shortlisted were Child Action Northwest, Equalities & Justice Northwest and URPotential.
Environmental Champion of the Year Presented by Chair of Selnet, Graham Jones
When asked how he would sum up what Recycling Lives’ actions are, he said:
“I think that in a nutshell, I have a team that perform miracles, day after day after day”. Alasdair Jackson, Operations Director at Recycling Lives.
Shortlisted were Furniture Matters (part of Calico Enterprise), Let’s Grow Preston and Recycling Lives (Social Enterprises) Ltd.
Volunteer of the Year Presented by Selnet’s Deputy CEO, Donna Marshall
The Volunteer of the Year award was presented by Selnet’s Deputy CEO, Donna Marshall, who invited all shortlisted nominees to the stage for recognition of their work, and then announced the winner of the category as Jessica Marina Bridge of Renaissance UK.
“I’m a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and I work with Renaissance UK, volunteering hours with them, I work with individuals suffering with sexual health issues, trauma, addiction, drugs, alcohol and the LGBTQ community as well, so I was working with them while I was qualifying as a CBT therapist and since then I’ve been volunteering my hours ever since. I couldn’t imagine not being with them, they’re just a brilliant team! – Jessica Marina Bridge, Renaissance UK.
In recognition of the shortlisted candidates’ work, awarded highly commended certificates were presented to Beryl Lymer of Spring into Action, Donna Hannigan of URPotential, Katy Smith of Child Action Northwest, Krysti-Ann Monroe of Lancashire Women, Tina Calderbank of SHAPE Lancashire and Yasmin Shakir of PUKAR.
Social Enterprise Champion 2021 Presented by 2019 Champion Paula Gamester
Paula Gamester of The Sewing Rooms in Skelmersdale was the Social Enterprise Champion winner in 2019; Selnet’s last Awards ceremony due to Covid. Paula presented this award, saying: “I am absolutely delighted to announce that the 2021 Social Enterprise Champion is Tony Carr”:
Tony was very surprised, and on accepting the award, said “It’s very kind and thank you to the judges, and everybody who has been involved in this awards ceremony. I’m very lucky – I’ve had 2 careers, my first career was 30 years as a retailer, then I moved to our sector and its given me enormous job satisfaction, because now I enjoy going to work and I enjoy the results of the work, which is something that never happened before.
That work was all money-based, and this is about people. Job satisfaction is everything: when we can see the fruits of our work and see that peoples’ lives have changed. So, thank you very much for this award!”
Shortlisted nominees were Annie Wynn of Let’s Grow Preston, Dave Scholes of Mindsight, Linda Markey of URPotential and Tony Carr of Social Enterprise Solutions CIC.
Social Enterprise of the Year 2021
Sponsored by Social Enterprise UK
The final category, sponsored by Social Enterprise UK, shortlisted 27 candidates from all social enterprises shortlisted at the 2021 awards.
Liz Tapner presented this award on behalf of Social Enterprise UK, saying “I am so pleased to announce that for the second year running the Social Enterprise of the Year 2021 is Child Action Northwest”
Michelle Dixon, Head of Service at Child Action Northwest said: “I work with these wonderful people, the only thing that I can say is that everyone does an amazing job, day in, day out – as I’m sure everyone does in the room, to win it the second time – we thought there was no way, so I’m absolutely thrilled, I’m more thrilled with friends and colleagues who stand by me because they’re the ones who go out every day and do what they do – thanks guys, you’re brilliant!”
About the 2021 Enterprise in Society Awards
Hosted by Vice Chair Alistair Clarke MBE, awarded MBE in 2020
Welcome address and Social Enterprise of the Year award presented by Liz Tapner MBE, awarded in July 2021.
Sponsors: Recycling Lives, Calico Enterprises, The Sewing Rooms, Social Enterprise UK, Livv Housing and Unity Trust Bank.
The largest social enterprise awards in England, outside of Social Enterprise UK.
Judging panel: Adam Holden, Paula Brown, Investment Manager of Livv Housing Group and Margaret Porter, Relationship Manager of Unity Trust Bank
#BuySocial giftbags produced by The Sewing Rooms: 5 staff members and 5 volunteers were involved in design and production, with each bag made from end of roll textiles and salvaged textiles otherwise destined to landfill; 1500 metres of fabric were used, the equivalent to cover 2 full sized football pitches!
Awards held on 02/12/21 with hashtag #SelnetAwards
Selnet’s Tagline: For People | For Business | For Good
Selnet named a finalist in The Education, Training & Jobs category of prestigious national Awards, recognising businesses which are transforming society.
The Social Enterprise Lancashire Network, ‘Selnet’ has been shortlisted in the UK Social Enterprise Awards, recognising it as one of the leading social enterprises in the country.
Selnet based in Preston is a UK finalist in the ‘Education, Training & Jobs’ category. It is a business that exists to enable, secure and develop frontline social enterprises across Lancashire.
Since 2007 Selnet have been supporting social enterprises across Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen to start-up, connect, develop and grow. By developing and managing projects like Building Better Opportunities, Selnet lead programmes so social enterprises can secure revenue through their specialism; all to deliver contracts that transform lives. Selnet CEO Liz Tapner MBE said:
“Before Covid hit, we had just relocated to a social enterprise landlord. 3 months later the team were all working from home, maintaining existing contracts that support highly vulnerable people, securing new opportunities and maintaining communications across the network – all enabling the sector to survive, adapt and feel empowered.”
As lockdown covered our communities, Selnet worked intensively to maintain delivery, working with 5 specialist social enterprise partnerships and commissioners so that essential services for disadvantaged people could continue.
While maintaining and supporting teams delivering projects across Lancashire, Selnet worked hard to enable sustainability, resilience and impact of social enterprises.
We worked hard supporting frontline social enterprises whose services have never been more needed. We bid, secured and mobilised a high-level ERDF funded business start-up and growth support programme, ‘DR!VE’ – we and our 4 delivery partners have all invested our own reserves, to make this support possible; all specialising in social enterprises – and blimey its good timing!
On hearing the news of being shortlisted, Selnet’s senior management team Liz Tapner MBE and Donna Marshall were delighted.
Selnet lead programmes creating opportunities for social enterprises to support our communities, enabling social entrepreneurs to develop skills and achieve their ambitions, respond to challenges, tackle inequalities, and empower our communities.
Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social or environmental purpose. There are 100,000 social enterprises in the UK contributing £60bn to the UK economy, each one being set up to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face from homelessness to the climate emergency.
The UK Social Enterprise Awards run by Social Enterprise UK, the national membership body for social enterprises, recognise the nation’s most pioneering social enterprises. Selnet will be joining other shortlisted organisations at the prestigious awards ceremony held at London’s iconic Guildhall on 8 December.
This year the Awards featured two new categories one recognising a Social Enterprise Building Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice and the other for the Social Enterprise Team of the Year – a category specifically acknowledging those teams which have demonstrated the strength, passion and resilience so characteristic of the social enterprise sector over an extremely challenging year.
Previous winners have included a company set up to tackle furniture poverty, an IT consultancy employing people with autism and a community energy co-operative – demonstrating just how diverse the social enterprise sector is.
Commenting on the Awards, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK Peter Holbrook said:
The UK Social Enterprise Awards are back, bigger and better than ever before. We have had a record number of applications this year, all of which have showcased the strength, dynamism and resilience of the social enterprise community through what’s been an incredibly difficult and uncertain period.
Over the course of the pandemic social enterprises have been going above and beyond the call of duty to support their teams, the individuals, and communities they work with, showing the grit, determination and innovation so inherent to this sector. They’ve been operating directly on the frontline of the crisis, launching new products and pivoting their business models to meet the needs of communities and society as a whole.
The Awards are all about celebrating the achievements of the UK’s social enterprise movement, which is showing us that another way of doing business is possible – one which has never been more important as we look to build back better and address the climate emergency.”
Are you a Lancashire social enterprise? Join Selnet!
If you are trading for a social or environmental purpose, we can support you to start-up, develop, connect and grow. Being part of Lancashire’s wider social enterprise community enables your access to additional services and resources, up-to-date sector news, funding information, networking events, training opportunities and a platform to promote your business.
The annual NatWest SE100 Social Business Awards recognise the most outstanding achievers in UK social enterprise, with top awards in six categories this year.
The NatWest SE100 celebrates the success of socially-driven ventures across the UK – by naming the most impressive 100 social enterprises of the year in a top 100 Index, and giving six SE100 Social Business Awards for the most outstanding achievers. It was created by Pioneers Post in partnership with NatWest more than 10 years ago and aims to support social enterprises not only through recognising their achievements but also by sharing their stories and expertise through articles, films and networking opportunities.
NatWest Social & Community Capital’s Megan Virrels said: “It’s always one of my highlights reviewing the SE100 entries and seeing how many examples of resilience, courage and perseverance there are in our sector. The winners have all shown incredible dedication and commitment to delivering a positive future for some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged among us. I hope you all feel rightly proud in the difference that you are making to communities across the UK and beyond.”
Selnet recognised for 3rd consecutive year
Selnet exists to enable, develop and support the vital work across Lancashire’s frontline social enterprises. Since 2007 we have been supporting social enterprises across Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen to connect, develop and grow, through:
Our vibrant, impactful membership network
Specialist business start-up and growth advice and support
Securing opportunities for our members
Developing and leading partnerships
Promotion and representation on a local, regional and national basis.
Our impacts continue to increase from our support and training for members during Covid to our contract extensions – and our work towards securing opportunities for our social enterprises and their communities. We have now secured over £23.8M for our sector; securing opportunities, enabling partnerships, managing contracts and accessing funded business development services.
We are thrilled and honoured to be recognised as one of the top 100 Social Enterprises in the UK for the 3rd year running!
It’s a testament to the dedicated and passionate team at Selnet, working hard on behalf of our members and for Lancashire residents.’
Donna Marshall, Partnership Manager
The Sewing Rooms Leaders shortlisted for Leaders of the Year
Huge congratulations for Paula Gamester & Maureen Fazal who were shortlisted for Leader of the Year as Co-founders of The Sewing Rooms / Connector Media: “for social enterprise bosses demonstrating excellent leadership, effectiveness and inspiration in taking the team on a mission-driven journey to success”
Want to know more about Selnet?
During Covid we have invested in a Membership Lead Officer to engage and support our sector. To find out more about becoming a Selnet member contact Yvette Holden
Selnet was excited to enable Lancashire social enterprise leaders to access support through this national networking programme. This project was launched and completed in 2021 and was jointly funded by BEIS and Lancashire County Council.
Starting in early 2021, this intensive programme took 18 hours over 8 weeks. Participating in a peer group helped gain fresh perspectives, inspired new ideas and changed habits of thinking. It helped form new contacts, built networks and gained valuable professional and personal support from like-minded peers.
Sharing Experiences to Meet Current Challenges
Our Peer Networks project was tailored to Lancashire’s social enterprise leaders; now, and of the future. It was not formal management or skills training – instead it provided personal development focus with flexible topics worked though with the help of a professional facilitator and in small groups of likeminded social enterprise leaders in a similar situation.
Each group consisted of social enterprise leaders led by an experienced facilitator, Adrian Ashton. In addition, there was bespoke business support for organisations and a series of masterclasses to learn new skills. The Programme supported participants to:
Overcome business challenges and act on new opportunities
Build a trusted network of connections for current and ongoing support
Improve long-term personal and business performance
Consider ways to increase turnover and social impact
Use the Peer Network to help overcome challenges or make changes in their social enterprises
The agenda for each meeting was set by the group. The context was to support each other to develop new ways of working and building knowledge and skills to expand their organisation’s impact.
Participating social enterprises had to meet the following criteria:
Social enterprises with a trading address within the Lancashire LEP area and had:
*SMEs that did not meet this criteria due to Covid-19, but did meet the criteria during the 12 months prior to March 2020 were also eligible
In 2021, Selnet was approved as a Gateway provider for the Government’s Kickstart Scheme, providing funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit.
We secured 47 placements with 18 employers. Following this, 8 young people were offered permanent roles from their placements, and 4 secured contract roles.
About the Kickstart Scheme The Kickstart Scheme provided funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who were at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes could apply for funding which covered:
100% of the National Minimum Wage(or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
Employers could spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.
Selnet as a Gateway Provider Selnet recognise that social enterprises across Lancashire are in a unique position to offer excellent opportunities to young people however this was unlikely to be at scale. In becoming a Gateway provider, Selnet aimed to make it easy for our members to get involved, whether that is for one placement or several.
What employers received
In addition to the wages cost, the Government provided further on-boarding costs of £1,500 per job placement. This was to support the young person with training and to help them become ‘job ready’, as well as helping with any set-up costs. Selnet was on-hand to advise employers how to make best use of this funding to ensure a positive outcome for all.
Job Placement Criteria The job placements created must be new jobs. The placements must not:
Replace existing or planned vacancies
Cause existing employees, apprentices or contractors to lose work or reduce their working hours
The job placements must:
Be a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
Pay at least the national minimum wage or the national living wage for the employee’s age group
Only require basic training
What is a Gateway Gateway Representatives have been selected by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as credible organisations with experience in managing partnerships agreements and have a robust financial and governance process to manage Kickstart placement procedures.
The DWP has checked and approved Selnet as a Kickstart Gateway using the Cabinet Office Spotlight Tool.
If you’re creating fewer than 30 job placements, as a Kickstart gateway Selnet can apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant for you.
This does not guarantee that you will get Kickstart Scheme funding. Your application will be assessed against the Kickstart Scheme criteria by DWP.
1. Charitable services exempt from all local restriction tiers
On Monday 23 November the Prime Minister announced the new tiering system to come into force in England from Wednesday 2 December. The announcement confirmed that in all tiers there is an exemption ‘for work orproviding voluntary or charitable services, including in other people’s homes’. These must still be done so responsibly, and in line with current UK Government advice on Coronavirus and social distancing.
The Prime Minister also announced that ‘essential and non-essential retail’ will be allowed to open from this date in all tiers – this includes charity shops.
should attend school or college as normal, unless they are self-isolating. Schools, universities, colleges and early years settings remain open in all tiers
should walk or cycle where possible, plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes when travelling
must follow the gathering limits at their tier except for in specific settings and circumstances. These exemptions are detailed in the guidance
There will be a temporary change in the rules over the Christmas period. On Tuesday the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations agreed an aligned approach allowing up to three households to form a ‘Christmas bubble’ from December 23 to 27. The advice on creating a Christmas bubble is available here.
2. Thousands of women and girls to benefit from £15m Tampon Tax Fund
Charities supporting disadvantaged women and girls through the coronavirus pandemic and recovery are to receive £15 million from the latest round of the Tampon Tax Fund.
Projects that help victims of domestic abuse, work with eating disorder sufferers, and provide mentoring for disadvantaged young women, are among those to receive grants of more than £1 million each over the next two years. The money will also be used to make grants to smaller organisations so they can deploy services that support vulnerable women and girls.
Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran, said:
“Vulnerable women and girls need our support more than ever in this difficult year, and these grants will help keep vital services going.
From supporting victims of domestic abuse, to those suffering from mental health problems, this funding will help to directly tackle some of the most serious issues facing women and girls today.”
The Tampon Tax Fund uses the funds generated from the VAT on women’s sanitary products. While the UK was a member of the European Union, VAT on these products could not fall below 5 per cent. The Chancellor announced in March this year that the tax will end in January 2021, at the end of the transition period following the UK’s exit from the EU.
Find out more about the 12 projects receiving funding from this round here.
3. Spending Review 2020 announcements
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak presented the Spending Review 2020 to Parliament on Wednesday 25 November.
Since the start of the crisis the government has invested over £280 billion to mitigate against the impacts of Covid-19 and protect jobs and livelihoods across all areas of the UK.
The Spending Review builds on this action, confirming an additional £38 billion for public services to continue to fight the pandemic this year, bringing total support to over £113 billion in 2020-21 It also provides a further £55 billion of support for the response to Covid-19 next year, targeted to control and suppress the virus, increase support to public services and support jobs and businesses.
Included in the Chancellor’s announcements were:
A new Levelling Up Fund worth £4 billion for England, plus £0.8 billion for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales through Barnett consequentials. The Fund will be open to all local areas in England and prioritise bids to drive growth and regeneration in places in need, those facing particular challenges, and areas that have received less government investment in recent years. The government will set out further details on how to support levelling up across the UK in the New Year.
An additional £1 million for the Charity Commission, bringing their total budget to £28.3 million.
Almost £100 million to deliver the National Citizen Service (NCS) and invest in youth facilities. The government will review its programmes to support youth services including the NCS in the spring.
To read the Spending Review 2020 update in full and for supporting and related documents click here.
4. Survey: impact of Covid-19 on VCSE organisations
The latest round of the Barometer survey, which examines the impact of Covid-19 on voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations, is now open. The research is led by Nottingham Trent University.
The project aims to:
Provide real-time data and learning on how Covid-19 is impacting the whole sector and how this varies across different organisations by size, structure and services offered.
Present lessons-learned reports on the impacts and responses to Covid-19 from organisations..
Put forward insights to assist the long-term resilience of the VCSE sector.
Expected outputs from this project include a VCSE vulnerability barometer, providing real-time data of the impact Covid-19 on the sector, lessons-learned reports, enabling innovations to be scaled, a final project report and toolkit for resilience.
For more information and to take part in this round of the survey click here. To read some recent insights from the study, via their ‘Respond, recover, reset: the voluntary sector and COVID-19 – November 2020’ report click here.
5. Updated volunteering guidance
New GOV.UK guidance aimed at organisations and groups helping them to understand how to involve volunteers safely and effectively in their work during COVID-19 has now been published. You can access it here.
The Home Office has launched a new campaign, ‘Something’s Not Right‘, to help secondary school children in England who suffered a range of harms, such as sexual and physical abuse, during lockdown. We would greatly appreciate your support in amplifying it to as many children, and those working with children, as possible.
The campaign focuses on the following:
Social Media Advertising: Social media campaign adverts will be served to children aged 13 and over on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, and will direct them to the campaign web page.
Campaign web page: this has been developed with Childline and is hosted on their website. The page helps children identify different forms of abuse, signposts a variety of online resources and provides guidance on how to seek support, either from a trusted adult or Childline’s services.
Lesson Plans: The Home Office has worked with the PSHE Association, Barnardo’s and the NSPCC to create lesson plans for Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 students. The plans, resources and accompanying teacher guidance are all available to download on the PSHE Association website.
All of the campaign materials are available to download and share from the campaign portal.
7. #YouAreNotAlone domestic abuse campaign
In April, the Home Office worked with a number of key partners and charities to launch a new national campaign to raise awareness that if you are experiencing domestic abuse you can leave your home, if this is possible, and police and support services remain available. To continue to support victims of domestic abuse, the government has relaunched the #YouAreNotAlone campaign.
People that are affected by domestic abuse will be harder to reach at this time and we really need your help to promote the campaign and raise awareness of the advice and support available. The campaign assets were developed with key partners and charities. These are available for you to share with your staff and raise awareness of where people can get further advice and support.
You can download the campaign assets, including the Employer pack, posters, leaflets, animations, email signatures and social media assets, here and translated campaign assets, here.
8. Community safeguarding leaflet
The current national restrictions mean that right now, vulnerable children and adults may be particularly isolated. This means that the family, community and professional networks they usually rely on may be unavailable or hard to access. However, safeguarding is everyone’s business.
The Home Office has produced information and guidance for those who are operating in communities and may not be trained to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect earlier this year, and we would like to re circulate this guidance. The guidance covers signs to spot and what to do if there is a concern. The guidance can be found on the Home Office Brandworkz portal. It includes references to the DCMS online safeguarding tool, which helps VCSE organisations in England to handle the reporting of safeguarding allegations about the behaviour or actions of a person in their charity. It also provides links to further safeguarding guidance and support for VCSE organisations.
9. EU Exit: Preparing for the end of the transition period
The UK has left the EU, and the transition period comes to an end this year. Please check the new rules from January 2021 to ensure that you and your organisation are ready.
Use our 4-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021 if you work in the civil society sectors (including charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations). Read the guidance here.
Actions you can take now
i) If your organisation employs EU staff
Ask your employees to check if they need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. EU, EEA or Swiss citizens can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.
iii) If your organisation receives any personal data from the EU
If the UK does not receivedata adequacy decisions and your organisation receives personal data from the EU/EEA, you should review your contracts to ensure you can continue to do so legally after the transition period ends. You may not know if your data is hosted outside of the UK so it is worth checking.
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.”
Founder of the IMO Charity in Blackburn, and Director of Selnet, Mohammed Tayyab SidatMBE has been recognised for charitable services to the community (based in Blackburn, Lancashire)
‘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.”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 CommerceAs 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) guideincludes 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.
These links are external and are provided for information only.
Selnet is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in these links.
Social Enterprise Lancashire Network
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.