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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 soon. Watch this space!

See the story from Twitter here

Enterprise in Society Awards

 

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Building Better Opportunities Lancashire

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

Selnet is leading three specialist partnership projects that are delivering support across Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen; ‘Age of Opportunity’, ‘Invest in Youth’ and ‘Changing Futures’ are unique in being delivered by 45 exclusively Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise Organisations. With each partner having specific expertise in supporting disadvantaged people, our partners combine to help each participant understand, address and overcome a wide range of barriers. Over three years, 3270 disadvantaged people will benefit from support tailored to their individual needs and interests to overcome complex barriers and move towards work and training.

The ‘barriers’ that contribute towards people being disadvantaged and unable to engage in work, education or training can include issues around; mental health, low self-esteem and low confidence, health problems or disabilities, caring responsibilities, debt, low or no skills, access to childcare, BME, LGBT, chaotic lifestyles and substance misuse.

 

 

In September 2018 we reached a huge milestone; in 2 years our partnerships had engaged 2000 people to help them address and overcome barriers. 200 people who were previously struggling with multiple barriers had started a new job or begun training.

 

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

Selnet’s Role

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

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

The Age of Opportunity project supports people who are over 50 and currently unemployed or economically inactive to improve their skills and employment opportunities.

The Invest in Youth project supports young people aged 15-24 who are unemployed or economically inactive including those not in employment, education or training ‘NEET’ or at risk of becoming NEET, to improve their skills and employability.

The Changing Futures project supports individuals who are at risk of exclusion from the labour market to overcome multiple and complex barriers and move towards employment and training.

 

More Information on European Funding in Lancashire

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

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

For more information:

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

Read more here:

http://www.lancashirelep.co.uk/the-lancashire-offer/funding-and-business-support/european-structural-and-investment-funds.aspx

https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/global-content/programmes/england/building-better-opportunities/lancashire

 

 

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