Community Empowerment Networks

Community Empowerment Networks are defined as the vehicle for linking the community and voluntary sectors with Local Strategic Partnerships. The Network brings together a range of organisations from large ‘professional’ voluntary agencies to the smallest community or residents group.  They are responsible for getting information about LSPs out to all sections of the community and for providing ways in which people most affected by poor service delivery can get realistically involved in discussing and planning how the services should be changed.

Originally 21 Community Empowerment Networks (CENs) were set up  in the North West from 2002.  The largest number in any region outside of London.  They were funded initially through the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund but as this came to an end CEN's sought funding through a variety sources via Local Area Agreements.   Since 2008 the number of CEN's in the North West has diminished and there are now twelve.

NW Forum of Community Empowerment Networks

The Forum began in 2003 when a number of co-ordinators met at a conference and wanted to be able to share information and practice and have a voice on issues of common concern. The Forum met on a quarterly basis and was attended by the coordinators and development workers from the CEN's. Due to the process of changes in funding for CEN's via Local Area Agreements and their decline in number it was decided that a broader forum was needed.  This would addresss the needs of those working in community empowerment, whether funded through a CEN or not.  The Forum ceased to meet and a Third Sector Empowerment Practitioners Forum was launched in May 2009.

The 12 CENs in the North West are:


Featured News

25 November 2015

North West Compact Award Winners

There were two North West winners at the recent Compact Awards, which were announced during Compact Week (2nd to 6th November)

23 November 2015

Compact Working Survey Summary

Earlier this year, we ran a survey to gather views on cross-sector partnership working in the North West in association with Compact Voice. A summary of the results is now available

10 November 2015

CQC asks for views on future of quality regulation

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a discussion paper that sets out some of the choices it faces in responding to changes to how health and social care is delivered, so that regulation continues to help people receive safe, high quality and compassionate care

10 November 2015

CQC Inspection - Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

The CQC inspection of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust will take place in December 2015 and a listening event will be held in Leigh on 2nd December

31 October 2015

VSNW Conference - VCSE Review

We would encourage everyone to contribute to the VCSE Review before the deadline of 6th November. The chair of the review, Alex Fox, spoke about this at our recent conference and AGM and a video of this speech is now available

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Voluntary Sector North West
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