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

23 September 2015

CQC Inspection - Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

 CQC are holding Listening Events in advance of their Central Manchester University Hospitals inspection which begins on 3rd November.

9 September 2015

Rethinking the Future: VSNW Conference and AGM 2015

We are pleased to announce that this year's VSNW Conference will feature keynotes from Sir Richard Leese on the potential role of the sector in devolution, Alex Fox on the future of the sector's role in health and social care, and workshops from CLES, NCVO, and Network for Europe.

8 September 2015

2015 VSNW Conference and AGM Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsoring our conference is a great way to promote your organisation to the voluntary and community sector across the region. There are opportunities to book an exhibition stall and/or add a flyer to our conference information.

18 August 2015

Bookings are open for the VSNW Conference and AGM 2015

The VSNW Conference & AGM 2015, ‘Rethinking the Future’, will take place on Wednesday 7th October in Manchester

3 August 2015

VCSE role in Greater Manchester Devolution

A collective partnership letter has been sent to Tony Lloyd, the Interim Mayor of Greater Manchester, which gives proposals for the VCSE role in GM devolution

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Voluntary Sector North West
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