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

15 September 2014

Due North: Inquiry on Health Equity for the North

The independent inquiry panel, which included Richard Caulfield, VSNW Chief Executive and which was funded by Public Health England, has published its final report

1 September 2014

VCS engagement with Health and Wellbeing Boards

Regional Voices (of which VSNW is a member) has published the full report from the survey conducted earlier this year about how the voluntary and community sector is engaging with health and wellbeing boards

1 September 2014

Book your place at the VSNW Conference and AGM 2014

Please join us on 15th October for an interesting day of debate and discussion on the latest issues affecting the voluntary and community sector in the North West. The day will include a series of workshops and two great keynote speakers

26 August 2014

BIG Assist and Financial Sustainability

BIG Assist have awarded £267,000 to 35 infrastructure organisations in the North West, 12% of all awards in England. What they have funded most is the work in financial sustainability

28 July 2014

Big Society Network - VSNW raised concerns about the use of Lottery funding

VSNW welcomes the investigations into the use of Lottery funding for Big Society Network projects and asks the sector to support this

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Voluntary Sector North West
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