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

24 November 2014

Young, working and renting: Report reveals changing picture of UK poverty

Written by the New Policy Institute for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the latest annual Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion report reveals the changing picture of poverty in the UK

 

24 November 2014

Survey of VCS organisations - how you are surviving in the health landscape

The Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partnership (of which Regional Voices, and therefore VSNW, is part) has launched the biggest survey of voluntary and community organisations of the year

20 October 2014

VSNW Conference Presentations

Thanks to everyone who attended the VSNW Conference & AGM on 15th October. Some of the presentations are now available

1 October 2014

Volunteering Fund Success Stories in the North West

Two of the six case studies looking into how voluntary organisations can be sustainable are from Blackburn with Darwen. These provide valuable lessons for thinking about the future direction of the sector in public service delivery.

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

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Voluntary Sector North West
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