Contact Us

Voluntary Sector North West
St. Thomas Centre

Ardwick Green North
M12 6FZ
Tel: 0161 276 9300
Fax: 0161 276 9301

OCS Local Intelligence Team North West Update July 2012

8 August 2012

£10 million social incubator fund launches

Start-up social ventures will now be able to access intensive support through the new £10 million Social Incubator Fund, which was launched
 on 24 July  by Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd.

Big Society Capital, which was launched in April 2012, provides significantly improved access to capital for more established social ventures. The Social Incubator Fund will strengthen the growing social investment market by providing start-ups with intensive support to enable them to take advantage of social investment opportunities so they better serve communities and people most in need.

To help grow the market and support smaller organisations, the Government has introduced the Investment Readiness Programme to support social ventures. This programme has two elements:

  • the £10 million Investment and Contract Readiness Fund (managed by The Social Investment Business), which will help more established social ventures access social investment of at least £500,000; and
  • the £10 million Social Incubator Fund (administered over the next three years by Big Fund), which specifically targets social incubators to help them provide investment and support to early stage social ventures.

 More information on how to apply for the Fund -

Queens Award for Voluntary Service

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen's coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups. 

Any group doing volunteer work that provides a social, economic or environmental service to the local community can be nominated for the award. Each group is assessed on the benefit it brings to the local community and its standing within that community. To nominate a group that deserves recognition for their work in supporting the needs of others, please visit Applications close on 30th September 2012.

Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award 2012

Do you know a national volunteering organisation or an organisation working with volunteers for the Olympics and Paralympics?

The award is open for nomination by two types or organisation:

  • any national voluntary sector organisation or charity that involves volunteers in projects that cover the whole of one or more of the four nations that make up the UK;
  • any organisation which has been involved with the engagement of volunteers or volunteering activities since the announcement of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and intends to continue to operate as a legacy of London 2012 to promote volunteering

The last date for nominations is 9 September 2012. The organisation must have been running for three year or more. The organisation must involve a minimum number of 25 volunteers in their activities (this is in addition to volunteer trustees and committee members). For more information, see

Trusted and Independent: Giving charity back to charities - Review of the Charities Act 2006

Lord Hodgson has now published the report of his Review, and it has been laid before Parliament. More information at -
He has also published the research on public perceptions of charity, commissioned from Ipsos Mori, that has underpinned the Review, available at -

Changes to disclosure and barring - updated information and online survey

In order to understand how the legislative and organisational changes will impact on our stakeholders and employers, the Home Office have produced a leaflet explaining the key changes coming in September. 

Survey - the results of this Home Office survey will give them an invaluable understanding of how disclosure and barring impacts on you and your organisation and how they can best communicate with you in the future. They will publish the results on the Home Office website at the end of August. 

New £2 million funding programme for charities whose work supports older people

The Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales has launched a new £2 million funding programme for charities whose work supports older people, in particular, innovative and proactive work that encourages empowerment and independence of older people. The funding is open to all registered charities that:

  • are currently working with older people, particularly those living in financial difficulties, living in England and Wales;

  • can demonstrate a track record and knowledge of working with this group of people;
  • and are particularly interested in innovative work and proactive interventions that encourage and support individual empowerment and independence

More details can be found at The closing date for expressions of interest is 20st September 2012.

Transparency in public sector organisations

Following last month’s publication of the Open Data White Paper,  they would welcome any experiences any of you have had around organisations that are releasing data (or not), using data, or in need of data.


Featured News

17 February 2015

Extension to Big Assist Programme

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Big Lottery Fund have announced that the Big Assist programme to support infrastructure organisations has been extended

4 February 2015

Defra confirms further funding for ACRE

Defra (the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) has confirmed that it will maintain its investment of £2.3m in the ACRE Network for 2015/16

2 February 2015

DoH, NHS, Public Health England VCSE Sector Review Launched

The Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England have launched a review of their funding of  the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector which helps to improve the health and wellbeing of the nation’s population

2 February 2015

Launch of the report of the Independent Commission on the future of local infrastructure

VSNW welcomes the final report of The Independent Commission on the Future of Local Infrastructure, of which we were proud to be a member

20 January 2015

Building Better Opportunities Survey

Big Lottery Fund and New Economy, on behalf of Greater Manchester partners, are in the process of designing the Building Better Opportunities funding programme and they are seeking the help of the sector.

Contact Us

Voluntary Sector North West
St. Thomas Centre
Ardwick Green North
M12 6FZ
Tel: 0161 276 9300
Fax: 0161 276 9301