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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

22 April 2014

VSNW is part of NAVCA future of local infrastructure commission

NAVCA has launched an independent commission to look at the future of local infrastructure. Richard Caulfield, VSNW Chief Executive, is a member of the commission and looks forward to learning from the good practice already used across the country

20 March 2014

The Big Lottery Fund are seeking your views

How can the Big Lottery Fund best help communities and people in need? You have until July 2014 to add your voice to a UK wide discussion around key areas of Big Lottery Fund’s work

20 March 2014

Questions on the Lobbying Act

In view of the passing of the Lobbying Bill into law, many charities and organisations that fall within the scope of the Act will have questions about how it might affect them and when further details may be available

18 February 2014

NCVO call for evidence on welfare reform

NCVO has launched a national call for evidence around the impact of welfare reforms. The deadline for submitting evidence is 31st March 2014

5 February 2014

Launch of Thriving Places campaign

Together with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, we are pleased to announce the launch of 'Thriving Places', our campaign to develop the VCS role in local economies and the life of local places. We have jointly set out five areas of action for this project and invite you to get involved in this important campaign at a crucial time for the sector. 

Contact Us

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