This is where we’ll post third sector news and important updates that are useful for your organisation.

Social Enterprise: A Prospectus

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) have produced a prospectus and accompanying case studies to illustrate the major contribution and impact of the work of the social enterprise sector in our region.

The document includes a number of key facts and figures about the impact of social enterprises, and would serve as a useful tool for those writing funding applications or producing information documents.

Read Now

Author: Emma Wardall
Categories: News

Chelmsford Skills Festival 2020

Chelmsford City Council are looking for organisations to attend a Skills Festival in 2020 and talk to students about career opportunities and wellbeing.

2019 saw the first ever Chelmsford Skills Festival, which showcased the many different jobs and career paths available to year 8 students before they commit to their GCSE options in year 9.

The event had 40 exhibitors hosting over 70 activities including landscaping, First Aid, and Virtual Reality construction. All of the activities were designed to offer the pupils real insight into a variety of job roles.

Chelmsford City Council are aiming to grow the Chelmsford Skills Festival and offer a wider variety of organisations and activities in 2020. They not only want to provide information on careers, but ways to build transferable skills through recreation activities, as well as offering support to those that may be going through difficulties affecting their learning at this very crucial time.

If your organisation would be interested in participating in next year’s festival by demonstrating what you do in a fun and interactive way, please contact [email protected]

Author: Emma Wardall
Categories: News

British Science Festival – Open Call for Proposals

The British Science Festival is Europe’s longest standing science Festival, travelling to a different place in the United Kingdom each year. Our Festival aims to connect people with scientists, engineers, technologists and social scientists.

Each year, we bring an inspiring programme of free events to the public over four or five days, bursting with exciting opportunities to get involved in. Our talks, workshops and drop-in events span a diverse range of subjects that encompass science in the broadest sense, promising something for everyone.

Hosted by Anglia Ruskin University, the 2020 Festival will be held in Chelmsford and Essex from 8-12 September.

Before each Festival we accept a range of proposals from across the scientific spectrum and beyond. Festival content should be aimed at non-specialist adults (i.e. aged 16+) with a broad interest in science. We welcome and encourage creative formats and drop-in activities.

We are now accepting proposals for 2020. Use this form to submit your proposal.

Proposal deadline: 5pm on 17th February 2020

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

Announcing the Enterprise Development Programme for the Equality Sector

Equally Ours are proud to launch the new Enterprise Development Programme for the Equality Sector.

The Enterprise Development Programme is a five year programme, funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment and managed by a coalition of partners.

The programme aims to provide a broad range of support for charities and social enterprises in England, helping them become more financially resilient by developing new enterprise models, or by growing existing ones.

A year-long pilot of the Programme was launched in September 2018 for charities and social enterprises working in the Youth and Homelessness sectors. Following the success of this pilot, Access have committed to expanding this programme, and are pleased to welcome on board the Mental Health and Equality sectors, as well as extending the involvement of the pilot sectors until 2021.

The programme will offer tailored support to organisations that are thinking of exploring new models of trading to help them become more financially resilient and who require support to make the transition.

Organisations will work collaboratively with sector leads; Homeless Link, Centre for Youth Impact, Association of Mental Health Providers and Equally Ours, throughout the programme journey. Social Investment Business will help to administer the programme.

We will take a collaborative and thoughtful approach to this offering, and are looking to create a cohorts of sector-based organisations who are interested in exploring enterprise activity and potential revenue models in their respective sectors. Prospective organisations will apply to join the Enterprise Development Programme outlining their aspirations and how the programme could help them develop enterprising models. If successful organisations will then work together with their sector lead to determine what type of support will work best for them.

More information about the programme and how to apply will be provided in due course.

If you would like to submit an early expression of interest in the new programme, please email Social Investment Business: [email protected] and you will be kept updated as to when the programme has gone live.

We’re recruiting a manager to run the equality enterprise development programme. Find out more about the vacancy.

Author: Emma Wardall
Categories: News

A charity guide to getting your story into the media

Content from Media Trust

Knowing how to best approach the media and present your story is essential if you want to get media coverage for your charity. This guide provides top tips and best practice advice on interacting with the media from three different perspectives: the communications trainer, the equality charity and the media.

Read Now

This guide forms part of Stronger Voices, a training programme created in partnership with Equally Ours and funded by City Bridge Trust, designed to help strengthen the voices of London’s equality sector.

Author: Emma Wardall
Categories: News

Vote for Our New Steering Group

We need your help!

Following our previous posts regarding applying to join our Steering Group, we have whittled the applicants down to just 3. Please read through their introductions below, and then vote for your preference using the form at the bottom of this page.

Alison Cunningham

Listening Post

I am a qualified counsellor and opened a not for profit counselling agency within Basildon Essex. Although I do not come from a business background, with passion and a core belief, The Listening Post C.I.C is now in its Third year.
This has taken determination and passion, as well as having to be a fast learner, making decisions as they were needed. Developing new services and enhancing current services. Meeting other organisations and introducing them to the services we provide, ensuring we attend community events for the community to speak to us in a neutral place and see the different services we provide.
I feel strongly in both my area of work, regarding providing a service for the community to be able to access but also that groups and organisations need to work together to truly benefit the community. To benefit the community, we must look at the community with all its needs and treat each community with a holistic approach.
In order to achieve this, I believe that being a part of the steering group, listening to other organisations and groups, who are the forefront of providing services and hear what the community is asking for, we can provide a way forward to achieving a happier vibrant community.
Whilst also helping and working with other organisations to develop networks, build working relationships and signpost the community to.
Lorraine Pendleton


Provide is a community interest company providing NHS health services. As volunteer coordinator my role is to provide opportunities within our services for volunteers to support and contribute to the wellbeing of our service users. I have been involved in setting up a range of projects working with community services such as community agents, Braintree Mosque, voluntary services, MIND and MAST to promote opportunities for people with mental health challenges to contribute and volunteer. I worked for the Welsh Assembly Government as National Exercise Referral Coordinator for north Wales developing a service for GP’s nationally to refer people onto programmes to tackle chronic conditions. I have recently been involved with the launch of the United in Kind project. I work with Essex and Anglia Ruskin Universities to promote opportunities for young people to work in hospital services to help develop a wider experience of the working world. I am interested in being part of the Alliance Steering group to be part and supportive of bringing organisations and services working together.
Simon Prestney

Age Concern Colchester & North East Essex

Simon is an active charity leader engaging across North East Essex and Witham. Simon Chairs the Dementia Action Alliance in Tendring and the Older People’s Forum in Colchester and is part of boards with the Health and Wellbeing Alliance on both End of Life and Dementia, attends the Pan Essex Dementia Action Alliance, One Colchester, Tendring CVS Forum, the Older People’s Forum Tendring, Sport England Bid Management Committees (LDP) in Colchester and Tendring and the Evaluation Committee at County Level in relation to getting people moving in later years for improved health.
Joining Age Concern in 2017 the charity has grown from a small organisation in Colchester across North East Essex and Witham. In 2019 Witham Age Concern approached us to join forces and funding has already been sourced to increase activity in the area. Tendring also approached us for support and befriending in the home and the advice service is operating successfully and growing.
As a charity we now have multiple relationships and partnerships spanning the NHS, Councils, Charity Sector and the Private Sector. Membership of the steering committee would be linked to a passion for the growth of the charity sector and a strengthening of activity. I believe the forum was set up for this purpose and therefore there appears to be a good fit with the objectives of the group and what I believe in. I enjoy connecting people, activities and solutions for the benefit of those we serve.

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

Realise Futures launches #WhyNot campaign

Content from Social Enterprise East of England (SEEE)

Disability and learning skills specialist Realise Futures has launched a campaign aimed at boosting the number of people with disabilities into work in the East.

The Ipswich-based company has well-established expertise in helping employers in Suffolk and Essex recruit valued employees with disabilities and supporting individuals with disabilities into work. Employers include John Lewis, Tesco, Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Costa Coffee.

It also runs six commercial businesses itself in Suffolk, including cafes and plant centres and a wholefood shop providing real jobs for people with disabilities and/or disadvantages. More than 40 per cent of its workforce have disabilities.

The campaign is called #WhyNot – Why Not Employ Disabled People – and is calling for greater awareness of the real benefits of employing people with disabilities – including better staff retention, production and lower recruitment costs.

The unemployment rate for people with a disability was 7.3 per cent in April to June 2019, compared to an unemployment rate of 3.4 per cent for people without disabilities, according to government figures.*

A survey by the charity Leonard Cheshire** found a quarter of employers (24 per cent) said they would be less likely to employ someone with a disability, with 66 per cent citing the cost of workplace adjustments as a barrier.

But, Realise Futures says many employers do not realise they can access full funding to pay for adjustments required. There are many other benefits employers can gain and the company is keen for business owners to contact them to find out how they can boost productivity, cut costs and boost their reputation by employing disabled people.

“There is a lack of awareness of what’s involved in employing a person with a disability, such as autism or Asperger’s, but there’s plenty of evidence from employers we have supported who are delighted with their employees, and the great qualities they bring to their company.

“As a business, we have many years’ experience of matching disabled employees with jobs, either within our own social businesses or externally. What we are trying to do is to inform employers about the many benefits to be gained. For example, disabled people become your customers – the total spending power of families with at least one disabled person is estimated to be worth £249 billion*** a year.

“Our own experience shows that employees with a disability have less time off work, are dedicated and loyal. Employers we work with say their employees are hardworking and reliable.

“Employers looking to promote diversity in the workplace can also benefit and enhance their reputation with their commitment to equal opportunities.

“We can help employers right through the process and support them with any worries or issues they may have. They will see that the benefits far outweigh any perceived disadvantages. We welcome calls from employers considering employing someone with a disability.”

Sally Butcher, Managing Director, Realise Futures

Employers are encouraged to contact Realise Futures on 01473 242500 and one of Realise Futures Employment team will help them. Or email [email protected]

For further information, please contact:

Realise Futures
Jane Sutton
Business Systems Director
07738 704775
[email protected]

Author: Emma Wardall
Categories: News

Carers FIRST Young Adult Carers Events

Carers FIRST Essex are holding a number of events for young adult carers, and are looking for people aged 18-24 who help look after someone to attend.

The events are as follows:

Saturday 12th October 2019 12pm – 6pm Adventure Island, Southend
Thursday 31st October 2019 7pm – 8.30pm Ghost Walk, Maldon
Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th November 2019 Residential Weekend
Wednesday 11th December 2019 6.30pm – 9pm Jack & the Bean Stalk panto, Harlow Playhouse

If you know someone who would enjoy any of these events, please contact Carers FIRST on 0300 303 1555.

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

United in Kind

Monday 23rd September will see the launch of #UnitedInKind, which seeks to tackle social isolation and loneliness in Essex.

“Working together to make Essex the kindest county in England”

This social movement enables you to promote your events and activities by working together with others across the county. Through kindness, the aim is to develop personal connections within our communities, our families and our friendship groups. With this movement we hope to combat loneliness, connection by connection. You will continue to have complete ownership of everything you do for any United in Kind activity.

How we can make an impact together

We all know there is no quick and easy solution to tackling social isolation and loneliness. United in Kind believes that Essex communities have a crucial role to play in bringing people together and providing support to those in need. They want to connect with what the third sector is already doing and spark new ideas to create one United in Kind movement across Essex.

How you can be involved

There is already a wealth of activity and individuals tackling these issues within Essex. By using the United in Kind brand, together we can collaborate, amplify messages, share resources, encourage greater communication and reach more people across Essex communities.

How can I find out more?

Follow the conversation online using #UnitedInKind

If you’d like to get involved, click here to view the partner’s toolkit and click here to open the Google Drive folder and find the assets available for your event or activity.

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News

Equalities training available for Essex

The Equalities and Partnerships Team have been providing Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) training for partners throughout Essex looking to learn best practice approaches to considering the impact on protected groups within their organisation’s decision-making process.

Tailored training is available from Essex County Council to support teams to demystify the EqIA process, understand what is required by law, evaluate existing processes, ask questions and seek support to initiate new practice.

Training can be provided on:

  • Equality Act 2010
  • What is an EqIA
  • When to complete
  • How to complete
  • Supporting evidence.

To discuss your training requirement please contact the Equalities and Partnerships Team [email protected]

Author: Steering Member
Categories: News