News: North West

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Ministry of Justice Funding Opps


The MoJ's National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has announced two new funding opportunities (each totalling £200k) for social enterprises in England to develop creative approaches to service delivery.

If you could deliver a supervision model incorporating skills and employability training in a work environment or could create training and work opportunities within the sustainable/green sector, then check out the full details and click here.


Social Firms of the Year

The European Social Firms of the Year Awards, which took place during the Social Firms UK and Social Firms Europe CEFEC annual conference, celebrated some of the fantastic work taking place across Europe was showcased and celebrated in style.  Those winners in full:-


Competition Winners visit Social Enterprise of the Year

Following their success in a Social Firms UK competition, 3 students from Manchester’s Radcliffe Riverside High School - Mohammed Saad, Chloe Gaffney and Elliot Bramah - visited Brighter Future Workshop in Skelmersdale on the 29 January. Over lunch they were introduced to Peter Cousins MBE and Jackie Tittle who spoke to them about Brighter Future Workshop as a Social Firm. They were then given a tour of the impressive workshop. All three students thoroughly enjoyed their visit. They were particularly amazed at the energy and enthusiasm of Peter Cousins MBE who they found to be a real inspiration. Having the opportunity to see a Social Enterprise in action, rather than as a theoretical activity, was particularly motivating for the students.

Schoolchildren from Bournemouth and Manchester win Social Firm competition

MYMClub logo.jpgSocial Firms UK recently ran a competition for schoolchildren to consider what would make a good Social Firm. Two groups of teenagers aged between 14 and 16 years old, one from Bournemouth and one from Manchester have been selected as the winners.

The competition, run to celebrate Social Enterprise Day, asked students to consider what type of Social Firm they would set up and why. Says Sally Reynolds, CEO of Social Firms UK, “Congratulations to all the students who took part. We were really impressed by everyone’s entries and delighted that young people, who are of course our future, are engaging with the idea of running a Social Firm.”

Social Firms storm Social Enterprise Awards

Social Firms won several prizes at a glittering ceremony at last night’s Social Enterprise Awards in London. Brighter Future Workshop (, from Skelmersdale in Lancashire, was crowned overall winner of ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ and £5,000. Bikeworks (, a London-based Social Firm providing cycle services, was awarded the UK’s ‘Best New Social Enterprise’ and £1,000. Meanwhile, Cardiff-based Pack-IT (, who provide storage, distribution and fulfilment services, won the UK’s ‘Best Small Social Enterprise’ and £1,000.

Brighter Future Workshop wins 'Best Recycling Scheme' award

Social Firm, Brighter Future Workshop (BFW), won the "Best Recycling Scheme" award on 19 November 2009, in the Lancashire Green Awards.  Peter Cousins MBE and Jackie Tittle were presented the award by County Councillor, Mike France.

Jackie, General Manager, said "Today we went to 10 Downing Street and met Gordon Brown. We've won the 'England's best social enterprise 2009' and been put forward for the UK finals. We're over the moon to get this award as well. What a week we've had!"

Photo:  Steve at Brighter Future Workshop

Skelmersdale-based Brighter Future Workshop awarded title of England's 'Best Small Social Enterprise.'

Paul & Andrew at BFW.jpgSkelmersdale-based Social Firm, Brighter Future Workshop (, won the ‘Best Small Social Enterprise’ category in the national heats of the Social Enterprise Awards in London yesterday afternoon. Peter Cousins and Jackie Tittle picked up the award from Tessa Jowell, Minister For The Cabinet Office. Social Firms are businesses set up to create employment for people disadvantaged in the workforce – Brighter Future Workshop’s business focus is the provision of mobility equipment repair services and training. It also provides meaningful employment to disabled people.

NMC Design & Print wins Enterprising Solutions Award 2008

Social Firm, NMC Design & Print (, was one of the winners of the Enterprising Solutions Award 2008. The award ceremony was held at the V&A Museum in London on 20 October 2008. NMC Design & Print was awarded £5,000.

More about the Awards and the other winners can be found in the Times (Wednesday 22nd October). Social Firms UK is delighted that, yet again, a Social Firm has made it to the top 5 for this prestigious recognition of excellence in social enterprise (Haven Products was a winner last year as well).

For more about Enterprising Solutions see  

Ian Stewart presents London Marathon cheque at Social Firms UK conference

Ian Stewart presented Sally Reynolds and Simon Hebditch of Social Firms UK with a cheque for £5,744.63 at last week's annual conference in Manchester.  Ian, who is Manager of emerging Social Firm Benchmark Furniture Design & Build (; email: ), raised the money by running the London Marathon in April.

Said Ian, "This has been a wonderful opportunity to raise money for good causes The money I’ve raised will be well used to continue to grow and support the Social Firm sector.” 

Sally thanked Ian, "we're thrilled with the cheque and want to say a massive thank you to Ian for his time and support."

North West Spearheads Employment Initiative

Social Firms UK Annual Conference 13 – 14 July, Manchester Metropolitan University

New job opportunities for the people who find it hardest to gain employment because of social problems or disabilities could be created through a new initiative.  “The Visit Programme” is a UK-wide scheme which will use tours of successful Social Firms as a way of demonstrating that it is possible to compete commercially while simultaneously supporting people who are at a severe disadvantage in the labour market.  The scheme will be launched at the 2009 Social Firms UK Annual Conference at Manchester Metropolitan University 13 – 14 July 2009.