Civil Society Strategy Launched

Yesterday the Government launched the first Civil Society Strategy in 15 years, which will build stronger communities by bringing businesses, charities and the public sector together, and put communities and charities at the heart of decision-making.

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, unveiled the new vision, which looks at how people, places and the public, private and social sectors can be supported to contribute even more to the creation of social value – having a positive impact on society. It will help connect and empower people to improve the areas they live, as well as bringing together these different sectors to help enrich lives and build a fairer society for all.

A lot has changed in the last 15 years. There are growing numbers of businesses looking to make a more positive contribution to society and set up primarily to do good. Charities clearly remain at the heart of civil society. But the potential for cross sector partnerships has never been stronger.

By bringing these areas together, we will unlock the huge potential of civil society, help it grow and support the next generation. This Strategy should be seen as a companion to the Industrial Strategy. While the Industrial Strategy focuses on productivity and economic growth, ours is a blueprint for community and social growth.

For more information on the Civil Society Strategy check out;

FREE Upcoming Training: Charity Legals with Brabners (Thursday 14th June)

In this FREE seminar, Brabners Charity Law solicitors will consider some of the latest and topical issues impacting on charities, their regulation and practice including:
  • The Law Commission’s review into technical issues in charity law
  • Issues for consideration arising from the recent Oxfam and Presidents Club revelations
  • Summary of Charity Commission regulatory cases
  • Hot off the press latest information
Time: 10am – 12 noon
Venue: Sefton CVS, Burlington House, Waterloo, L22 0LG (map)

To book your place online, please click here. Alternatively, please email; or call 0151 920 0726

PCC urges Community Groups to Work Together to Prevent Crime

Organisations which are working to prevent crime and protect communities in Merseyside are being invited to apply for a share of a fund aimed at helping to build stronger, safer communities.

This is the fourth year that Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has opened the Crime Prevention Fund, which is used to help charities, community groups and social enterprises stop problems before they occur, by reducing the opportunities for crime and by deterring people away from becoming involved in anti-social and criminal behaviour.

A total of £135,000 is available from the fund for innovative community safety projects or schemes that will run over the next 12 months. This year the Commissioner is encouraging organisations to work together to submit bids for between £5,000 and £25,000 from the grant and she is specifically inviting applications for projects which focus on tackling serious and organised crime.

Jane said: “Serious and organised crime is, for many people, their greatest concern. It blights our communities, bringing misery and harm and causing decent, ordinary people to live in fear.

“Many organisations and community groups are already working with Merseyside Police and my office in tackling this issue, and I want to encourage and maximise this collaborative approach by encouraging organisations to join forces to bid for funding from the Crime Prevention Fund.

“Local people understand their communities better than anyone and know what will work best to improve their area.  We are fortunate to have a wealth of voluntary and community groups which are working hard to prevent people, especially young people from getting involved in crime. By pooling resources and working even closer together we can all do more to make a difference for communities across Merseyside.

“I’ve met hundreds of people across Merseyside who are really proud and passionate about the places they live in and are committed to keeping them safe and I’m excited to see their proposals for how this funding can be best spent.”

Last year, 13 grassroots organisations were chosen from among more than 70 applications to receive a share of the Fund to help make communities across Merseyside safer. Successful organisations included the Royal Court Trust, which was awarded £25,000 to continue to run the hard-hitting drama Terriers, and the educational charity Ariel Trust who received £15,000 to deliver preventative education to young people on a range of issues, including domestic and homophobic abuse, child sexual exploitation and grooming.

A £10,000 grant was also given to Breckfield and North Everton Neighbourhood Council (BNEC) to help them deliver their Making Waves project which delivers both outreach and centre-based services for young people living in areas of high deprivation to divert them away from crime.

Jane said: “Over the last year, this funding has helped to deliver some really important projects which have made a profound difference in the lives of the people they support. Even a small cash boost can be of huge benefit to many of these grassroots projects and I look forward to seeing what more we can deliver together over the next 12 months.

Any organisation wishing to apply for funding will need to show how their project works to tackle one of the following four priorities set out by the Commissioner; preventing crime and anti-social behaviour; tackling serious and organised crime; supporting victims, protecting vulnerable people and maintaining public safety; or improving road safety.

Applications will also need to show how the initiatives will deter individuals from committing crime, reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system, or lower reoffending. They will also be assessed to see how well they will protect vulnerable communities.

The fund will be administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), an independent charity which assists grant-making and charitable giving. Local groups who would benefit from the funding can find more details on its website here

CFM is also available to help any organisation looking to make a bid.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 11th June 2018.

Civil Society Strategy: Have Your Say! Sefton Roundtable Discussion Event – Wednesday 9th May 2018

From supporting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in society to the work of charities, community groups and businesses helping good causes, civil society is part of the fabric of our society. The UK Government want to have an open conversation about civil society, what is working well, and what the government can do to strengthen it further. If you want to help create a stronger civil society, we want to share your ideas on how Government can work with and support civil society.

Have your day on how Government can work with and for civil society to tackle challenges and unlock opportunities to build a stronger society now and in the future. This consultation closes 9am on 22nd May 2018, and for more information or to take part click here!

Civil Society Strategy: Sefton Roundtable discussion event – Wednesday 9th May, 10 am – 12 noon

Locally Sefton CVS are facilitating a round table discussion to capture the views of local voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector groups in relation to the Civil Society Strategy.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday 9th May, 10am-12pm at the Sefton CVS Offices (click here for map), and if you would like to attend please email, and please include details of any accessibility requirements. Alternatively please call 0151 920 0726 to book your place. Places are limited and are available on a first come, first-served basis.


Merseyside PCC releases £45,000 to help young people make right choices

Community groups which work to divert young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour are being given the chance to bid for grants for projects running during the autumn half-term, thanks to Merseyside’s Police Commissioner.

Jane Kennedy has confirmed that she is once again releasing a round of funding from the Police Property Act Fund (PPA), which allows money raised from the sale of unclaimed stolen goods or property recovered by the police to be used for good causes.

It is the eighth time the Commissioner has invited community organisations, charities and groups to apply for a vital cash boost of up to £5,000 grants for grassroots initiatives which are working to help young people to make the right choices. A total of £45,000 is available from the fund for one-off grants for organisations which are committed to improving community safety, reducing crime or supporting victims.

Jane has already awarded nearly £288,000 through the PPA to organisations that are making a difference in their communities. Since July 2015, the fund has been used to concentrate on youth engagement initiatives.

The Commissioner said: “I am pleased to once again open up the Police Property Act Fund for bids of up to £5,000 to organisations which are working to make their communities safer and better places to live by engaging with young people.

“Many communities across Merseyside traditionally see a rise in criminal and anti-social behaviour during the autumn half-term, particularly around Bonfire and Mischief Night. Historically, it is also a particularly busy time for the police and the fire service. Through these grants, I want to help alleviate these issues and prevent local young people from making mistakes they may regret in the future.

“Once a young person gets a criminal record it can blight their future prospects. If we can prevent them from making mistakes at a young age we can look forward to their positive contribution to their neighbourhoods.

“I want to see these grants used to support projects that complement the excellent diversionary work carried out by Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, ensuring that young people can enjoy the autumn festivities in a safe and enjoyable way which is properly supervised.”

Last year, more than 12,000 young people were able to join organised activities run through 22 different initiatives funded through the PPA over the Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations.

Jane added: “Local people know their communities best. They know what works when engaging with their young people and I am looking forward to reviewing their ideas and initiatives for ensuring everyone can have a safe and fun Halloween.”

The PPA fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, (CFM) on behalf of the Commissioner. CFM holds funds from individuals and organisations as donors who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside.”

All applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation for Merseyside by 5pm on Monday 21st August. Please visit their website to apply.


Source: NVCO Blog

This year’s Queen’s speech was missing some of the usual pomp and pageantry following the snap election, but there will be plenty for MPs and peers to get their teeth into during the next two years. What does it mean for charities?

Two-year legislative programme

At the weekend the government announced that there would not be a Queen’s speech in 2018 as it wanted to give more time for parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit legislation. Bills fall at the end of each year-long session unless they are carried over, meaning there will be less pressure to push things through quickly. Though some critics have pointed out that this also helps the government avoid a potentially awkward vote on next year’s Queen’s speech.

It is likely however that a significant amount of time will be given over to MPs and peers to discuss the detail of Brexit legislation so this could provide an opportunity for charities to really influence the detail. Following the election, few votes will be a formality in the way they would have been in a parliament with a strong government majority, and given the commitment to allow proper scrutiny, it’s likely parliament will seek to assert itself. It’s particularly worth looking out for votes on programme motions, which set out how much time MPs will have to debate individual bills – MPs often argue they don’t have enough time to scrutinise legislation, but this time they may vote to give themselves more.

Repeal bill

The centrepiece of the Queen’s speech is the repeal bill, which will convert EU law to UK law and allow technical changes to be made to ensure the law operates effectively on the day we leave. These changes will mostly be made through statutory instruments, which require significantly less parliamentary scrutiny, so it is essential that safeguards are in place to ensure that this procedure is only used for technical amendments and not substantive policy changes.

The bill itself is likely to be relatively short, setting out a framework for change rather than tackling the detail, but parliamentarians in both houses will be sceptical of too much power being held in the hands of the executive.

Legislating for Brexit

The repeal bill is only one part of the significant legislative legwork that needs to be done by parliament to ensure that we’re ready for Brexit. Bills on areas such agriculture, fisheries and trade are likely to require significant scrutiny and charities whose work will be affected need to monitor this legislation closely.

The immigration bill will be of interest for a number of charities, particularly those who rely on recruiting workers from overseas. We estimate that five per cent of charity workers are non-UK EU nationals.

A lot of attention has been paid to the negotiations and what will be agreed for those EU nationals currently living in the UK, and we hope that agreement will be reached on this early to provide reassurance to the many EU workers who support the work of charities. But we’ll also need to make sure that our future immigration system allows charities the workers and skills they need to support their beneficiaries.

Brexit is not the only thing for charities

Aside from Brexit, several bills and non-legislative measures will be of interest to charities. Measures on domestic abuse, mental health and the gender pay gap could provide the government with an opportunity to demonstrate an agenda beyond Brexit, and for charities to make sure their voice is heard.

What does this say about where the government is?

The election result and the criticism of the Conservative manifesto means that a number of proposals that proved unpopular with the electorate have been dropped or watered down. Social care proposals – branded as a ‘dementia tax’ during the campaign – are retained, but look like they will be subject to considerable consultation, and there were no mentions of issues such as fox hunting and grammar schools.

It’s clear that the failure of the Conservatives to secure a majority in the election is going to make this a tough parliamentary session for the government, where they will have to fight tooth and nail to get their agenda through. This means that there are big opportunities for charities to influence both the terms of debate and the legislation that is passed.

For more from NVCO click here!


Sefton Women’s & Children’s Aid (SWACA) have been selected to receive a MCF Community Award which offer the chance for local community charities that help people in need to receive a share of £3 million generously donated by Freemasons and their families.

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons have selected 300 local charities across England and Wales to receive a MCF Community Award.

Every charity that has been chosen will receive a Community Award of between £4,000 and £25,000. Your vote will determine how much we give to each charity.

The more votes SWACA receive the larger the sum and greater the impact the donation can have! Voting is really simple, just head over to – Click here!

  • Select Region of ‘West Lancashire’
  • Select ‘SWACA (Sefton Women’s & Children’s Aid)’

To submit your vote you just need to provide your name and email address. This information will remain confidential and you will be contact the outcome of the MCF Community Awards.

The vote will close on 31st July 2017.

For more information about the work of SWACA click here.