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17 Apr 2013 - 12:21 by Nigel Rose

Salford Foundation is one of the very few VCS organisation in Greater Manchester that has trialed the cost benefit analysis (CBA) model developed by New Economy and a central plank of the Greater Manchester Community Budgets pilot. The CBA was carried out on the Together...

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20 Mar 2013 - 15:31 by mary.duncan

Manchester City Council are reviewing a range of voluntary and community sector contracts/grants and are proposing to expand the use of volunteering as a way of reconciling increasing demand for social care support with cuts to social care funding.

This has triggered some concerns and debate within the VCS and within the Macc team about the proposed project that will ‘stretch their local offer on social care support, by expanding volunteering and community engagement’.

Using volunteers to stretch the council’s offer on social care support will provide new opportunities for...

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14 Mar 2013 - 15:13 by fiona.mark

The Manchester Black and Minority Ethnic Network (MBMEN) at its February networking event heard from speakers about the changes that are coming to the Welfare system. Participants expressed great concern about the need for more information and worried about the impact of the changes on families, friends, children and vulnerable communities.
The Government says it has instituted welfare reform to:
• save £19b or more on the country’s benefits bill
• simplify, streamline and reform the welfare system
• make it more beneficial to be in work
The changes coming apply...

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14 Mar 2013 - 15:10 by fiona.mark

Climate change affects us all, especially the most vulnerable and it’s really important that we all engage with this issue; it’s not going away!  The Manchester BME Network in partnership with its members, MC-UK, Creative Hands and Salford Refugee Network is undertaking a project looking at “Climate change and BME Communities “with a specific focus on two vulnerable communities; older people and refugees and asylum seekers.  We hope to understand further the needs of the community and find solutions to help support the community better. This project is funded by Defra (Department for...

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12 Mar 2013 - 13:55 by cormac.lawler

If you've chatted with Walt over the last few months, or been involved in one of LSEN's discussions around community learning, you might have heard Walt talk about Wisdom Councils. Wisdom Councils are an approach to community engagement and eliciting 'community voice', which we in LSEN have been excited about for some time, and which we can see has real potential for organisational and community development and learning.

Image: Jim Rough in action during a dynamic...

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26 Feb 2013 - 22:52 by walt.crowson

When the Work Programme was first introduced as part of the new Welfare to Work agenda the LSEN organised a number of meetings, seminars and events to inform voluntary organisations about the opportunities and risks of getting involved in the Programme as a sub-contractor.

It became clear, early on in these discussions, that the Programme did not recognise the difficulties many people at a distance from the labour market would find in re-engaging in sustained employment.

In the end very few voluntary organisations were able to engage with the Programme and those that did were...

25 Feb 2013 - 21:38 by walt.crowson

The Department for Communities and Local Government recently launched a competition to discover and support organisations that can deliver community-based English language programmes in the following identified areas of the North West

Bradford, Kirklees, Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Oldham, Manchester, Rochdale, Pendle

This competition is open to all organisations and further information can be found at:


31 Jan 2013 - 08:56 by cormac.lawler

This week, LSEN hosted a meeting about Community Learning in Manchester. It was the third such meeting, and took place in the impressive and inspiring surroundings of Gorton Monastery. Over 30 people attended from a wide variety of sectors and organisations around Manchester.

Walt Crowson gave a background to this series of community learning meetings, and updated on ongoing work in the key...

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23 Jan 2013 - 15:50 by nicola.shanahan

Hello Everyone,

I’m sure some of you will have heard that I will be leaving Macc at the end of this week. I’m off to pastures new (and cold) where I will be completing my Applied Psychologist training for children and young people in Glasgow. I’m very much looking forward to the new challenges this will bring.

I have really enjoyed the last three years at Macc working in a sector that is constantly evolving and striving to improve outcomes for children, young people and families in a difficult and challenging environment.

I would like to thank all the...

23 Jan 2013 - 11:51 by cormac.lawler

In LSEN, we're quite excited at the moment about Open Badges as a means of promoting and strengthening informal and learner-led learning.

Open Badges are a way of accrediting learning, skills and achievements - both big and small. They also allow accreditation to be granted outside of traditional institutional pathways. Virtually any organisation or individual can issue a badge, about virtually anything.

Learners fulfil...

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