Cumbria Social Enterprise Awards

Entries are now open for this year’s Social Enterprise awards.  The awards celebrate and honour all the great work being done by social enterprises across Cumbria.

There are four categories for the awards this year, so whether you’re big or small; well established or have just started out on your journey, there’s an award that could have your name on it!

The application process is straight forward, so what have you got to loose – come on tell us why your business or community enterprise is ahead of the rest and what makes it special.

The 4 award categories are as follows:

  1. Social Enterprise of the Year
  2. New Social Enterprise of the Year
  3. Community Enterprise of the Year
  4. Social Entrepreneur of the Year



The winners will be announced and presented with their awards at this year’s

Cumbria Social Enterprise Conference

on Thursday, 8th March

at The Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven

 Completed applications must be received by noon on Thursday, 22nd February

The difference a bit of a helping hand makes …

We are delighted to report that the social enterprise business support programme has engaged with 54 social enterprise since it started just over 12 months ago.  The support programme, which is fully funded by Cumbria County Council provides 2/3 days of business support to both existing social enterprises helping them develop their business in some way and also supporting the start-up of new social enterprise businesses.

… and what better way to demonstrate the difference this targeted business support makes than hearing from some of the businesses who have benefited from the Social Enterprise Support Programme so far:

If you would like more information about the programme and to find out if you would be eligible for support, email

Work, Life, Social Enterprise – Where’s the Boundary?

Digital technologies and media such as smartphones and social networking sites can be very helpful to social entrepreneurs as they provide a low cost method of knowledge sharing, marketing and interacting with others.  But how does this affect our work-life boundaries?  Is always-on connectivity a good thing because it gives us freedom to work flexibly … or does it cause problems because we’ve developed the habit to never switch off?

We were very luck to welcome Prof Gillian Symon, Professor of Organisational Studies at Royal Holloway University London to Kendal on 2nd November, who facilitated a workshop looking at Work/Life Boundaries for social entrepreneurs, exploring potential ideas and solutions to get the balance right and the need for ‘sane engagement with technology’!

If you were’t able to attend the workshop, you might be interested to read an overview report Work, Life, Social Enterprise – Where’s the Boundary? undertaken for Digital Brain Switch, which looks at the paradox of social entrepreneur’s passion for their work – which encourages a holistic lifestyle, but at the same time can create feelings of overload and particularly the part digital technologies play in this Work/Life balance.

Should social entrepreneurs set boundaries?

What kind of boundaries matter?


“How I started my Social Enterprise “… stories from Cumbria Webinar

Hear real stories of what it was like setting up a social enterprise in Cumbria from people who have been there and got the T-shirt!  The speakers are from both new and old social enterprises around the County and they all have their unique perspectives.


The webinar took place on 29th September, but if you missed it, you can catch it on YouTube


Hear from the following:

  • Daniel Heery (Chair) set up Cybermoor delivering digital services in Cumbria and pioneering broadband for remote rural areas across the country.
  • Rachel Holliday set up Time to Change (West Cumbria) creating a new innovative solution to homelessness and unemployment in West Cumbria.
  • Julia Clifford set up iCan Health & Fitness CIC aimed particularly at supporting people who may have a barrier to participating in exercise.
  • Katherine Rutherford set up Happy Mums Foundation CIC supporting women who may experience maternal mental health problems.
  • Question and Answer Session (All Panellists)
  • Closing Comments and next webinar

For more information e-mail or call 01434 382 808. Follow us on twitter @secumbria

CSEP Members Networking Event & AGM

Tuesday, 26th September at 10.00am-1.30pm

Harraby Community Campus, CA1 3SN

We hope you can join us for our AGM and Networking Event where we’ll be bringing you up to date on what’s been happening over the past year, what plans we have in place for the future and hearing from some of the great community led solutions being delivered in Carlisle.

The event is free to attend, but as lunch is included in the event, booking is requested.  CLICK here to book online or email enquiries@secumbria.orgDownload_agenda_button

The Partnership is a members’ organisation managed by a Steering Group made up of a cross section of representatives from within the sector. If this is a role you would be interested in looking into, we would love to hear from you.

Intro to Social Enterprise Webinar

If you missed our webinar on 19th July, then catch up in your own time.


What the webinar covered?

  • Find out what social enterprises are.
  • What types of social enterprises are operating in the County.
  • Get a better idea about how social enterprises can support your communities, assets and services.
  • Finding further support to take your ideas further.

You can also download a copy of the presentation from the day



Do you want to grow your social enterprise?

If the answer is “YES”, Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership (CSEP) can help you.

The Partnership has delivered a Business Support Programme for the past 10 years and is pleased to announce that a new programme of support is available funded by Cumbria County Council.

The programme funds up to 2 days specialist consultancy support for existing Cumbrian social enterprises who would like to grow their business.

The aim of the programme is to help improve performance, sustainability, create additional employment and promote economic growth within the social enterprise sector.

The advice and support available can be tailored to suit your organisation’s own particular needs, but for example, could be to help with:

  • Business planning
  • Finance and funding
  • Sustainability planning
  • Marketing
  • Procurement
  • Product development and diversification

A simple application form needs to be completed, but a decision on eligibility will be provided quickly.

The programme is being delivered by Cybermoor Ltd with other delivery partners on behalf of CSEP.

Contact us now by email to or telephone 01434 382808 to find out more about the programme and if it could help you.

CSEP Back in Business !

Dear CSEP Member

I hope that you are all keeping well!

It has taken quite a while, but I am very pleased to be able to announce that following a competitive tender process, Cumbria County Council have awarded a contract to Cybermoor Services of Alston to manage a new Social Enterprise Support and Networking programme, under the umbrella of the Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership.

Cybermoor will deliver the contract with the support of a consortium of experienced social enterprise business advisors.  The programme, which has been carefully aligned to Cumbria County Council’s aims and objectives, will provide business support, as well as networking activities to help further develop the social enterprise sector in Cumbria and will include the following:

  • business start-up advice (including intensive support for any social enterprises wishing to take over,, or support the delivery of local Cumbria County Council services)
  • one-to-one support advice as a core aspect to developing social enterprise businesses
  • post-start assistance to improve performance, sustainability, create additional employment and promote economic growth
  • assistance to develop funding, marketing and trading plans
  • workshops, seminars, networking meetings, including the CSEP AGM and annual conference and awards

Cumbria County Council has provided long term support for the sector for a number of years and this programme will focus on supporting the Council’s vision and priorities as outlined in the Council’s 2016-19 Plan.  An initial meeting has taken place with the six CCC Area Managers, with some positive outcomes already being generated via the Area Support teams.   Cybermoor will also be working with the Area Support Offices to organise a series of district networking meetings.

The first networking event on the topic of Community Assets has been organised in partnership with Locality on Tuesday, 28th February at the Market Hall, Wigton (see agenda attached with a link for booking).

As part of Cumbria County Council’s structural reorganisation the post of CESP Manager ceased to exist in the spring of last year, but I have continued to work very closely, on a voluntary basis, with Martin Allman CCC’s Economic Programme Manager on all aspects of this new Social Enterprise support programme. The new contract also includes support to manage the Partnership’s website and members’ communications.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the CSEP membership for their patience during the period between the end of the last CSEP support programmes and the start of this new programme (which include the facilities to communicate with our membership), and I would also like to thank Cumbria County Council for their valued ongoing support to the Cumbrian Social Enterprise sector.

Anyone wanting more information about the programme and how to apply for business support, should email or telephone 01434 382808.

Kind regards
Rob Randell
CSEP Chair

Community Assets Event – Warts & All

Organised in partnership with Locality, a network event showcasing learning from across Cumbria and beyond.

It’s not always easy, but it’s vital.  Find out how communities are running buildings, managing spaces and delivering services themselves and learn about available support.


Tuesday 28th February from 10.30am – 3.30pm

The Market Hall, Wigton, Cumbria


Cumbria Third Sector Network – Election of Independent Chair

cumbria_3sn_piechartThe Cumbria Third Sector Network brings together community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises from across Cumbria, providing a structure to engage with local public sector leaders and giving the sector a voice in the planning of local services.

The network is looking for a Chair to take on the challenge of providing coordinated leadership for the broad range of individuals and organisations within Cumbria’s Third Sector, advocating and influencing on behalf of the sector across a range of strategic partnerships including the Cumbria Leadership Board. This opportunity comes at an exciting time for the sector, with the prospect of a devolution of power to Cumbria, and onwards to local communities.

This role provides an exciting opportunity for an individual who wants to make a difference to Cumbria. It is primarily a voluntary position, although reasonable expenses will be reimbursed and there is a small (£2,750 pa) honorarium available. It is anticipated it will involve a day of a week of activity and is a 5 year appointment.

CLICK HERE for more information on the network and to download the relevant documents, including the Job Role and an Application Form.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 30 March 2016.