Winners of the 2019 Social Enterprise Awards

The 2019 Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership Awards took place on Tuesday, 5th March at Coronation Hall in Ulverston. The theme of this year’s event was ‘Social Enterprise … The Future of Business’.

There were four categories in this year’s awards:
• New Social Enterprise of the Year
• Community Enterprise of the Year
• Overall Social Enterprise of the Year
• Individual Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Rob Randell, Chair of the Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership said

“Every year we are simply blown away by the amazing work that is being done by social enterprises throughout the county and it
makes choosing the winners very difficult. This year was no exception and the awards honoured some truly remarkable and
inspirational organisations and people.”

Emma & Terry from Alpacaly Ever After

The New Social Enterprise of the Year award was presented by Rachel Holliday of Time to Change to Alpacaly Ever After.  Alpacaly Ever After is a new social enterprise setup as a Community Interest Company less than 18 month ago. Since then over 7,000 people have participated in walks with their alpacas at the Lingholm Estate in Portinscale near Keswick and meet the alpacas at the Lakes Distillery. Their llamas have gone viral on social media with their video having over 5 million views on UNILAD and they are currently rated on Tripadvisor as number 1 out of 388 things to do in the Lake District.

Theo accepting the award on behalf of all his four-legged friends!

The New Social Enterprise Highly Commended Award was presented to the Gateway 4 Women centre based in the old Mitchells Dryers building in Denton Holme, Carlisle. The centre provides a safe, welcoming, women-only space for any woman to access a range of support, including domestic abuse, homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse and has supported more than 400 individual women since it opened its doors in October 2017. The centre has a Barista Coffee Bar and a fully-functioning Nail Salon, both of which are used for training purposes. In July 2018, 12 women qualified with a Level 2 Certificate in Manicure and Gel application.



Carlisle Mencap’s Chief Executive Sheila Gregory

The Community Enterprise award was presented by Councillor Mark Wilson to Carlisle Mencap for their Independence Studio, based in Mencap’s Grace Little Centre in Kingmoor Park, Carlisle. The studio an art and animation studio is run by talented young adults with a learning disability and is the only one of its kind in the NW. The studio has created short films on a variety of important issues including sexual exploitation, hate crime, voting, healthy eating and most recently, mate crime. Their films have gained national recognition with both the Home & Cabinet Offices buying copies of their videos to distribute nationally. Their service users script-write, produce and appear in these films which are often based on incidents that have happened to them in real life.

The Community Enterprise Highly Commended award was presented to Creative Wellbeing. Creative Wellbeing works with statutory services and third sector organisations throughout Cumbria providing inclusive creative activities as a means to enhance personal and community wellbeing.



Keith Duck from Calderwood House & Rachel Holliday Chief Executive of Time to Change

The Social Enterprise of the Year award was presented by Guy Huxtable of Wingspan Consulting to Time to Change (West Cumbria). Time to Change opened Calderwood House in October 2015 providing 11 ensuite rooms, a laundry, kitchen and a hub area used for training, dining and coffee mornings. Situated in the former Egremont police station, their mission it to tackle poverty and homelessness in West Cumbria and to challenge the negative stereotypes around homelessness. They have recently expanded and now have 5 self-contained affordable move on flats and have just signed a lease on a new property, which they plan to open as a women’s centre in the summer.

Matthew Tognarelli & Lisa Blackwell from People First Independent Advocacy

The Social Enterprise Highly Commended award was presented to People First Independent Advocacy. In February 2018, People First moved into an unused University of Cumbria library building on Milbourne Street, Carlisle.

They opened their Conference and Centre for Learning last year, which is unique in that not only does the centre serve as a professional conference and event hub, but also recruits and trains people with learning difficulties to run the centre through its ‘Hospitality Academy’. Working with employment specialists a range of training, skills and development opportunities for young adults with learning difficulties is being delivered in catering, hospitality, centre management and administration skills. Receiving on the job training as part of the in-house ‘Hospitality Academy’, learners will be able to achieve accredited qualifications.

Lisa Dykes Director of iCan Health & Fitness


The Social Entrepreneur award was presented by Sue Gilbertson from Cybermoor to Lisa Dykes, Director of iCan Health & Fitness CIC based in Denton Holme, Carlisle. Accepting the award Lisa said

“It was an honour to be nominated for an award, but to actually win is incredible. Since we setup our Community Interest Company less than two years ago, we have gone from strength to strength. It’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but it’s all been worth it and shows what you can achieve if you’re passionate and determined about making a difference and we strive to do this every day at iCan.”


Vanessa de Castro Cumbria Gateway forf Women


The Social Entrepreneur Highly Commended award was presented to Vanessa de Castro, Development Manager from Gateway 4 Women. Vanessa said

“I am so honoured to receive the awards for Gateway 4 Women. Looking back to the start of 2018 I can’t believe where the year has gone and I am amazed at what we have achieved within the centre. This is due to having an incredible team of staff who are all so passionate about the work they do. I would also like to thank all our fabulous clients who have allowed us to be part of their lives”.



To download copies of the presentations from the day:

The audience also heard from some truly inspiration speakers including Julia Clifford and Lisa Dykes from iCan Health & Fitness Community Interest Company; Fraser Dooley from Amy’s Care Community Interest Company based in North Cumbria. Amy’s Care was inspired by and named after Fraser’s grandma Amy. They specialise in providing daycare through their social clubs for older adults and in particular for those living with dementia; Julia Walker from Lake District Mobility which was setup in 2017 as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation with the aim of breaking down the barriers that prevent people with limited mobility enjoying the great outdoors, either independently or with their friends and family. You can currently access their Tramper all terrain mobility scooters at Whinlatter Forest and soon at the Langdale Estate.

The speakers took part in a lively panel discussion with a Q&A session from the audience.

Cumbria County Council


The event was organised by Alston based Cybermoor Services on behalf of the Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership as part of Cumbria County Council’s funded Social Enterprise Support & Network Programme.

2019 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 and as well as the prestige, the winners all receive £750 cash for their social enterprise and the runners-up £250.  So come on tell us why your business or community enterprise is ahead of the rest and what makes it special.

DOWNLOAD the application forms for the four award categories below:





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

Cumbria Social Enterprise Awards Ceremony

on Tuesday, 5th March

at Coronation Hall, Ulverston, LA12 7LZ

 Completed applications must be received by noon on Thursday, 21st February

Social Enterprise … The Future of Business

New research published by Social Enterprise UK ‘The Hidden Revolution’ presents fresh analysis of the size and scale of the social enterprise sector. According to independent analysis, the social enterprise sector makes a £60bn contribution to UK GDP, compared to £24bn in previous research. The Hidden Revolution also brings together key statistics which show that social enterprises are more competitive than traditional firms, confirming that social enterprises are the Future of Business.

DOWNLOAD a copy of the full report

For the first time, research has considered the impact of 5,000 larger social enterprises, as well as small and medium-sized social enterprises. Taken together with other data, this means that there are around 100,000 social enterprises, contributing £60bn to the UK economy and employing 2,000,000 people.

In total, social enterprises are worth around 3% of UK GDP – three times larger than the agricultural sector – and 5% of all UK employment, employing as many people the entire creative industry sector.

Social Enterprise UK, the Co-op Group and Nationwide Building Society are calling on the government to take greater notice of the growing importance of the sector and back its growth through a comprehensive package of measures. This would build on the Civil Society Strategy published last month and the Industrial Strategy published by government last year. Measures could include:

  • Using public procurement policy to support social enterprise through strengthening the Social Value Act
  • Amending company law so that businesses have to give more regard to their social and environmental responsibilities
  • Consider how the tax system can incentivise businesses which have a social as well as an economic impact on society
  • Embedding social enterprise in the school curriculum so that young people are aware of the option of starting or working for a social enterprise

Without backing social enterprises, the country will struggle to remain competitive leaving communities up and down the country more vulnerable.

2018 Award Ceremony … and the winners are …

The 2018 Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership Awards & Annual Networking event took place on Thursday, 8th March in Whitehaven at the newly refurbished Rosehill Theatre. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Empowering Communities through Enterprise’ and the speakers and award winners this year certainly showcased some of the amazing and inspirational social enterprise organisations operating throughout the county and in particular in the west of the county.

Rob Randell, Chair of the Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership said “This year’s event was the “best ever” according to the feedback we received from our audience. The quality of applications for this year’s awards were exceptional, and the judges had an incredibly hard time in choosing the winners. I was very pleased to announce that Cumbria has been granted Social Enterprise County status by Social Enterprise UK, which is a tribute to Cumbria County Council’s long term and continued support of the county’s Social Enterprise sector. Coincidently Thursday, 8th March was also International Women’s Day and I was delighted to see more women than men in both the audience, and on stage making inspirational presentations and receiving awards.”

There were four categories in this year’s awards:

  • New Social Enterprise of the Year
  • Social Enterprise of the Year
  • Community Enterprise of the Year
  • Social Entrepreneur of the Year

The awards for the New Social Enterprise were presented by Daniel Heery of Cybermoor Services who presented the awards to the Winners, The Happy Mums Foundation CIC and also a Highly Commended Award to iCan Health & Fitness CIC.


The Happy Mums Foundation was setup in 2015 and provides local, practical and peer-led maternity mental health services across Carlisle and North Cumbria. They also offer room hire for classes, events, meetings and therapy sessions from their studios at the Coach House Centre in Aglionby. Accepting the award on behalf of Happy Mums, Founder and Director Katherine Dalgliesh said “We were totally inspired 3 years ago when we were sitting in the audience of the Social Enterprise Awards listening to the award winners, having just setup our new social enterprise and we can’t believe that today we’re up here on stage accepting this award!”

The awards for the Social Enterprise of the Year were presented by Martin Allman, Economic Programmes Manager for Cumbria County Council. The Winners were Whitehaven Community Trust and Highly Commended were Cumbria Health on Call (CHOC).


Whitehaven Community Trust was setup 28 years ago and has recently re-opened Bakewell House as a dedicated Mother and Baby unit offering safe and secure accommodation with support to vulnerable young mothers and their babies and re-opened Lowther Street once again to meet the ever growing need for supported accommodation for difficult to place homeless teenagers within our community. Kerry Maxwell OBE, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Whitehaven Community Trust said “The event was superb and the speakers were inspirational … and it was a lovely surprise for us to win.”

The Community Enterprise category proved to be a particularly very difficult category to judge this year, and Lorrainne Smythe from Action for Communities in Cumbria presented the awards to the Winning Enterprise West House and Highly Commended to People First Independent Advocacy.


West House provides care and support in West Cumbria for adults and children with learning disabilities – at home, in the community and in the workplace. It started in Allerby in 1996 with Grow West, their community garden enterprise and this was followed by Café West in Whitehaven, Café West Workington Library, Café West Keswick and their new venture setup last year is a pottery based at Westfield in Workington, which will develop opportunities not only in creative pottery skills but also in sales, marketing and finance. It now employs 36 staff and supports 73 trainees. James Cox, Chief Executive of West House said “We are delighted that everyone at West House enterprises has won this award – they more than deserve it. The staff and trainees at our cafes, garden centre and pottery, work extremely hard and not only do they deliver great services to their customers, but also make huge personal achievements every day. The award also recognises the invaluable support we receive from members of our community – our enterprises wouldn’t exist without people buying products from our pottery and garden centre, or going to our cafes, so we want to say to our customers how thankful we are for their support in being able to offer these training opportunities.”

The winner of the individual Social Entrepreneur award was Julia Clifford from iCan Health & Fitness. The award was presented by Sue Gilbertson, who manages the social enterprise contract, but who also worked with iCan as their business adviser to setup their social enterprise, funded through CSEP’s business support programme.

iCan Health & Fitness became a Community Interest Company less than a year ago and since becoming a CIC they have increased their paying membership by 54%. They operated as a private company from very small premises in Corporation Road in the centre of Carlisle from 2007 and in October 2017 relocated to Denton Holme. In the short time that they have been in their new premises, they have transformed it from a rather rundown dilapidated space into a warm, friendly and welcoming community wellbeing centre. Accepting the award, Julia said “I am overwhelmed, honoured and incredibly humbled to be given this award. It means the world to me to be recognised after 11 years of hard work, sweat and tears and I owe that all to the Social Enterprise Partnership, who literally saved my personal career and our business at iCan.”

Julia was nominated for the award by one of iCan’s members Pauline Wright and also by Andrew Shekell, Chief Executive of the Glenmore Trust who said “If you could harness Julia’s energy and enthusiasm you could run a small town!”

A Special Award was also presented to Allison Taylor from Cumbria Gateway who died suddenly in November 2017 aged 51.

Allison setup Cumbria Gateway in 2011, providing peer-led services and 4 supported housing flats … today it employs 2 project managers, 7 support staff, 1 handy person and 25 volunteers and now has 17 supported housing units.

Bill Prudham, Allison’s partner and Tom Hurst, Chair of Cumbria Gateway accepted the award on behalf of Allison.

“Allison had the driving force of 10 people and could make the impossible, possible. She will never be forgotten and her legacy will continue and grow for many years to come.”


The audience also heard from some truly inspiration speakers from West Cumbria including the hosts at Rosehill Theatre, with the story of the theatre’s history from its opening in 1959, through to its re-opening last April by Prince Charles following its £2.7m refurbishment. The theatre is a marvellous combination of a modern and contemporary venue, but has retained the original theatre described as a ‘rose-red silk lined jewel box’.

The audience were also moved by the very personal and emotional journey of Rachel Holliday who setup Time to Change in June 2013 to tackle homelessness and poverty in West Cumbria. Her vision was to build a homeless hostel but one that would make a positive difference to the community. Calderwood House staff and residents take part in many community activities and have a close working relationship with Egremont Town Council and liaise with them to find projects and community tasks. Angela Vaughan from West House gave the audience a taste of the history and some of the many enterprises run by West House. The final speaker was Dianne Richardson, Social Impact and Communications Manager for Balfour Beatty who undoubtedly demonstrated what a difference a major private business can contribute to communities when it puts its mind and effort into it.

The speakers took part in a lively panel discussion with a Q&A session from the audience.

Introduction to Social Value Workshop

“De-mystifying Social Value”

9.30am to 12.30pm on Thursday, 22 March 2018
CREA Building, Eden Rural Enterprise Centre, Penrith, CA11 0DT

  • What is Social Value?
  • Why do we need to bother?
  • How do we start to measure our impact?
  • Other related language … what does it all mean?
  • Where to go to for guidance and support

This half day workshop will be delivered by Nicola Lynch who is experienced in the delivery and evaluation of social impact and works across all sectors to support organisations in monitoring and evaluating their work for maximum impact for their stakeholders.

Who should attend?

The event is targeted at anyone who is looking for a basic understanding of what social value is, why your organisation should be monitoring it and how to make a start at doing it.

What will I get out of it?

  • A basic understanding of what social value is and why you need to measure it for your organisation.
  • An Action Plan for ‘Starting our Social Value journey’ – what you should be collecting and how to measure, quantify and report it simply.


This event is FREE but booking is essential. To reserve your place email before Tuesday, 20th March.

Cumbria Social Enterprise Conference & Awards Ceremony

Book your placeCSEP Annual Conference & Awards

“Empowering Communities through Enterprise”

Thursday, 8th March 2018
Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven

The Partnership is delighted to be hosting this year’s Cumbria Social Enterprise awards ceremony in West Cumbria at the Rosehill Theatre in Whitehaven, which re-opened last year following a £2.7m transformation. The event will also hear from some of the many inspirational social enterprises delivering services and activities throughout West Cumbria.

Booking for this free event is now open via Eventbrite

This year’s awards have four categories:

  • Overall Best Social Enterprise
  • Best New Social Enterprise
  • Best Community Enterprise
  • Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Entries for the awards must be received by noon on Thursday, 22 February. Full details about the awards and how to submit an entry can be found at Award Criteria and Application Form