Latest Social Enterprise Network Bulletin

Blog Created: June 15, 2022

Honours Festival

14TH to 17TH JUNE 2022

The Department of Levelling up, Housing and Communities have this week launched their inaugural virtual Honours Festival, alongside the he Cabinet Office, which runs from 14th to 17th June, to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

All events are free and available for anyone to sign up to who has an interest in honours and making a nomination for someone deserving.

Events planned throughout the week include a practical nomination writing workshop, discussions on diversity and history of the honours system as well as a variety of sector specific panel events aimed at people involved with those sectors.

All of the events feature inspirational honours recipients including DLUHC’s Second Permanent Secretary, Sue Gray, Mel B MBE, Lemn Sissay OBE, Mr Motivator MBE, Jay Blades MBE and many more. 

Full details for the events and registration can be found…



This workshop is for the public, patients and members of VCFSE organisations to work with system leaders to develop a model of engagement for the Wigan Borough. 

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, 22nd June 2022 from 10.30am to 12.30pm at The Edge, Riveredge, Wigan WN3 5AB.

To register, please click on the Eventbrite link below…



Wigan and Leigh Community Charity will soon be commencing the ownership of Bickershaw Village Club. Within the Club there is a Bar and Games Room, and will host the Pianos, Pies and Pirouettes Dance School in the Evenings.

There are though 2 functions rooms within the Club that can be hired for Events, workshops, Pop Up Enterprise makerspaces or any other opportunity that we can support Social Enterprises with from Wigan Borough. If you are looking for a regular premises or Pop-Up base for your Enterprise, then please let us know.

There is also a vacant Cafe facility on site, so if there are any Social Enterprise Cafe projects looking for a venue, then please let us know.

If interested, please email David Baxter on



Please find below information a Social Audit Network (SAN) events this summer, which may be of interest to you. These are led by our colleague Karen Smith, from Turn Up The Value, based in Bolton. Karen is part of the Bolton Local Access Fund partnership, alongside Wigan, Stockport and Oldham.

Our first ‘in person’ Prove, Improve, Account workshop for 2 years…

Thursday 30th June and Friday 1st July 2022 in Manchester.

Prove, Improve and Account Workshops are aimed at people who wish to understand the Four Step social accounting process either in order to facilitate the process with social economy organisations or to use it within their own organisation. The Workshop will go through the Four Step process in detail from the perspective of a practitioner or a facilitator/trainer and will give you all that you need to be a social accountant.

Delivered in a relaxed and supportive style, the workshop will use interactive exercises, group work and hear from case studies of organisations using social accounting.

The Social Audit Network will provide certification for all those completing the workshop.

For further information and to book your ticket…


The Growth Company together with Citizens Advice Manchester, Citizens Advice Bury & Bolton and a network of legal partners, have set up Employment Legal Advice – a new service to help individuals across Greater Manchester to access free employment-related legal support. Our service is designed to help you access the right advice at the right time as quickly and easily as possible.

We have supported people with a wide range of employment issues including: Discrimination, unpaid wages, dismissal, bullying, contractual issue, harassment, long term sickness, redundancy and pregnancy. Of those who contact the service; 35% are disabled or have a health condition, 13% speak English as a second language and 17% work in a low paid industry.

“The service provided was incredibly important to me as it was my only source of support. Due to the nature of the costs involved with legal cases, I could not afford to acquire representation and being on my own was very daunting. The service offered me encouragement and support at a desperately low time in my life.”

“This service changed my life around. It turned everything into a positive. It helped me find a way out. The help from the advice line, then the solicitors – I ended up leaving a job which had made me very poorly both mentally and physically which I had been living for 4 years. I was in so much physical pain every day. On leaving that job (via a settlement agreement) it felt like a mountain had dropped from my shoulders, not a rock. The weight of it was so huge. I am now living my life again; I was in hell. This service helped so much. I am now in a position mentally where I can look at healing myself. I couldn’t do this before; my mind was so clouded by all my employment worries.”

“I was literally desperate at that time. I’d had long COVID for 6 months, I was physically really poorly, I just wanted my old life back, I used to go out a lot, because of this I stopped going out altogether. My mental health then became very poor. It was so nice to have someone to speak to at that time. The advisor was so kind to me. I didn’t know what to do. You helped point me in the right direction and with what to do next. I was clueless beforehand and had built my employment issue up so much in my mind it was making me really ill.”

Hayley Hughes, Head of Business Development & Local Services, Citizen’s Advice Manchester:

“Our key reason for partnering on this project was an increase in the demand for employment advice, although this specific increase was generated by the pandemic, we have long been aware that there is a gap in access to employment (legal) advice in Manchester.

Unfortunately, when people encounter an employment issue, they are often left with nowhere else to turn other than fee paying solicitors.  Many of the people who access our service simply do not have the financial means to instruct a solicitor and therefore often they will not pursue their case.

We have limited capacity to deal with specialist employment advice cases, so for Citizen’s Advice Manchester, this allows us to help more people by having a referral route into pro-bono advice. For our service users it gives them access to advice that they need and practical help and support to deal with the case e.g., completing forms and writing letters.  We have limited capacity to support people with complex employment issues so this project adds significant capacity to our service.”

Feedback from Manchester City Council has been:

“There is no one else like this. This service is purely employment law, the legal side. For people to have access to expert qualified solicitors in this field, without needing the finances to do it – they wouldn’t be able to access this type of help anywhere else.”

Stockport Homes also commented:

“The free Employment Legal Advice Service you provide has been exceptional.  The empathic, professional, supportive and efficient service the customers have received has not only resulted in successful outcomes but also provided reassurance, hope, clarity and direction at a time when customers are feeling most vulnerable, overwhelmed and unable to cope.”

Rochdale Council have also added:

“This service is essential for people in jobs that are a necessity in terms of their livelihoods. People have experienced pay cuts or redundancy which may be unfair, so they need support in fighting for their rights to the right pay and/or right to stay in a job and/or amount of redundancy. Most often these people cannot afford to pay for the legal service they need so the free Employment Legal Advice Service (ELAS) would be the ideal service to assist them.”

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    Are you someone or have you identified someone who might benefit from becoming involved with WLCC or any of our initiatives such as Made in Wigan?

    There are various ways that you can get in touch to take things forward.

    It may be that you want to make contact to first find out if there really is a ‘fit’.

    You may want to speak on the phone, come and visit us on behalf of someone, or maybe you’d like to bring someone along for an initial chat.

    Whichever route you prefer we can accommodate.

    First things first though, share some brief details and we’ll be back in touch!


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      Wigan & Leigh Community Charity. Business Community Hub. Platt Bridge Community Zone.
      81 Ribble Road, Platt Bridge, Wigan. WN2 5EG
      made possible by the hard work and dedication of many people and among others the following organisations.
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