Media Savvy CIC is a social enterprise based in the North of England. It offers nationally recognised accredited courses in digital arts and media, and promotes core, transferable employability skills.

This August, Media Savvy is launching a sister programme: Media Savvy Ghana. Inaugural courses, specialising in media production, are planned for August 2015. The programme will focus on growing digitally-orientated businesses in the city of Sunyani, where there is a high demand for more creative skills. The programme will have a huge positive impact on local skills development and employment opportunities. A scholarship scheme is being developed to help fund courses for financially restricted students.

Media Savvy Ghana is currently fundraising to renovate and redecorate a building in Sunyani which will become a base for their activities. A long term lease on the building has been negotiated.

The enterprise is seeking sponsorship and partner opportunities. Contributor organisations may sponsor a training room, computer suite or photo studio, or contribute to the scholarship scheme. This represents significant CSR benefits for businesses – as well as being recognised as an official partner, company logos will be displayed on printed and digital literature, and partners will be provided with regular updates from the programme.

Further information about Media Savvy Ghana, including sponsorship details, can be found here >>>>

Support Media Savvy Ghana on Indiegogo, here >>>>


If you’re interested in being a delivery partner on Big Red Ladder’s Building Better Opportunities (Big Lottery Opt-in) project, please download the relevant Expression of Interest form below, and email it to no later than 5pm on Wednesday 24 June. With each form you will also find a set of PowerPoint slides outlining Big Red Ladder’s proposed methodology for the project in each area, and the full NELEP project outlines.




Effective leadership is central to the growth and sustainability of a third sector organisation. This programme will allow you to invest time on identifying and developing your leadership strengths as you take forward your organisation. It will give you the support and space to apply and reflect on the impact of your learning towards the development of your team, project and organisation.


  • Make the connection between leadership theory and the role of a leader
  • Use practical learning tools to reflect on your role, your key strengths and your areas for development
  • Develop a keen awareness of various leadership topics including motivation, setting and communicating direction, emotional intelligence
  • Build on your confidence as a leader
  • Learn to use participatory techniques to improve engagement in the groups you are working in
  • Gain a nationally recognised qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)


Module   Northumberland   Tees Valley  
1 8 & 9 September 22 & 23 September
2 6 & 7 October 20 & 21 October
3 3 & 4 November 17 & 18 November

This leadership programme is aimed at individuals working in the third sector who would like to reflect upon and grow their skills as an effective, progressive and self-aware leader, as well as develop the skills of their team.

This programme leads to an ILM Award in Leadership. The ILM is a professional body with a worldwide network of over 2,000 accredited centres providing flexible and practical management development programmes which are quality assured to ILM’s standards.
The Social Enterprise Academy is an ILM approved centre.

Contact Marie Duguid on 0131 243 2697 / 07584 689694 or

Visit for more info >>>>
Click here to download a flyer >>>>

The awards are open to all social enterprises and include specific categories that investors, corporates, public sector bodies and charities may also apply for. Click here for the full list of categories and criteria and how to apply online.

What makes a winner? Keep an eye out for emails, and visit the Social Enterprise UK website as it’s updated with interviews from the judges and last year’s winners.  There will also be tips on how to make your application stand out.

The Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner will be hosted on Thursday 26th November 2015 at the stunning Underglobe on London’s Southbank. Tickets go on sale later this year, make sure to look out for the notification as last year we sold out in three days!  If you’re not already a member, join here for priority booking and discounts.

Have your say on issues affecting your business

Tees Valley Unlimited is the Local Enterprise Partnership for Tees Valley.  As part of our role to grow the local economy we are keen to understand the views of local businesses and this quick Business Survey will help us identify what you need to help your business grow in Tees Valley.

The results of the Survey will help shape the activities of TVU, Tees Valley Business Compass and our partners, including how we develop business events and business support packages, continue to attract investment to the Tees Valley and influence government policy to secure the support and resources we need to grow our economy.

This quick survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete (there are 25 questions), your response can be confidential and the findings will be published on the TVU website in Autumn 2015.

To complete the survey please click here.

If you have any questions about the survey or need help to complete it please contact: Rory, Sarah or Will on 01642 524 411

This post first appeared on The Forge >>>>

A panel of national and regional experts are to take part in the region’s first ever knowledge exchange for social enterprise.

Social entrepreneurs and people interested in setting up a social enterprise are being invited to the free event which has been organised as part of a collaboration between the North-East’s five universities (Teesside, Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Sunderland).

Led by Teesside University and with funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) through UnLtd, a support charity for social entrepreneurs, the five universities are working together to help galvanise the region’s social enterprise sector.

This includes improving support opportunities available to social entrepreneurs, as well as emphasising the sector’s potential for growth.

The Big Social: North East event takes place on Tuesday 9 June at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham and features a range of high profile speakers and experts.

The first part of the event will be a panel-led discussion about innovative social enterprise ecosystems developing at local, regional, municipal and national level.
The panel of national and regional experts will take questions about the best ways to cultivate social entrepreneurship, how the region can further support the sector and what the future holds for social enterprise.

There will then be an opportunity to hear from nationally-renowned social entrepreneurs including:

• Robert Ashton, ‘The Barefoot Entrepreneur’, the best-selling author of ‘Sales for Non-Salespeople’ and ‘How to Be a Social Entrepreneur’.
• Susan Aktemel, the founder of Impact Arts and the letting agency Homes for Good CIC, who was named the Global Business Leader of the Year 2012 by Ogunte, an organisation which promotes female social entrepreneurs across the world.

Delegates also have the opportunity to book one-to-one meetings with social enterprise experts to gain personal insight into the social sector and to seek advice from experienced social entrepreneurs.

Laura Woods, Director of The Forge, Teesside University’s new national business hub, said: ‘We know that the region can become a leader for social enterprise and this is a fantastic opportunity for key stakeholders to celebrate their achievements and look to the future.

‘It will give social entrepreneurs the chance to meet up and network and to discuss how to overcome challenges to achieve success.’

You can keep updated about the event on social media at @BigSocialNE and by using the hashtag #BigSocialNE


Big Red Ladder is a development framework pulled together by NESEP and a small number of VCSE partners in anticipation of the Big Lottery Opt-In (”Building Better Opportunities”) call. It’s a framework based on key values, as well as the concept of the VCSE sector shaping and delivering the offer.

We’re having an event to explore with Northumberland VCSEs their interest in getting involved in all aspects of moving forward. This initial meeting takes place at 1-3pm on 12 June in Stannington Village Hall, Morpeth.

If you’d like to come along, just register your details at:

The North East’s first ever knowledge exchange for social enterprise

The Universities of Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside have been working collaboratively to promote and support social enterprise in the North East over the past year. We know that the region can become a leader for social entrepreneurship and we are gathering key stakeholders, such as yourself, to celebrate achievements so far and look to the future of our regional social enterprise support infrastructure.

The five Universities would like to invite you to participate in the region’s first ever knowledge exchange for social enterprise.


We will be hosting a morning of high-quality discussion, led by a panel of national and regional experts, taking a look at social enterprise support ‘ecosystems’ at different levels (national, regional, municipal and community level). You will then have the chance to question our panel of experts on how to cultivate social entrepreneurship, how the region can further support the sector and what the future holds for social enterprise in the North East.

Panel Members:
Dr Caroline Bucklow - Senior Knowledge Exchange Officer, Oxford University
Andrea Winders – Executive Director of Enterprise Development, Sunderland City Council
Tim Kielty – Special Projects Manager, New Prospects (Whitley Bay)
Karen Wood – Chief Executive, North East Social Enterprise Partnership (NESEP)


Robert Ashton, The Barefoot Entrepreneur
After lunch you will hear from two of the UK’s best known social entrepreneurs. Firstly, Robert Ashton, best-selling author of Sales for Non-Salespeople and How To Be A Social Entrepreneur. Robert will share the trials and tribulations of being a social entrepreneur and what it means to achieve social impact AND sustainability. Robert will also be available for short surgery appointments (see below), please indicate your interest on the registration form.

Susan Aktemel, Founder, Homes For Good CIC
We are also delighted to be hearing from award-winning social entrepreneur, Susan Aktemel, founder of the charitable social enterprise, Impact Arts, and the innovative letting agency, Homes for Good CIC. In 2011 Susan was named Social Enterprise Leader by the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition, and had the honour of winning the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 in the social category. In 2012 she was named the Global Business Leader of the Year by Ogunte, which promotes female social entrepreneurs across the world.

The Big Social will conclude with networking and a chance to meet 1-2-1 with a business advisor, social investor and Robert Ashton in one of our bookable afternoon social enterprise surgeries.


The Big Social will be providing delegates access to short 1-2-1 meetings with social enterprise experts. However please express your interest on your Eventbrite registration form in order to book a 10-15 minute appointment.

Steve Camm – Business Development Manager, North East Social Enterprise Partnership
Steve is Business Development Manager at the North East Social Enterprise Partnership. He helps businesses through incorporation into the right legal structure and improves their performance and sustainability once established. He is currently a Director of South Tyneside Gymnastics and Well Being Centre CIC.

Rod Jones – Regional Investment Manager, Big Issue Invest
Rod has been an independent Consultant since the end of 1999, when he left Barclays, as Regional Retail Director of their North West Region. Rod is the former Chair of a focus group for Newcastle New Deal for Communities, President and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a Justice of the Peace. Rod was a founder of Financial Inclusion Newcastle Limited.

Robert Ashton – The Barefoot Entrepreneur
Robert Ashton helps individuals, organisations and communities achieve greater, positive social impact through achieving economic self-sufficiency. He’s been described as a ‘disruptive innovator’, because he challenges the status quo, not for the sake of it, but because it enables him to reach the goal he can usually clearly see. Robert is also a best-selling business author. He has the intelligence and experience to see through the fear and fluster and sensitively deliver success. Something he does time and time again.


This ground-breaking event will give you the opportunity to meet key stakeholders from the nation’s expanding network of social entrepreneurs and support organisations.


Our public services are vital – there to help us live our lives, whoever we are. But they are failing us because they are being outsourced to national companies, distant from the communities they are supposed to serve. There’s a better way – Keep it Local. Community-focused services delivered at a local level that give us what we need, when we need it – delivering services that work for the individual, the community and the taxpayer.

Locality is campaigning for public services to be commissioned and delivered at a neighbourhood level – instead of supplied by large national companies.

Locality’s research proves that local organisations offer substantially better outcomes and value, because they know their communities and have a flexible approach, which is vastly more effective than standardised, one-size-fits-all services.

Find out more >>>>

Read the Keep it Local campaign report >>>>

Clinks website

The needs of service users are increasing and becoming more complex, and the majority of organisations rarely achieve full cost recovery on the contracts they deliver.

These are some of the findings from Clinks’ latest ‘State of the sector’ survey, which offers us valuable insight into the voluntary sector in the Criminal Justice System. This new report gives us the opportunity to check how the delivery of services to some of society’s most marginalised people is faring amidst new policies and financial arrangements.

It assists our understanding of how the voluntary sector can continue to deliver its essential mission, highlights the impact of policy changes on the wellbeing of your service users, and throws the spotlight on the knowledge, skills and motivations of the sector’s staff and volunteers.

We are seeing increased numbers of clients with complex needs compared to previous years – as additional burdens such as debt, arrears, and benefit changes impact upon their mental health. (Survey respondent)

The report also finds…

  • Many organisations are relying on their reserves putting them at risk of closure
  • The majority of the sector is having to make redundancies
  • Organisations are spending more time on funding applications
  • Volunteering remains vital for the sector, and volunteer recruitment is increasing

and asks ‘Where next?’ for the voluntary sector working with offenders and their families.

Click here to download the report >>>>

Click here to read the blog, ‘The latest news on the state of the sector’ >>>>


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