General news of interest to the social enterprise sector in the region.

SEYH Awards 2017

SEYH Awards Image

The annual Social Enterprise Yorkshire and the Humber (SEYH) awards took place on Tuesday 7th November at Burton Street Foundation, Sheffield.

 In association with Hempsons, Unity Trust Bank and Big Society Capital, the ever-popular event brought together over 100 individuals from social enterprises, charities, public sector departments and businesses alike to celebrate fantastic achievements from across the region.

The dinner was compered by Chair of the All Parliamentary Committee for Social Enterprise, and previous General Manager of SEYH, Alex Sobel, also featuring guest speaker Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK. With the variety and quality of nominees being unprecedented, it was said that decisions around winners in the five categories had proved harder than ever before.

The Winners:

Start Up of the Year Award - Conscious Youth CIC, Kirklees

Social Impact Award - South Leeds Alternative Trading Enterprise (SLATE,) Leeds

Social Investment Award - Hudswell Community Charity, Hudswell

Social Entrepreneur Award - Jon Johnson: REACH Homes, Sheffield

Social Enterprise of the Year - Seagulls Reuse, Leeds

Congratulations to all winners, nominees and those working in the sector with the hope that by the time the 2018 SEYH awards are held, there will be even more inspirational achievements to reward.

For full event coverage, please follow this link. 

Change of Date for 2017 SEYH Awards

The 2017 SEYH Awards are here.  The event has been changed and will now take place on Tuesday 7th November 2017 at Burton Street Foundation in Sheffield.  This event is always very popular and enjoyed by all who attend.  To be in with a chance of winning you need to enter the awards.  This is a simple process and you just need to complete the application form.  The categories are:-


Social Impact Award Click here to apply


Social Investment Award Click here to apply


Social Entrepreneur Award Click here to apply


Social Enterprise Award Click here to apply


Start Up Award (must be in first 2 years of trading) Click here to apply


Closing date for applications is 5pm 6th October 2017.


Tickets for the Awards Ceremony and Dinner are now on sale at just £30 each.  Please contact me on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  to reserve your place.  We look forward to receiving your completed nomination forms.


The 2017 Awards are supported by:


burtonstreetlogo    BSC    Hempsons     Unity Trust

Social and Sustainable Capital Investment Roundtable

Ebor Court, Leeds - 5th February 2016


This event with Social & Sustainable Capital (SASC) is focussed around their available funds.

These include:

Community Investment Fund:
- Are you a community focused organisation that is locally led making an impact at local community level? 
- Investment size £250k-£2m, secured and unsecured
- innovative grant/loan partnership with Power to Change available

Term: very flexible (can invest up to 15 years, long-dated fixed rates, offer capital/interest repayment holidays, etc.)

Third Sector Loan Fund:
- Can invest across all social sectors
- Investment size £250k-£3m, secured and unsecured
- May suit third sector organisations commissioning with local authority, CCGs, or national departments 
- Flexible forms of risk-capital available

Term: 10 year fund

SASC will also give a general presentation with case studies on:

- Community Investment: supporting organisations working at the local community level
- Investing in the growth of organisations delivering public sector contracts
- Supporting spin-outs to scale

There will also be an opportunity to speak to SASC one to one if you are interested in any of their investment funds.


To book, please click here.

Food for thought at the Becklin Centre

A new café has opened at the Becklin Centre in Leeds, a unit near St James Hospital which provides services for people suffering complex and acute mental health needs.


The Foodworks Café will offer hearty, healthy and wholesome food alongside training, employment and volunteering opportunities for people with learning disabilities, and those recovering from mental health problems.


The café is run by award-winning social enterprise FoodWorks and headed up by New Zealand chef and former personal trainer Muka Silver. The kitchen will be serving up a delicious menu of fresh healthy food which will support patient recovery by offering balanced nutrition and a relaxing space. Visitors to the café can expect tasty treats such as poached chicken and avocado wraps and dark chocolate zucchini brownies as well as the Becklin Centre’s own blend of coffee.


The opening of the café was marked with an event featuring musicians, art created by Becklin Centre service users, and a large celebration cake made by the Foodworks team.


Café manager Muka Silver said: “I’m passionate about creating healthy and wholesome food which tastes good and makes you feel even better. Coming from a fitness background I understand the difference that nutritious food makes to both the body and mind.


“I used to live in Australia where the healthy fast food market is booming. I want to take inspiration from this and create dishes that people will enjoy that will also help with their recovery. I look forward to working with trainees and volunteers and helping them to develop new skills.”


Jill Copeland, Chief Operating Officer at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which runs the Becklin Centre said “Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is delighted to have teamed up with Foodworks in opening a new café at the Becklin Centre. The cafe is fantastic joint venture which will not only create a relaxing social hub providing delicious and nutritious food for service users and staff at the Centre but will also offer employment and training opportunities to people with learning disabilities and those recovering from mental health problems.”


This new venture opens following the success of FoodWorks outside catering business and café at Kala Sangam arts centre in Bradford.


FoodWorks business development manager Kerrie-Lee Barr said: “We’re really pleased to be working in partnership with the NHS on this new venture as we think the new café will offer staff and patients something a bit different. FoodWorks is about creating delicious vibrant food, while also offering opportunities to people with disabilities or recovering from illness. Half our staff team have a disability, and we currently offer over 80 day placements to people with disabilities.”


The Becklin Centre provides an inpatient service which consists of a female service and two male wards. The inpatient wards provide services in a therapeutic environment to adults between the ages of 18-65 who are experiencing a mental illness.


The Crisis Assessment Service works out of the Becklin Centre and provides a 24/7 service across the whole of Leeds for adults of all ages. Part of this is the Crisis Assessment Unit that offers a facility for extended assessment for up to 72 hours, this facility has three male and three female rooms and also a Section 136 Suite.


FoodWorks is a catering social enterprise which launched in 2011. It is part Leeds-based Yorkshire Housing, an 18,000 home social landlord. Further information can be found at

150 Businesses Benefit From £500,000 Skills Funding

Over 150 businesses have benefitted from funded training through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP). More than £500,000 has now been awarded to businesses to invest in skills, enabling them to maximise their training budget and support their staff development.



The LEP’s recent business survey revealed that 74% of businesses have identified skills gaps in their workforce, demonstrating the importance of investing in training for current employees to stimulate growth.  From the investment, some organisations have trained over 40 employees with leadership and management courses proving popular to improving performance and enabling staff to move into higher level roles. More specialist training requests have also been supported including parametric modelling, which involves using the computer to design objects by modelling their components with real-world behaviours and attributes.  Companies are also taking the opportunity to learn Russian, Swedish and Italian, with potential to expand their business overseas and tap into the export market.


One business benefitting from the support is Blueberry Marketing Solutions, a business-to-business telemarketing agency in Leeds who have taken advantage of the skills offer from the LEP. Working with advisors to construct a complete training package for their organisation. The training included sales and marketing, leadership and management, PRINCE2 and a Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification.


Managing Director of Blueberry Marketing Solutions, Faresh Maisuria explained:


“What’s been really pleasing for us is that we had a specific budget in place to run training this year already – and so the skills service has simply allowed us to increase both the frequency and numbers of staff being trained.


“The skills service allows businesses to really take control of their skills gaps by upskilling existing staff of any age and any previous qualifications. It has helped to make training accessible offering employees a well-defined development road map which will have a positive impact on our continued business growth.”


Board Chair and skills lead, Mark Ridgway OBE DL, of Group Rhodes said:


“With grants of between £500 and £50,000 available to businesses with a budget to put towards training, employers have the opportunity to work with a team of expert skills advisors, discuss their long term growth plans and skills needs, and put together a robust training plan for their staff.


“Offering a comprehensive service to businesses, the team of advisors support employers to tackle paperwork, source appropriate training provision and submit an application for funding. The LEP are dedicated to ensuring local businesses primed for growth have the skills to succeed.”


The £13.9 million funding is available to eligible small and medium sized businesses within Leeds City Region and available until March 2017 and businesses are encouraged to contact the LEP to find out how they could benefit.



Do you want to find out more about how the LEP skills service could help your business? Find out more and apply for funding by visiting: or contact one of our experienced skills advisors: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 0113 386 1910.

Leeds Credit Union welcomes a visit from a Minister

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin, was in Leeds today to see first-hand the contribution the city’s successful financial services sector makes to the UK economy.

The Economic Secretary visited Leeds City Credit Union whose loan shop has saved the people of Leeds approximately a quarter of a million pounds in higher interest charges this year compared to other loan shop lenders.

Credit unions are crucial in providing accessible financial services and financial education within their common bond. They also play an important role in diversifying the financial services landscape and increasing consumer choice across the personal banking sector.


Harriett Baldwin said:

 “Credit Unions are a key part of the UK’s financial services industry. They provide savings and loans to a wide variety of people across our society.

“The government is determined to ensure that as many people as possible are able to access these crucial services. We are committed to doing all we can to help institutions like the Leeds City Credit Union thrive and grow in a sustainable manner."


Chris Smyth said:

“Leeds City Credit Union very much welcomes Harriett Baldwin’s and the Government’s support for credit unions. It is vital that credit unions are given the powers, flexibility and support by the Government to develop the provision of loans and affordable credit across communities like Leeds.

 “The credit union was very pleased to be able to show Harriett first-hand the work we are doing to increase the choice in financial services for the benefit of the people of Leeds."


For further information, please contact Marketing Manager James Hook on 07590 949991 or by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it





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