National coverage


Thursday 31st January 2013 - Thursday 14th February 2013


Following the publication of the Government’s consultation paper ‘Transforming Rehabilitation: a revolution in the way we manage offenders’ on 9 January, there will be four regional consultation events for stakeholders to attend during the six weeks consultation period.

These events will be designed to provide interested parties from across the criminal justice system and beyond an opportunity to discuss the proposals contained in the consultation document. You may register interest in attending any of these events. Click title for further details

23 April Housing Associations and Social Enterprises – working together for local communities

Tuesday 23rd April 2013

The National Housing Federation and Social Enterprise UK are jointly organising this event to demonstrate the importance of both sectors working together. It will look at how housing associations and social enterprises can work effectively in partnership to increase social and economic contribution to local communities.

The timing of the event has also been scheduled to coincide with the implementation of the Social Value (Public Services) Act 2012 and will look at the challenges as well as opportunities this will bring. Click title for more details.

DBS - Changes to Contracts of Employment

On 1 December 2012 the Criminal Records Bureau and Independent Safeguarding Authority merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). You may need to ensure that contracts of employment and staff handbooks, should now refer to the DBS, not the CRB or ISA. For more information click here.

Is your Social Firm, WISE or organisation a Co-op?

 If your Social Firms, WISE or organisation is a co-op, Co-operatives UK would like your help to improve support for co-ops

Co-operatives UK are reviewing what support co-ops need and want in their area. This includes a survey of as many co-ops as possible, including those in all parts of the UK and of all types: it doesn’t matter if you are big, small, old, new, have had support, don’t want support or are looking for support. The survey is open just for January and takes 10mins (they say you might find completing it informative):

Making it Easier for Civil Society to Work with the State

Cabinet Office has published the next document in its Civil Society update series ( 'Making it Easier for Civil Society to Work with the State' was published on 13 December and is a stock-take of progress toward the Coalition Government commitment to '... support the creation and expansion of mutuals, co-operatives, charities and social enterprises, and enable these groups to have much greater involvement in the running of public services.'

You can download the document here

Most Socially Innovative UK Organisation Sought

 Give What You're Good At seeks the most socially innovative organisation operating in the UK. The winning organisation will be named in their e-mail signature for the duration of 2013 and featured on all marketing channels. They will also receive a luxury Christmas Hamper.

To enter, you must be a charity or social enterprise doing something extraordinary to help improve life in the UK.

E-mail Charlotte Clarke at Give What You’re Good At – answering the following no more than 250 words:

1. Describe the problem you’re solving

2. Why your method is innovative?

3. What results have you achieved during 2012?


The winner will be chosen by an independent judge and announced on Christmas Eve.

Social Firms UK member Argonaut wins Trailblazing Newcomer Award

The RBS SE100 Awards were announced on 5th December naming Social Firms UK member Argonaut Enterprises as Trailblazing Newcomer.

With a remarkable 770% growth, Argonaut began trading in 2010 and creates employment opportunities for disabled people by providing commercially viable services such as cleaning, plumbing and security. Customers range from individuals to multinational companies.

Judges were very impressed at the organisation’s entrepreneurial flair, their ability at fulfilling a social need and their efforts at measuring their social impact.

Gill Winstanley, co-director of Argonaut said: “It’s a pleasure to win this award, the impact will be huge for us as a new enterprise. It is so important for us to be able to raise awareness that deaf and disabled people are able to work in mainstream businesses.”


Social Firms UK member Remploy announcement on Stage 2 Businesses

In March 2012, the Remploy Board proposed a series of changes to its operations in response to the Government’s decision to implement the Sayce recommendations.

These proposals followed the Government’s acceptance of the findings of the Sayce Review, which concluded that the funding currently spent on Remploy could support many thousands more disabled people into employment if it was spent differently. The Sayce Review proposed that such funding could be used to maximise employment for disabled people through individual support rather than subsidising specific organisations like Remploy.

Stage one of the implementation of the Sayce recommendations and a reduction in funding resulted in the Company’s decision to close 36 factories which the Remploy Board considered could not be sustainable without continued Government subsidy.

The Social Value Act - What is it?

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 is a new law, which received Royal Assent on 8th March 2012 and is due to be implemented in January 2013. It calls for all public service commissioning to factor in social value. All public bodies in England and Wales, including local authorities, will be required to consider how the services they commission and procure might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area.

“Social value” involves looking beyond the price of each individual contract and looking at what the collective benefit to a community is when a public body chooses to award a contract. The hope is that the Act will result in social enterprises delivering more public services. Commissioners and procurement officers will be requested to seek out organisations that deliver above and beyond, charging a fair price while supporting the boroughs and communities in which they operate.

Grants of up to £2275 for Employers

 This WP Grant is currently available to employers. More details in the attached flyer and below.

• Available to all employer’s who employ a work programme customer aged between 18-24

• They must work a minimum of 16 hours a week paid employment

• An incentive payment of up to £2,275 per young person is available to the employer once the employee has completed 26 weeks in continuous employment (qualifying period). Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees may claim a part payment after 8 weeks, with the balance at 26 weeks.