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Office of the Civil Society, Local Intelligence Team NE Update

Welcome to the monthly news bulletin from the Office for Civil Society – This contains policy updates, funding opportunities, consultations and much more.
Office for Civil Society (OCS) Local (Yorkshire & Humber) - July 2017 **New**

OCS are now using @culture.gov.uk email addresses - please update your contacts     

Office for Civil Society (OCS) Updates: ¥ Tracey Crouch announced as Minister for Sport and Civil Society ¥ Life Chances Fund - new themes launched and webinar ¥ Mutuals Interim Support Fund   

Updates from other departments: ¥ UK government publishes proposals on rights of EU citizens ¥ European Structural and Investment Funds: useful resources - new case studies   

Stakeholder Updates: ¥ Good Finance and Get Informed - Social Investment Mentors

Office for Civil Society (OCS) Updates:

1  Life Chances Fund

The Life Chances Fund (LCF) was launched in July 2016 with the objective of helping those people in society who face the most significant barriers to leading happy and productive lives.

The fund contributes to outcome payments for Social Impact Bonds.

Older People's Services and Healthy Lives

The themes of Healthy Lives and Older People’s Services will be open to applications in June 2017.  We will provide details as soon as the theme guides are available.

The Government Outcomes Lab is hosting two Symposiums at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government:

Better Commissioning for Older People’s Services on 17 May

Better Commissioning for Healthy Lives Symposium on 24 May 

There is no charge to attend the events. However, senior commissioners from local government and the NHS will be prioritised. Please see the attached invitations for more information

and/or click on the date for the link to the events page. 

Further information

If you have any questions about LCF, you can visit the website for full details or view slides from a recent webinar here.  For further information about the application process, policy

themes, workshops and other opportunities, please contact the Big Lottery Fund.

For further information on Outcomes Based Commissioning and Social Impact Bonds, please visit the website of the Government Outcomes Lab.

Stakeholder Updates:

2  Commissioning Academy

Senior managers from local authorities are invited to join the next Commissioning Academy, starting 2nd May and addressing systems leadership & transformation, asset- and place

based commissioning for outcomes, and social investment models (for more information see publicservicetransformation.org/commissioning-academy). 

Participants include the MOD, Foreign Office, Home Office, DCLG, DCMS, DEIS, DWP, local authorities and OPPCs. There are a few spaces left, and local and health bodies can benefit

from a special group price - please contact The Commissioning Academy at paul@commissioning.academy.org  

3  Social Entrepreneurs Programme

Are you planning to grow an organisation that helps people in need? Are you running or starting up a project to create social or environmental impact?

The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme could support you, run in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs, jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund.

The programme could help you to grow your organisation for a year, by providing:

  A learning programme

  A grant of up to £10,000


A community of people who run social and environmental projects

More information below on:


Office for Civil Society (OCS) Updates: 



Updates from other Government Departments:


Stakeholder Updates: 


Office for Civil Society (OCS) updates:


  1. LIfe Chances Fund


The Life Chances Fund (LCF) seeks applications from local commissioners, service providers and intermediaries who seek to use Social Impact Bonds (SIB) to tackle complex social problems that affect children and young people. 


The £80m Fund was launched in July 2016 with the objective of helping those people in society who face the most significant barriers to leading happy and productive lives. The fund contributes to outcome payments for Social Impact Bonds. 


Expression of interest for funding from the Life Chances Fund for Early Years and Young People are due by 31 March 2017. 


The themes of Healthy Lives and Older People’s Services will be open to applications in June 2017.  


BLF will be running six free events in June focusing on Older People’s Services and Healthy Lives.In addition to information delivered by the Fund, there will be presentations from investors and commissioners who are either developing or delivering SIB proposals. This will be an excellent opportunity for finding out more about LCF and networking with other interested parties.


The event dates in the north are:


·              Leeds – Tuesday 6th June 2017

·              Liverpool – Thursday 15th June 2017


If you have any questions about LCF, you can visit the website for full details or view slides from a recent webinar here.  For further information about the application process, policy themes, workshops and other opportunities, please contact the Big Lottery Fund


For further information on Outcomes Based Commissioning and Social Impact Bonds, please visit the website of the Government Outcomes Lab.


On 31 March, the Give Us A Chance Consortium (GUAC) is holding a webinar where Nina Zuendorf, a Policy Advisor at the DCMS Centre for Social Impact Bonds, will provide information about the Life Chances Fund.  Nina will explain the scheme and also what Social Impact Bonds are, how they work – and also how they are targeted at achieving outcomes.  You can register for the webinar here. 


  1. Tackling Dormant Assets - Independent Dormant Assets Commission report launched


£2 billion boost set to transform charity and voluntary sector funding. Experts find vast sums lying unclaimed in dormant assets such as stocks and shares.


The independent Dormant Assets Commission was tasked with considering whether the current dormant assets scheme, which only covers bank and building society accounts, could be expanded to include other types of assets.  


The Commission’s report estimates there to be £1 - 2bn of additional funding potentially available for the benefit of good causes from the inclusion of additional types of asset in an expanded dormant assets scheme.  


  1. Early Years Social Action Fund and Savers Support Fund 


In February, the Office for Civil Society launched two new innovative Social Action funds worth £2 million, with our partner Nesta.  Eligible projects, based in England, are invited to submit a short expression of interest (EOI) by midday, Wednesday 29 March.


  • The £1 million Early Years Social Action Fund to support early years development for children under 5.  Nearly a third of children in England are behind in development by age five. The  Early Years Fund will support parents in helping their young children reach those important developmental milestones and get the best possible start in life.   For full eligibility details, and more information visit Nesta’s website including FAQs and webinar slides.


  • The £1 million Savers Support Fund to improve the public’s money management skills. The Savers Support Social Action Fund will help young people and families who are just about managing take better charge of their finances and work towards becoming debt free. This will help people across the UK who have little in savings to help them cope with the unexpected financial shocks in life, those who owe money, and those who struggle to manage their finances.  For full eligibility details, and more information visit Nesta’s website including FAQs and webinar slides.


  1. Enabling Social Action - resources for commissioners


Social action is about people coming together to help improve their lives and solve important problems in their communities. When the public sector works with communities – listening to citizens, growing their capacity to act, and working with them as equals – social action can become a powerful way of meeting people’s needs.


From November 2015 to August 2016 government collaborated with the New Economics Foundationto develop resources for commissioners and other public sector leaders to help them embed social action in commissioning.  DCMS have published resources for public sector commissioners to help deliver public services.  These publications provide resources, ideas and case studies on how to embed social action into existing services, develop new programmes and create the conditions for social action.  


  1. Social Action - collection


Now published together in one place - reports, articles, data and analysis on how government is empowering communities to take action on the issues that matter to them.   


This is part of government’s wider work to grow social action. You can find out more by readingthis summary on social action or by viewing our discussion paper ‘Social Action - Harnessing the Potential’.


  1. Community Organisers Expansion


The Office of Civil Society, part of the Department of Culture Media and Sport, awarded Community Organisers Ltd. the £4.2m contract to grow the movement of Community Organisers from 6,500 to 10,000 by 2020. Community Organisers Ltd is the independent body that grew out of the original 2011 - 2015 Community Organisers Programme. 


Community Organisers are local leaders bringing people together to take action on the things that matter to them. The expansion programme will increase the number of organisers across England and support the most effective Community Organisers recruited through the original programme to broaden and deepen their impact, train new Community Organisers, and facilitate peer-to-peer support. The ultimate aim is for residents to take action together in their own neighbourhoods for social change – focused on the issues that matter most to them.


  1. Libraries Deliver


Libraries are for everyone! The Libraries Taskforce (a body set up and sponsored jointly by DCMS and the Local Government Association) published its first strategy document in December 2016. 


Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016-2021 paints a thorough picture of the wide range of outcomes which modern public libraries deliver, plus sets out a plan for how our vision of a sustainable public library service will be achieved. 


Examples are regularly featured in their blog: https://librariestaskforce.blog.gov.uk/


One of our key 'asks' is that decision makers think 'Libraries First' when considering how to deliver services to people - and we hope that you will take a look at the strategy and consider when libraries may be valuable partners for the activities you are involved in. 


Updates from other Government Departments:


  1. 20 - 24 March is Communities Week 


The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) are marking over 6,000 uses of community rights, protecting over 4,000 buildings, green spaces and other much loved local assets with Communities Week.


Communities Week celebrates positive change led by communities across England.  The week will see new resources, funding announcements and more will be happening over the week, so stay tuned on FacebookTwitter and the  mycommunity.org.uk website for everything Communities Week ’17!


Want to get involved in your community? See the My Community Rights website for details on how to go about it. Also follow #CommunitiesWeek17 on Twitter for more details.


Stakeholder Updates: 


  1. Sport England - Opportunity Fund and Potentials Fund 


Sport England’s Opportunity Fund and Potentials Fund will support volunteering projects for groups where we have identified significant untapped potential; those from economically-disadvantaged communities and young people.


  • The Opportunity Fund targets people, aged 20+, from economically-disadvantaged communities


  • The Potentials Fund targets children and young people aged 10 to 20 (with a particular focus on 10-14 year-olds) who are interested in doing something to benefit their community, through social action.


  • The deadline for Expressions of Interest to these two new funds is no later than 12 noon, 24 April 2017.


In this first stage of their volunteering strategy Sport England want to learn from exciting, new volunteering and social action opportunities that will change the lives of volunteers and their communities. If you already work with their target audience and have a great volunteering idea using sport and physical activity, then they want to hear from you.


10) Job Club standards (a small favour)


If your organisation has ever supported a community job club and has documentation around the standards of services to clients can you send it to Paul  (paul.schofield@culture.gov.uk). Thanks

New face of OCS in the North **New*
We are pleased to welcome Jennie Noble to the Office of Civil Society in the North of England. Jennie has joined from City of York Council. Jennie is a qualified youth worker, who held the strategic lead for voice and influence for children and young people across the City. Jennie has been a lead practitioner working with vulnerable young people and delivering front-line services, ranging from mental health interventions to education employment and training. Jennie also has a background in engaging and working alongside the community and voluntary sector.

Together Paul and Jennie will be working with stakeholders across the region to deliver our OCS priorities:

Youth Policy
Deliver National Citizens Service
Support the delivery of out of school youth engagement and voice

Social Action
Support volunteering in our communities and especially innovative schemes around the public service agenda

Inclusive Economy
Supporting the growth of a healthy and vibrant social economy
Delivering the Life Chances Fund

Supporting the VCSE sector
Supporting the growth of the social value agenda
Maximising the opportunities for VCSE organisations to deliver public services
Encouraging better links with the private and statutory sectors
Supporting philanthropy and giving

We are hoping that the addition of Jennie will allow us to be more visible and networked across the region. The regular 'for info' will continue as usual.

The Team:

Paul Schofield: Senior Policy Adviser
07825 257069

Jennie Noble
Policy Adviser
07515 629307