Listening Post – a new blog

listeningPic445We are delighted to have just completed the first draft of our new blog for the Marham Voices project.

Listening Post – which you can visit here, will track the development of our Marham Voices project and allow you, as always to freely subscribe to our news and project updates.

We are, as part of the project, beginning to create an online audio archive, YouTube channel and FaceBook pages. All of these developments and their content will be freely available on our blog – Listening Post.

If you would like to know more about the Marham Voices project, to either volunteer to help or to donate your story to the archive, you can read more about the project here at www.marhamvoices.org

Visit the blog, keep up to date and let us know if you have a story to tell, we’ll be happy to listen. Thank you.

Marham Voices – listening to stories

listeningimage2-mSandringham Enterprise is delighted to have been generously awarded a substantial sum of money from the Heritage Lottery Fund – with the generous support of Cambridge University and its Cambridge Community Heritage team – to undertake an oral history and historic record project for Marham and its surrounding area.

Marham Voices project will last about a year and we will create a web based oral archive of people’s stories about our area, as well as producing a history of the community, concentrating on the changes in our landscape across the 19th and 20th Centuries.

We will, in the coming Spring of 2013, be holding open public events to encourage you to tell your story and get involved in our project. Our volunteers, trained in the collection of oral history, will be able to support you through the process.

When we receive permission from our generous funder, the Heritage Lottery Fund, we will be building out and launching a Marham Voices web site – here you will find all the details about the project, how to join in and the programme of activities we’ll plan with you.

In the meantime, if you wish to express an interest in taking part in Marham Voices you can email the team at mystory (@) marhamvoices.org – or use the contact us form on the Sandringham Enterprise web pages here.

We’d love to hear from you and hear your voice too!

Big Society capital launches…

bscLOGO2A new investor in the social sector has just launched – Big Society Capital. “We enable organisations tackling social issues to grow by encouraging investments made for social as well as financial return”.

As a body the organisation is purposed with only lending capital to social investment finance intermediaries (SIFI’s). This is a range of UK organisations who offer social investment to, and seek ethical and financial returns from, frontline Thirdsector organisations.

The Big Society Capital organisation will invest a minimum of £500,000 and a maximum of £15 million, dedicating their funding across a broad aspect portfolio of projects.

There is no doubt that, if this is new money, then intermediary organisations who seek to lend to and develop infrastructure projects with the Third Sector now have an exciting new source of funds to deploy. If theIr applications and business plans are rigorous enough.

For smaller charities and social enterprises one interesting aspect of the Big Society Capital web site, although excluded from BSC funding, is that smaller organisations can access a database of advice, guidance and finance providers to the sector.

This resource can be searched whether looking for grants, business advice or investment. You can find the BSC database here. A really useful, one stop tool we think for smaller charities or social organisations.

Free to use too.

Charity, business and community

networkDiagramPic34‘Businesses should act as ‘community hubs’, helping promote social interaction amongst their customers and developing local action plans to create happier, more resilient communities’.

This is a quote from a new report from the RSA, The Community Footprint: Shared Value for Business and Communities, outlining how local business, social business, can become hubs or focal points for community interaction and development.

Charities and social enterprises in particular, can have a role to play in this ‘combination’ role. A community charity, like SEC, can provide a focus, a tunnelling of ideas to engage community business in this sort of network activity, particularly in a remote rural area.

A charity could, for example, through its social enterprise network or community development activity co-ordinate and contribute to the strategies and focus of ethical business support to that community.
Helping businesses to answer the ‘how can we help’ question?

You can see the RSA report here…

The Community Footprint: shared value for business and communities

The RSA report looks at a a case study of a B & Q store and how it’s instore activity and engagement with customers and staff, were able to affect and effect change in community projects.

Big business, with financial and operational clout, can clearly be players in this role – but we would argue that there is a place for small, local economic groups and networks to use the same model – generating change using their very specific local knowledge too.

Our secBEANS network can fill this role too – acting as a focus point for community enterprise and using the charitable aims of SEC to make a strong community impression – adding new value to community projects.

Food for thought?

A Sustainable Funding Guide

Sustainable funding in Norfolk

Ideas for developing your group or organisation

Voluntary Norfolk, in partnership with other organisations like NCVO and The Lottery, have just published a useful sustainable funding guide.

This useful booklet can help your organisation, group or club think about its finances, how you are governed and what you might be able to do in terms of fund raising or developing income streams from your existing activities.

The booklet has a number of useful tools and templates that can help your committee plan or to develop some recommendations for ideas for your group to consider.

At the end of the short, clearly laid out booklet is a list of useful web links and other resources and organisations that might be useful.

Don’t forget – if you have an idea for developing how your committee works, or a social enterprise or community business idea then The Sandringham Enterprise Centre team are here to help too. We can share our knowledge and expertise for free with you – helping change happen and income develop.

You can contact us here: help@sandringhamcentre.com

Download a pdf copy of this Voluntary Norfolk booklet here.