SEC AGM 2013

We are planing to hold our next AGM on WednesballoonsPic3day, May 15th at Swaffham Community Centre.

You can find the Centre just past the library on The Camping Ground, Swaffham, PE37 7RB. The cafe will be open for great refreshments served by the Iceni Partnership staff.

From 2.00pm to 5.00pm we are featuring displays of our current projects, including Marham Voices, our Heritage Lottery funded oral history activity. You can also talk to us about the start of our new project, Enterprise Arts, designed to deliver a new gallery and arts space, teaching space and community ICT service from a new building in the town.

We would be delighted to see anyone who wished to volunteer to support our projects, or who might be happy to consider joining the SEC board. Our AGM formally starts at 5.00pm on the 15th.

You can find detaiils of all our activities on our home page here.

Check our Marham Voices here.

We are planning to run a community bus service betweeen Marham and Swaffham on the day, to make our event easier to get to from the village. Watch this space for further details…

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.

secBEANS bookshop now online

booksandbusinessPicThe secBEANS network have just published the pages of their online bookshop – beansBOOKS.

This is a great resource for getting information, ideas and seeing how others run their enterprise ideas. Every purchase you make from the bookshop sends a small amount to support SEC as a community charity too.

Have a look at the beansBOOKS pages. There are sections for the female entrepreneur, marketing and social media for all sorts of enterprises, as well as a section on how social business can change communities.

Buy with confidence from a book distributor you can trust – Amazon, and help your local community charity SEC…and get your enterprise idea in gear too!

Christmas Fair – cold outside, warm welcome within

As we were unpacking our bits and pieces for the stalls at the Marham Christmas Fair the temperature only rose above zero very grudgingly.

The Marham Infant School, Mrs. Webb, the Head and her team offered everyone a great, warm welcome and a wonderful space to hold the event. Smiles all round. In the end the sun shone, Santa arrived and the ice-rink was fully booked all day.

There was a great range of goods on offer, from jewelry, fabrics, children’s books, handbags and a myriad supply of other seasonal items. The raffle table was groaning with donated prizes and tickets sold briskly from their vantage point near the entrance.

The young people of the airplay team served up fantastic pork rolls, with all the seasonal trimmings. They also played some very lively, contemporary music in the ‘jammin’ space too.

The school tea and coffee crew worked flat out all day – with everyone very appreciative of a hot drink on such a cold day.

By the time darkness fell some 250 people had strapped on their skates and glided, slithered and tumbled around the ice rink. Thank you to everyone who booked their sessions and contributed to SEC.

A special thank you to Lloyd and Charlotte for braving the cold all day rink-side and for their energy in organising such a popular attraction.

Roll on the Summer Fair…I wonder if we could get surfing into the playground?

Image: Anonymised picture of skaters at the Christmas Fair 

Enterprise Christmas Fair?

christmasDecoration66We are planning to hold a Christmas Fair this coming season.

Do you have talents as a card maker, jewellery maker, or with cakes or knitting?

Do you spend time in the autumn in the kitchen making pickles, chutneys or jam?

Why not sell them at the Community Enterprise Christmas Fair? Whatever your idea or items we can find space for you. Sell the things you have made, talk to other people who make things and who knows?

Maybe a new community service might emerge from your chat. Get enterprising and have some seasonal fun too.

To find out more contact Rita Broomfield on her usual number (ext. 7884) or send Rita a message from the contact us page on our main website here.

From the SEC team – making enterprise an all year season.

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. 

Leading through change
– a charitable view

changePic88At a recent Action Planning Conference – Leading Your Charity Through a Time of Change – Dame Suzi Leather, Chair of the Charity Commission, urged open-ness and sound leadership on board members.

Dame Suzi explained that some UK charities were often reticent to share their financial and operational details with their community of interest.

In reality, Dame Suzi said, a community of interest will never fully understand the mission of a charity, without the will of trustees to publish their financial and delivery information as widely as possible.

Charitable work should not be a mystery to the beneficiaries. The Chair of the Commission likened charity trusteeship to a job like airline pilot…

…99% of the time, the job of a trustee, like that of a pilot, is perhaps not especially exciting. In fact, being a trustee can be a relatively calm, rewarding affair, which involves direction, support, stewardship, monitoring, and keeping a steady course.

But then theres the 1 in a 100 event or crisis. When the systems fail or when something – internally or externally – goes unexpectedly wrong, and trustees, like airline pilots faced with the threat of an accident, are required to take active control.

It was clear from the speech that some charities find it difficult to share their financial data. Many trustees are uncomfortable with this aspect of their work. However, care of young people, the aged or delivery of specialist community social enterprises can only be undertaken after the engagement, often, of professional support – which does have a cost on the balance sheet.

Interestingly in these times of urging for the creation of social enterprises – from this clarity of mission for charities emerges the truth that only a charity has so much care at the heart of its service delivery, in a way that no private company working for individual profit can.

You can read the full text of the speech by Dame Suzi Leather on the Charity Commission web site here.

A childcare survey for 2011

bearsSittingPicWe have just posted our childcare survey and covering letter onto our main website here.

There has been an increase in families in our community, as well as developing plans to create a Children’s and Young People’s Board, in order to help improve our services.

If you had a few minutes to complete the form, which is also available for download, that would really help us understand what the needs of our familes are.

It also fuels the talks we have with our service partners about what is needed and how new or existing services can be created to best support you and your children.

If you do…thank you for your time in completing and returning our form by April 26th 2011.