Action Learning Sets for social enterprises

This service is provided by Brighton & Hove Social Enterprise Network.

What is an action learning set?

A bringing together of like-minded people at a similar early stage of their social enterprise adventure. As a team, you will share and test ideas, confront challenges, leap hurdles and reflect on practical and organisational development. The opportunities are endless…

Groups are purposefully small so please book soon to avoid disappointment.

18th Aug, 12th Oct & 15th Dec

2pm – 5pm

The Platform, Russell Place, Brighton BN1 2RG

£30 for the 3 sessions

To book

Social enterprise support surgery, 20th July

Could you do with a focused bit of time to discuss an idea or an issue with a small panel of friendly, helpful and well connected people?

Wed 20th July (next week)
Half hour slots from 1.15pm

BHSEN @ The Platform are running Social Enterprise Surgeries for social enterprises of all shapes and sizes; half hour individual support sessions with a panel of social enterprise enthusiasts from different fields of expertise. Share ideas, dilemmas or opportunities with the panel, who will act as a sounding board and inspire solution focused discussion…

… whether you have a germ of idea that you would like to work through, you’re not sure if your idea is a social enterprise or not… whether you’ve been running a social enterprise for a while and need to chew over some new ideas or perhaps have an issue you’d like to work through… or whether you need direction as to where next to steer your enterprise… whatever you need to talk about basically!

Because sessions are just for you, you need to book in advance … there’s not many spaces, so don’t tarry!

Sponsored by The Platform surgery sessions are just £10
To book here

Last chance to book on Monitoring & Evaluation course, 19th July

This course is organised by Community Works. Booking details are below.

Course: Getting to Grips with Monitoring and Evaluation and the Community Insight Tool

Date: Tuesday 19 July 2016

Time: 9.30am-1.00pm

Fee: This is a free course.

Venue: Friends Meeting House

Trainer: Paul Bramwell (pfb consultancy) and Kate Gilchrist (Public Health)

This half-day course is a back to basics for anyone who is involved in or new to monitoring and evaluation, or who wants a refresher to improve the quality of their work. It will also include a session on the Community Insight Tool, which allows you to find, explore and use a wide range of facts and figures at different geographic levels for Brighton & Hove.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Measure success against the aims and objectives of your organisation;
  • set a baseline against which to monitor and evaluate future work and use the Community Insight Tool to help you do this
  • set and measure outputs, outcomes and milestones
  • use different qualitative and quantitative monitoring techniques
  • use the information you have gathered to critically evaluate your work
  • begin to convince funders and commissioners of the added value of your work
  • Techniques covered will include record keeping, questionnaires, evaluation forms, focus groups, interviewing and other participatory methods of collecting information about your activities or services. There will also be an opportunity to talk about building relationships with your funders.

Who is this course for?

This training is aimed specifically at groups:

  • with an income of under £35,000 and who are receiving a grant through the Community Health Fund and/or who are delivering health and well-being activities
  • we will prioritise those groups whose health and well-being activities support LGBT people, people from BME communities or older people (including intergenerational work)

To book a place:

Please book your place through Eventbrite here:

City Parks consultation meeting with community groups

Building a resilient future for our parks and open spaces

A City Parks consultation meeting with community groups for the new Open Spaces Strategy

Tuesday 19th July 2016,  6:00 – 8:00pm  (networking and refreshments from 5:30pm)

Community Base (South Wing Conference Room), 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3XG


Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) is working with the Volunteers Alliance for Community Open Spaces (VACOS) and Community Works to host this meeting for ‘Friends of parks’ and other community groups and voluntary organisations concerned with our city’s parks, gardens, and open spaces.

It represents a commitment from the Parks Projects Team to meet with Friends of Groups in forum-style meetings to discuss the challenges of our parks, the scale of issues that face our open spaces, and how the upcoming Open Spaces Strategy (OSS) can work to address them.

The meeting will include presentations by Paul Campbell of the Parks Projects Team and Denise Taylor of City In Bloom & VACOS as well as a discussion.

Agenda (draft)

  • Introductions
  • Context of Cityparks –present challenges  and the Open Spaces Strategy (Paul Campbell – Cityparks, Park Projects and Strategy Manager)
  • Establishing an open spaces network (Denise Taylor – Volunteers Alliance for Community Open Spaces & City in Bloom)
  • The role of Friends of groups in the care and management of our open spaces
  • Training needs for Friends of groups volunteers
  • Public consultation – We will have an online portal, but where would you like us to be located with a paper consultation?
  • Summary and next steps

By the end of this meeting we hope that participants will:

  • be better informed regarding the current resources and finance situation for Cityparks, and the challenges that this poses
  • understand the City Council’s emerging volunteering strategy
  • have more clarity about the City Council’s relationship with, community groups in light of challenging economic circumstances
  • have clarified how Cityparks can support volunteers and the training that is needed (e.g. guidance on health and safety, insurance, fundraising, project management, working with special needs groups and individuals, etc.)
  • have clarified the potential role of a city-wide open spaces network (such as Volunteers Alliance for Community Open Spaces)

For more information and/or to book your place follow the link to Eventbrite below:


A chance to tell health planners what your members need

As part of the 2016 update of some of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) summaries, the JSNA team within Public Health is asking for evidence from community and voluntary organisations in Brighton and Hove.

The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) is a piece of research which provides a high level overview of the population of Brighton and Hove, and of the current and future health and wellbeing needs of local people.

To support the process, Community Works and Healthwatch are holding sessions on 27 July and 28 July. You can book half an hour with Kate Gilchrist, Head of Public Health Intelligence to discuss your evidence before submitting it.

To book a half an hour slot just email or call 01273 234025.

You can find additional information along with the submission form here:

The deadline to submit evidence is the 12th August 2016. To submit evidence along with the completed submission form, please email

Social enterprise support

Brighton & Hove Social Enterprise Network have launched a new ‘season’ of support for social enterprises of all shapes and sizes. Through to December support includes:

The season launches with a social enterprise surgery on the 20th July, followed by the first in a series of 3 Action Learning Sets on 26th July.

Sponsored by The Platform

Cllr Emma Daniel’s surgery for voluntary and community groups

Cllr Emma Daniel is the chair of the council’s Neighbourhood, Communities and Equalities Committee. Her next Voluntary and Community Sector surgery is 12th July, running from the Community Works office on Queens Road. This is a chance for community groups in the city to discuss their concerns and priorities with Cllr Daniel.

To book an appointment to discuss issues important to your organisation/city priorities from your perspective, please contact Faye Perry

Free events listing on ESCIS

ESCIS is the East Sussex Community Information Service, run by East Sussex Libraries Service. It now has an events section, as well as listing contact details for hundreds of local groups.

If you have a community event coming up, it’s free to add it to the events listing.

To  find out more about ESCIS and how to add your organisation’s  details, see their handy About ESCIS page or contact Vicki Holland on

Refugee Week steering group

Sanctuary on Sea is hoping to set up a group to coordinate events in Brighton & Hove during Refugee Week, 18th to 26th June.

The first meeting of the group will be held on Thursday 2nd June from 5.30 pm – 7.30 pm at Community Base.

Anyone who is planning an event during Refugee Week, or interested in getting involved, is welcome to come to the meeting. The aim of the meeting is to discuss:

  • What events are planned and how we can jointly publicise them
  • What help is needed by organisations – funding, materials and how we can source these or share resources
  • Whether there is a role for volunteers and how these can be recruited
  • Whether we want to have any joint media or communications messages as the organisations working on Refugee Week in Brighton & Hove

If you are interested in attending the meeting, or want to find out more about Refugee Week, please contact Monika on 077 303 391 45 or

Monika is the Refugee Week coordinator for Sanctuary on Sea. She can offer support to organisations and communities involved in Refugee Week to organise a calendar of events and activities from 18th – 26th June 2016. She will also help organise volunteers to support events where needed. If you are organising an event during Refugee Week, you can contact Monika with the details and she will publicise your event on  the Sanctuary On Sea website and the National Refugee Week website.

East Brighton Trust grants available via Sussex Community Foundation

East Brighton Trust offer small grants for community groups which benefit residents of East Brighton.

In future these grants will be adminstered via Sussex Community Foundation. The application process has changed, but the grants are still available to groups in East Brighton.

Your group can still apply for an East Brighton Trust grant, even if you have received a Sussex Community Foundation grant this year.

For more information see our Favourite Funders page.