The Social Action Partnership Service is delivered by Pulse Regeneration, as part of a long-term partnership with Cheshire East Council, founded on a series of core values including mutual trust, collaboration and innovation. This relationship will help to guide how the Council works with the VCFSE sector in the future, as well as its approach to transforming the wider health and social care system.
Pulse is a specialist Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise Sector support organisation. Established in 2000, Pulse has a vision to “improve quality of life through the development of sustainable VCFSE sector organisations and communities”.
Pulse has been supporting VCFSE sector organisations in Cheshire East for almost 20 years, ranging from delivery of Social Enterprise Training, providing VCSE Commissioning and Capacity Building Support on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, through to a range of individual consultancy commissions supporting VCFSEs in Cheshire East to develop, grow, increase their impact, and become sustainable.
Pulse has supported over 5,287 VCFSE sector organisations, has helped secure over £22.3m in funding, £36.6m of contracts and social investment, and has managed £7.7m of public funding.
The commissioning of Social Action Partnership Service in Cheshire East affirms the Council’s commitment to VCFSE organisations by recognising the vital role they play in supporting local people around local strengths and needs.
VCFSE Sector in Cheshire East
The term ‘Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise Sector’ (VCFSE) encompasses all not-for-profit voluntary, community and faith groups, organisations, charities, social enterprises, cooperatives and mutuals, large and small.
There are approximately 1500 VCFSE sector organisations currently operating in Cheshire East. These organisations provide vital services, resources and facilities for local communities, supporting the needs of young and old alike, and providing wide-ranging services, for example education and training, social activities, advice, volunteering, family support, carers services and running youth groups.
Cheshire East Social Action Partnership Team
Our team is unique in employing a range of highly skilled and experienced VCFSE sector practitioners, many having worked in or running VCFSE organisations at Chief Executive/ senior level, acting as chairs and trustees on VCFSE Boards, and providing consultancy and development support to VCFSEs over many years. Relevant members of our team for the initial delivery of the new service include the following, who are able to provide local support but also draw on our networks, partnerships and learning at a national level:
- Chris Hart, Social Action Partnership Director – Founder and Managing Director of Pulse in 2000, which is responsible for delivering the new service. Chris has over 25 years experience in the VCFSE sector, including previously as Chief Executive of the Eldonian Village national model of best practice in community regeneration having won World Habitat Award status, and has previous experience as a qualified surveyor and qualified banker working in both the public and private sectors.
- Caroline Lewis, Communications & Service Delivery Manager – Will lead on our VCFSE engagement, communications and support activities. Caroline has extensive experience providing VCFSE infrastructure support for a similar service in Thrive Trafford for over 7 years and has previous experience in a range of marketing and events coordination roles, including for Action on Hearing Loss, NHS, and Radio City.
- Dan Shelston, Partnerships & Transformation Manager – Will lead on our partnership development work and supporting early help in communities. Dan has many years experience of public sector transformation in Greater Manchester, including establishing a VCSE Health and Wellbeing Collective in Trafford. Dan’s previous experience includes Community Lead at Trafford Housing Trust, and Leisure Industry consultant working on projects such as the Olympic Velo Park and National Football Centre.
- Caroline Platt, Social Action Coordinator – Will provide VCFSE capacity building and support development of Social Action Projects. Caroline has many years experience of supporting grass roots organisations, having secured over £1.8m in small grants for VCFSEs over the past 5 years. Previous experience includes Project Manager for Wirral Waterfront SRB6 and Wirral Borough Council.
- Bernadette Elder, VCFSE Capacity Builder – Providing expert VCFSE development support including quality and growth. Specific skills in community asset development and volunteering. Bernadette is also Chief Executive of Inspiring Communities Together in Salford able to draw on expertise in areas such as Community Led Housing and commissioning.
- Alan Johnson, Social Value & JSNA Manager – Expert in social impact measurement and management, evaluation, research and European funding programmes. Alan has previously held senior roles in VCFSEs including award winning Alt Valley Community Trust. Alan will support our work with commissioners and producing JSNA reports for the Partnership.
- David Beuzeval, Social Investment Consultant – Has over 25 years of experience of organisational leadership and business development with charities and public sector organisations, including CEO of a local Mind association, Programme Director at Groundwork, and many voluntary roles including Director of National Flood Forum.
- Nathan Gonzalez, Administration Support Assistant – Originally joined Pulse on work experience and will provide highly skilled administrative support and data base management for the service.
- Kay Pickard, Finance Director – Providing HR and finance administration support for the service. Kay has been Finance Director of Pulse since 2001, and has over 17 years experience within Yorkshire Bank at senior levels.