World’s First Fairtrade Illumination

This year sees the unveiling of a very special illumination on the cliff’s at North Shore. The advertising will be seen by thousands of visitors that descend on the lights to see that Blackpool has achieved Fairtrade town status.

After five years of committing to fair trade principles, the resort has now fulfilled all the projects to achieve this milestone.

As part of the campaign, the Blackpool Fairness Commission has committed itself to the importance of fairness across the resort by carrying out a number of activities in communities which are home to people who are less privileged than others.

Some of the work carried out by the Commission included launching the 100 Acts of Kindness campaign which encouraged people to carry out a good deed for a neighbour, friend or someone they didn’t even know. They also held activities with local schools across the resort and held the town’s first ever Kindness Convention, attended by hundreds of people, including third-sector organisations.

Cllr Maria Kirkland, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for the Fairness Commission, said: “Achieving Fairtrade status is excellent news for Blackpool and it’s thanks to all the hard work and commitment of everyone involved who have helped to make it happen.

“Fairtrade is something we can all take part in. People can make a big difference to the lives of farmers and workers around the world whether it’s through talking to others about the benefits of Fairtrade or swapping a regular product for a Fairtrade one.”

Layton ward councillor Martin Mitchell proposed the original motion for Blackpool to become a Fairtrade town and was the Council’s representative on the Steering Committee throughout.

He said: “It’s a terrific achievement for Blackpool to become a Fairtrade town. It puts our commitment to fairness centre stage and reminds everyone that we all live in one world. As we become ever more sophisticated, it’s important to remember those who can only survive if the world treats them fairly.”

We are very proud of this distinction for the resort and happy that we can actually let our visitors know by putting this in lights for all to see.

The world’s first Fairtrade illumination has been kindly sponsored by The Mina Group, a strategic marketing, communications and print partner to many organisations and businesses on the Fylde Cost.

CEO of The Mina Group, Jake Adams, had this to say:

“It’s with great honour that we have had the opportunity to be a part of such an important piece of this year’s illuminations display. Blackpool has worked incredibly hard to achieve this great status and it’s fantastic to see it being promoted this way.”

Make Your Mark 2018 – Blackpool – Final Results

Make Your Mark, the annual national ballot of all young people aged 11-18 took place from August to October this year. 7147 young people from Blackpool made their voices heard by voting on the issue that they felt most passionate about. The 10 possible issues were: Mental Health; End Period Poverty; Votes at 16; End Knife Crime; Curriculum for Life; Support Youth Services; Equal Pay, Equal Work; Homelessness; Transport; Welcome Refugees. The issue that Blackpool’s young people voted as their top priority was ‘Mental Health’ which received 14.9% (1066 votes) of total ballots. ‘End Knife Crime’ was second with 13.3% (954 votes) and in third was ‘Curriculum for Life’ with 13.1% (934 votes).

‘Mental Health’ has now been the top issue in Blackpool for 2 years in a row, being the top issue in 2017 as well.

Blackpool Youth Council will work with schools, colleges, youth groups, Blackpool Council and other local organisations in order to help raise awareness on these issues, allowing Blackpool to become a better town for young people to live, learn and work.

The starting point for developing our strategy for these issues is holding our annual Youth Summit which for this Make Your Mark cycle will be held at The Oracle, St. Anne’s Rd. on Wednesday 14thNovember 2018 at 6pm. Our Youth Summit is open to the public whereby young people can question a panel of professionals and decision makers on the top issues raised in Make Your Mark.

Each vote cast is one young person making their voice heard to change their lives and their town for the better. We would like to thank every organisation and young person that took part in this important vote to change the lives of the young people in our town.

If you would like to find out more about Blackpool Youth Council, find out more about our Youth Summit and engage with our campaigns to represent and empower Blackpool’s young people, contact myself (Connor Danson, Chair of Blackpool Youth Council) at: [email protected]

Simon Blake: Charities can’t afford to overlook the mental health of their staff

Failing to create supportive workplaces will inevitably have a negative impact on both employees and employers.

World Mental Health Day is taking place this Wednesday, and the World Federation for Mental Health is asking everyone to think about young people’s mental health in our rapidly changing world.

Last week, I was privileged to start as chief executive of Mental Health First Aid England. Our vision is to normalise society’s attitudes to and behaviours around mental health by developing the skills we all need to look after our own and others’ wellbeing.

If your organisation is working with young people, or those who work with them, we have developed the #HandsUp4HealthyMinds toolkit to support World Mental Health Day. The toolkit is a free resource packed with practical tips, gifs and infographics to help people understand youth mental health, raise awareness and start conversations.

Looking wider than the youth theme of World Mental Health Day, we know that at least one in four people experience mental ill health at some point in their lives and, crucially, that too often they feel unable and fearful to talk about their mental health openly at work.

This has to change. Luckily there is now much more policy focus and public awareness about mental health than ever before. All employers, including those of us within the third sector, have to know and understand much more about mental health, and use that understanding as the basis for deliberate action to create cultures in the workplace where mental health is understood, employees are supported and managers know how to address employee mental health effectively in all that we do.

The cost of not doing so is self-evident. It is evident in the negative impact it has on individuals, office relationships, and in the economic cost through low morale, sickness and productivity. The latest research shows that mental ill health costs employers £35bn a year. More importantly, failing to create a mentally healthy and supportive workplace will inevitably affect our employees’ job satisfaction, morale, productivity, loyalty and, of course, their wellbeing.

Luckily, a lot of resources are available to help us.

For employers, MHFA England has produced a Workplace Wellbeing toolkit. This includes a “making the business case” presentation, which is a great way to start conversations about the importance of investing in mental health support in your workplace.

The recently launched Mental Health at Work Gateway is a new platform curated by Mind as part of the Heads Together initiative supported by the Royal Foundation. It pulls together resources from a range of different organisations to help employers across sectors, including the third sector, develop their own wellbeing strategies.

Building a culture that supports your employees’ mental health cannot and must not be left to chance, or fall down the priority list because we are a sector that cares. It requires deliberative action to build culture, awareness, understanding and skills, supported by policies and interventions that ensure employees can thrive and make the biggest difference for those we work with.

Simon Blake is the chief executive of MHFA England


Imagine your charity had £500m in the bank, but couldn’t spend a penny of it. And it’s not just that you can’t spend it immediately, or this quarter, or even this year, but that there is almost no chance that the charity can spend it in your lifetime, the lifetime of your children, or even of their children. The money must remain untouched for centuries.

It would be particularly galling at a time when unrestricted funding seems ever harder to come by for many charities.

But for one charity, this isn’t a hypothetical scenario, it’s the very real situation they face. The trustees of the National Fund are required by their founding documents not to spend their money until it reaches a certain level. A prudent investment strategy, you may think. But the trigger they’re waiting for is that the level of their investments grows large enough to pay off the UK’s national debt.

The National Fund was established in 1928 with an anonymous £500,000 donation – around £30m in today’s terms – and its trustees were bound over to manage it until it grew large enough to pay off the debt. A notion that now seems whimsical but was in fact quite earnest.

Since then, diligent management has seen this sum grow and grow. Compound interest has been described as ‘the most powerful force in the universe’, and the National Fund is an example of what can become of an investment if you’re prepared to wait long enough. The fund’s assets today stand at over £480m.

But while it has grown, so has the national debt. To the extent that the chances of this fund ever becoming sufficient to satisfy it are vanishingly small. Economists would likely quibble the wisdom of paying off the debt in one fell swoop in any case. The trustees think it’s time to give up and have been exploring their options.

They have a tricky question. What can the fund do with the sum it has accrued? The legal advice is that if they cannot exactly satisfy the wishes of the founder as embedded in their governing documents, they must do the closest possible thing.

The charity is now set to donate its entire balance to the treasury, with the condition that it contribute to paying the national debt. The fact that this £480m will be a drop in the ocean of the £1.8tn the UK owes makes no legal difference.

The principle here of using charitable money for the closest possible purpose to what it was intended for is right, and one we must be careful to defend. But I believe this unique event gives the government a wonderful opportunity.

It is a half-billion-pound windfall which the treasury was not expecting and had not budgeted for. It is open to the government to take the saving it’s going to make on national debt repayments and use it to do some good elsewhere.

At NCVO, one idea we’d like to see the government explore is putting the saving towards the proposed new community wealth fund.

Community wealth fund: investing in communities for a generation

The government has been working out how to free up so-called dormant assets – long-forgotten stocks and shares – and put them to use for good causes (it’s similar to what they’re doing with dormant bank accounts already).

NCVO is among a number of charities calling for these assets to be used to create a new ‘community wealth fund’ that would be used to create community infrastructure, particularly in the areas that need it most. For example, buying a hall, library or community centre for a local charity to run.

Rather than funding a project, by paying for capital items like this, the charity has the security of an asset which it can use to generate income and sustain its services for decades to come.

By combining the £1–2bn of estimated dormant assets with an injection of funding from the government’s £500m saving on the national debt, we could create a truly transformative source of capital for local communities.

This is not an idea that will come to fruition overnight as the work involved in freeing up these assets is complex, but it has the potential to make a real difference. You can read more about the proposals here and, if like me you think this is an idea worth pursuing you can register your support here.

It’s time for action

NCVO has written to the attorney general (PDF, 120KB) to make the case for the government to use its windfall in this way. It is precisely this sort of intervention that we need to nourish local voluntary action for the future.

Despite shrinking local government spending, we’ve seen a willingness from communities to create and run their own creative, responsive services. But their ambition will always be limited unless it can be resourced. We know from our analyses of charity accounts that smaller charities have been struggling in recent years.

Giving local charities the capital they need to work from a sustainable base is our very best hope to make the most of the time and energy people give locally and truly improve our communities.

Light Up the North National Conference

Light Up the North National Conference
18 – 19th October

Event date: Thu, October 18, 2018

Hosted by the Lightpool Festival, the Light Up the North Network (LUTN) of leading northern light festivals presents its second national conference in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, 18-19th October 2018.

The conference aims to bring together funders, cultural businesses, artists and producers to explore and debate the creative economy, light art and festivals, alternative forms of finance in the sector and the social and environmental sustainability of our festivals and cities. Using light festivals as case studies, we will share expert insight as to their impact on audiences, local economy and cultural infrastructure development.

The conference will be a marketplace for artists and creative producers engaged with light to meet and share ideas. Through the Thursday and in the morning of the Friday we’ll be hosting structured networking sessions, to make the most out of the time we have together. We are also welcoming representatives from leading European light festivals.

With the Arts & Culture Finance Fair, you will develop an understanding of the possibilities for financing cultural activities beyond grant funding, learning how repayable finance can be used to drive forward creative and cultural ventures, creating ideas for new projects and collaborations.

Thursday 18 October (10am – 5pm)

10am: Registration
11am – 5pm: Conference and Arts & Culture Finance Fair
5pm: Networking reception
7pm: Light Odyssey presented by Lightpool Festival
(discounted tickets will be available for participants of the conference)

Friday 19 October (10am – 12pm)

10am: Facilitated networking for artists and
creative producers 
interested in light art and festivals

12pm: Conference ends


UK women’s organisations can apply for up to £25,000

Grants of up to £25,000 available through the Justice and Equality Fund’s ‘Now’s the Time’ small grants programme.

Now’s the Time is the second programme from the Justice and Equality Fund managed by Rosa. The programme aims to amplify the voices of individuals and groups who are calling for an end to sexual harassment and abuse, in their workplaces and in their communities.

The Justice and Equality Fund aims to bring an end to the culture of harassment, abuse and impunity by resourcing an expert network of advice, support and advocacy organisations and projects.  Inspired by the phenomenal campaigners of #metoo, TIME’s UP, Ni Nunca Mas, the #lifeinleggings movements and others, a group of UK-based women from the entertainment industry have come together to challenge the culture that permits people in positions of power to sexually harass and abuse others.

We want to resource imaginative, collaborative and creative grassroots activism so we are asking organisations to apply by answering the question: What would you do towards ending sexual harassment (in work places and in communities)? We want to fund:

  • Prevention work
  • Awareness raising activities
  • Imaginative and creative grassroots activism
  • Influencing work
  • Work with groups and communities who might face additional barriers to getting their voices heard, or might be at higher risk of sexual harassment and abuse to amplify those voices
  • Work that tries out new ideas
  • Work that replicates tried and tested approaches in new settings
  • Work that others can learn from

We are particularly keen to see cross-sector partnerships where the expertise of specialist voluntary sector organisations at the forefront of this work is shared with others to help drive broader change.

How to apply

It is important that you read our programme guidance and application guidance as both go into further detail about the criteria for applying along with the aims and deadlines for the programme.

We will be hosting a series of ‘How to Apply’ webinars which will introduce you to the Justice and Equality Fund and take you through the fund’s Now’s the Time (small grants) programme, offering guidance on making an application. Please register to attend by clicking on your preferred date:

You must then complete a short online application form and submit a three minute video answering the following questions :

  • What does your organisation do?
  • What does your organisation want to do, where and when?
  • How will this contribute to ending sexual harassment?
  • What difference will it make and why are you the best organisation to make it happen?
  • How will you spend your grant?

Closing date: Friday 28th September at 5pm.

When will you hear the outcome: Early December 2018.

You help decide: We are going to use a process called participatory grantmaking to decide who is awarded funding.  Your video will be shared with other applicants who will rank your application according to the clarity and credibility of your plans. You can therefore expect to hear from us during October-November 2018 asking you and your group to look at some of the other videos we have received and voting for the ideas you like the best.

Still unsure? We’d like to talk to you! Please email us to request a chat and one of our team will get back to you.

Contact us: [email protected]                                        Web:

2019 GSK IMPACT Awards – funding for health charities

We launched the 2018 GSK IMPACT Awards earlier this summer which provide core funding and free leadership training for health charities.  The closing date for applications is now only a few weeks away and we are keen to make sure that as organisations are aware of this funding source and do not miss the deadline. We would be very grateful if you could mention the awards in your next newsletter. Below is some text you may like to use:

2019 GSK IMPACT Awards – Core funding and free training for health charities

GSK’s IMPACT Awards reward charities that are doing excellent work to improve people’s health. Organisations must be at least three years old, working in a health-related field in the UK, with income between £80,000 and £2.5 million. Up to 20 awards will be made ranging from £3,000 to £40,000 plus free training valued at up to £6,000. Organisations will also have a film made, receive help with press and publicity and be given a set of promotional materials.

To apply or to view winners’ films go to:

Closing date: 20 September 2018

Blackpool Gold Action Group need you!

Pensioner’s / Over 55s forum

We need speakers to talk about what is happening in the town. Would it be possible for you to give us a talk ? We ask speakers to talk for 20 minutes and then answer questions for 20 minutes.


Open 12.30 for 1.00 pm prompt  start Entrance £1 for talks

Enhancing the lives of senior citizens     Making Blackpool a better place


September 2018 to January 2019  PROGRAMME OF TALKS/EVENTS

Thursday 6 September

Part 1    Coun. Mark Smith, Cabinet Member Regeneration,, Economic Development, Enterprise, Parking etc

Part 2

Thursday  4 October

afternoon tea / entertainer      Johnny Roxx

Admission £5 for food. Please pay at September meeting or if you will not be there,  book by email to the address below / book by phoning Mark on 07490 595 666

Thursday 1 November

            Part 1           Anne Oliver, AgeUk

            Part 2    Christine Wright, Pensioner’s Champion

Thursday 6 December                                                             

            Part 1    Inspector Chris Hardy

            Part 2

Thursday 3 January                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Winter Warmer

   E-mail: [email protected]


Lancashire Mind launches new website

Lancashire Mind are pleased to announce the launch of their new dedicated workplace and schools website.

If you have ever wondered what we could do for your workplace or school, our new website will all give you an insight into the products and services we offer.  From leadership training and awareness raising seminars to wellbeing coach services and consultation; with over 25 years experience of delivering services across Lancashire, our experienced and passionate team will support your to make positive change. 

If you’re looking for something a little different, or perhaps you would like resources or workshops tailored to a particular audience, we would be happy to discuss options with you to ensure we meet your personal requirements.  Contact us now for more information or follow the link to our new website Click here to visit Lancashire Mind’s new website.

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