Preston Community Network relaunches after lottery funding win

Posted on - 27th August, 2022 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, Proud Preston
Tony Dawber
Tony Dawber from Preston Community Network

Preston Community Network has relaunched after securing lottery funding.

PCN is an umbrella organisation that represents and assists almost 70 voluntary groups in the city.

A registered charity, PCN originally formed back in 2002 and proved successful in uniting groups.

It played a vital part in setting up a range of bodies such as the Health and Wellbeing Forum and the Children’s Trust Forum.

After the funding was secured in 2021, Tony Dawber joined as Development and Communications Officer to work with the trustees in relaunching PCN.

Tony said: “One of the first tasks was to collate and categorise the existing list of members, contact them
to advise of our rebirth and to contact as many Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise Sector (VCFSE) groups in the Preston area as possible to ask if they would like to join or, in some cases, rejoin.

“We were privileged to meet many of them when we held a very successful relaunch event last November in the lovely setting of St Cuthbert’s Church Hall in Lytham Road.

“For many of those attending, it was the first opportunity to meet and chat with voluntary sector colleagues since the start of the pandemic, and so there was a sense of relief to add to the general positivity.”

Preston Community Network relaunch
Preston Community Network relaunch

Since then, PCN has recruited another Development and Communications Officer, Ashley Dalton.

After a successful networking event at Fulwood Methodist Church’s Crossroads Centre in June, Tony and Ashley are now planning a regular series of similar events.

The next one will take place in October and will be based on the theme of crime and how it affects VCFSE groups, with keynote speakers to be involved.

In pictures: Preston Community Hub hosts annual Summer Fair fundraiser

PCN will also be helping its members in other ways.

Tony said: “In the immediate future, our focus is on setting up a training programme for members that will include courses we host ourselves and also links and advice on external courses.

“We also help simply by sharing information and resources. For instance, if we hear of any training courses we’ll spread the word and get members registered. And if members need a projector for a presentation, or a van to transport equipment to an event, we can put the word out.

“Just as importantly, we have channels of access to bodies such as Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council. So if members are concerned about a particular issue, we can pass on concerns, and lobby collectively via the same channels.”

Tony continued: “There are many more areas PCN hope to help in and our aim is to see the group develop into
an integral part of the Preston landscape as it was a few years ago, and then go beyond that and help our members in more varied ways.”

To find out more, visit the PCN website.

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