Starting up a Social Enterprise? We can help…

Have you been thinking of starting a business that you feel will help disadvantaged members of a community?

As Government cuts become ever more biting and as statutory services become leaner, social enterprises are a growing sector.
Here at Alt Valley Community Trust, we recognise the need for education and training for social entrepreneurs. As a result, we are holding a Start and Fund your Social Enterprise course on Saturday 10th June and Saturday 17th June for those who are either thinking of starting a social business, or who have recently started up in this field.

Course details
The course will consist of 2 days’ training and some work to complete at home. The work to complete at home will be in line with the natural paperwork that would be required when forming a community interest company or completing a basic funding bid. So you will gain all the knowledge and insight you need to confidently start and run this type of enterprise, whilst also having support in completing your first live funding bid.
The course is fully funded if you are happy to meet the above criteria -attending the two day training and completing paperwork at home. So there will be not charge to participants.

Course Structure

Day one – Setting Up a Social Enterprise – Saturday 10th June 10am – 4pm
• A brief introduction to Social Enterprise and the different business structures that are available to support the operation of a social business, including the paperwork required.

• Key steps post start-up e.g. how to write essential policies (H&S, Equality and Diversity, Environmental, safeguarding etc)

• What are my legal responsibilities as a Director? How to do the basics of managing finances

• Funding streams – who are the funders? Where do these funders present their opportunities? How to sign up for regular alerts?

• Local and national case studies

Day 2 – Fundraising – Saturday 17th June 10am – 4pm

Building on the input from day one, we will start to look at funding bids

• Funding forms – the type and quantity of forms to complete

• Wording – what sort of information do those scoring bids look for?

• Assessing bids – the scorer’s point of view – seeing it from their perspective will help you write high quality bids

• Practical examples and case studies

The Course Tutor is Alan Johnson – Alan is a very experienced bid writer and works for the Lottery, British Council and other funders as a Grant Assessor, so he is able to speak from a funder’s point of view; this is your chance to ask questions directly to a funder! Alan also runs his own community interest company, so the content is based on real up to date and practical experience of this ever changing sector.

To secure your place, please email

FREE CACHE Level 2 Teaching Assistant Course

North Liverpool Community College are recruiting for the Level 2 CACHE Teaching Assistant course on Wednesday 26th April at The Communiversity.  Enrolment begins at 12:30pm with one of our tutors Dave Mason.

The course will focus on a range of areas you will require working in a school environment including:

  • Communication and professional relationships
  • Safeguarding the wellbeing of children and young people
  • Supporting those with disabilities or special educational needs

For more information about this call 0151 546 5514.


Business Start Up Conference Event

On Wednesday 22nd March from 10am – 1pm, there will be a Business Start Up Conference at the Atkinson Library in Southport. This event has been organised via the Enterprise Hub programme and as AVCT are a delivery partner; we will be attending!

The Smarta Business Starter team, as part of AVCT, will be in attendance and will be available to answer any problematic business start up issues you may be facing. Furthermore there is a chance to hear from other local business owners who will be sharing their own personal stories on how they moved from having the idea to starting a business to now actually sustaining their business.

All in all this should be a very positive day. If you would like to attend this event, no appointmnet is needed just simply turn up; however if you would like to hear more information please email


The Atkinson Art Gallery & Library
Lord Street
Southport .

A Misdummer Nights Dream – in Croxteth Woods

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, we will be staging  one of the bard’s best loved plays –  A Midsummer Night’s Dream – in Croxteth Woods.

Our Lady and St Philomena’s primary school,  along with AVCT’s youth drama group  will bring this classical rom-com to life as part of the regeneration of Croxteth Woods.  The play will be performed at the official opening of the new pathway.

The play will be performed ‘promenade style’,  moving from one scenic location to the other, starting from the entrance of the pathway into the heart of the woods, where the main part of the play will take place.

The project is being developed by the creative department at Alt Valley Community Trust, whose aim is to make quality theatre accessible  to everyone in the local community.

Paula Currie, head of creative development at AVCT and leader of this project said

“This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to participate in one of Shakespeare’s best known plays in a beautiful environment on their own door step.”

To see why ‘The course of true love never did run smooth.’ Come on down to the free performance on Saturday 25th March

For more information please contact Paula on 0151 546 5514.

Croxteth Hall

Holistic Therapy at Croxteth Hall

Alt Valley Community Trust are working with Croxteth Hall this winter to deliver a fabulous holistic therapy pamper package.

You can treat yourself, a loved one or a friend this Christmas with one of our pamper sessions within the grandeur surroundings of Croxteth Hall. Located within the beautiful Croxteth Country Park, the Hall is the ideal location to put life to one side and relax for an hour as you’re being pampered by Alt Valley’s experienced holistic and beauty therapists.

For just £35 you will receive a gift voucher which entitles you or a person of your choice to a 30 minute holistic massage using tailor made essential oils and either a luxury 30 minute hydrating facial, including collagen gold under eye treatment or a shellac treatment of your choice (hands or toes).

You can book by visiting the AVCT Holistic Therapy website

Once you have booked we will then send you (or the person of your choice) a beautiful gift voucher, guaranteed to arrived before Christmas!

When you have purchased your package then you can either give us a call on 0151 546 5514 or e-mail us with your preferred date. Your voucher can be used on the dates listed below:

Monday 9th of January 2017 – 10am – 5pm

Tuesday 10th of January 2017 – 10am – 5pm

Wednesday 11th of January – 10am – 5pm

Thursday 12th of January 2017 – 10am – 5pm

Friday 13th of January 2017 – 10am – 5pm

Saturday 14th of January 2017 – 9am – 3pm

More dates will be announced shortly.

For more information then you can give us a call on 0151 546 5514.

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‘CONNECT17’ – FREE Networking Event at AVCT

As part of the ERDF Enterprise Hub project, AVCT are holding a FREE Networking event – ‘CONNECT17’ on Wednesday 7th December from 9:30am – 1:00pm for anyone who is thinking of starting their own business.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with people who started their own businesses in 2016 with support through the Enterprise Hub project. Furthermore Cllr Gary Millar, Assistant Mayor & Mayoral Lead for Business & International Trade, will open the event , plus other special guests will be in attendance too.

Festive refreshments will be available as well as our own business advisors who will assist you with any queries; so do feel free to join us! To confirm your attendance please contact Kayleigh on 0151 546 5514 or alternatively email

For further information about the ERDF Enterprise Hub project please click on Smarta Business Starter

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Santa’s Grotto at Croxteth Park Farm 2016

Father Christmas is back at Croxteth Park Farm! His wife and all his little elves have taken up residence at our farm until Christmas Eve. Why not come along and visit him this festive season?

There will be arts and crafts including letter writing to Santa, a Workshop where you will see all the elves working hard to get ready for Christmas, a gift from Father Christmas and a visit around our wonderful farm.

Santa and all his elves are waiting for you!

Book your tickets at

Price: £10 per child

Available from: 28th November – Christmas Eve

“Turn your passion in to a Profit…” AVCT can help!

Sophie Bailey first approached Alt Valley Community Trust in January 2016 for business start-up advice, having been recommended by a colleague who had previously received Business Support Advice on the ERDF Making Business Work programme through AVCT.

Sophie, 21 yrs old, had not long since finished her Art & Design course at City of Liverpool College, having previously had part time employment at a local Garden Centre in Maghull.

Sophie told us “I have always been interested in art but from a standpoint of creating long-lasting and impactful images that are more than just static art form. So the chance to become a self- employed tattoo artist had real appeal, especially as I could get so much free professional business start-up advice.”

Sophie spotted an opportunity in her local community:

“As a long-term resident of Maghull I was aware of a local tattoo salon in Maghull, Studio City Ink run by Michael Seerey, which gave me the thought that I might just have a business opportunity on my doorstep.”

Looking for support to turn her idea into a business Sophie approached AVCT to take advantage of the free support on offer through Enterprise Hub.

“Having signed onto the Enterprise Hub business start-up programme with Alt Valley Community Trust, I was teamed up with one of their Business Advisors Roy Meredith, who arranged for me to attend an initial Business Start Up workshop along with 6 other people who were in a very similar situation to me. I thought it was great – very informative and relaxed, with just the right level of information and participation.”

After this initial workshop, Roy worked on a one-to-one basis with Sophie to help her frame her business plans and develop new skills that will be essential to the future success of the business.

Coincidentally, at around the time Sophie decided to become self- employed, Michael Seerey was re- launching his newly located and expanded salon in Maghull, so Sophie has located into that salon, whilst at the same time developing her own clientele base and creating her own art and style of tattooing.

Since Sophie launched her business in April she has completed over 130 unique tattoos for as many as 98 clients, people mainly in the 30-40 year old age bracket, but also younger and much older!

She said “I get all sorts of people calling in wanting something tattooing which is really different – perhaps to celebrate a newly born child, or remember somebody by. Or people who simply say to themselves ‘WHY NOT?'”

The new Studio City Ink salon is superbly located next to the Coach & Horses Pub in Maghull right by the pedestrian crossing lights which has been great for passing interest.

Reflecting on how far she has come so far Sophie said “My own business progress is really good and with the additional business development skills that the Alt Valley Advisors are now giving me, I’m sure I can do really well. I can’t thank the Enterprise Hub Project enough for their support and encouragement.”

For more information on Enterprise Hub please contact either the central Enterprise Hub Team on 0151 706 8113 or get in touch with Kayleigh Clarke at AVCT on 0151 546 5514.

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Open Day Success for North Liverpool Community College

On Friday 23rd September North Liverpool Community College held an open day at The Communiversity. Tutors met with prospective students who enrolled on to a variety of adult education courses such as ‘Introduction to Teaching Assistants’, ‘Basic Maths’ as well as ‘Creative Writing for Beginners.’ For anyone who could not attend; do not worry as it is not too late to enrol. Please contact Sharon Ross on 0151 546 5514 for further information.

Roald Dahl Birthday Celebration at AVCT

On Saturday 17th September AVCT celebrated Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday with over 100 people in attendance. Families from the local community and beyond were treated to FREE refreshments, raffles and competitions.

Winners received amazing prizes such as sweet hampers, copies of Roald Dahl classics and also one child was lucky enough to recive a replica Willy Wonka hat! We also had a competition for who had the best “Twit beard”  –  A massive thank you to Jeanette Edwards, a regular library user, for helping out and painting the children’s faces.

Our ‘Young Persons’ drama group performed adaptations from ‘The Twits’ and ‘James & the Giant Peach’.  This was an excellent perormance which saw plenty of giggles from the children and adults!


Mean Aunt Spiker & Aunt Sponge…booooo!

All in all this celebration was a fantatstic day and was organised by our librarian Lesley Farrar with volunteers from the local community. Every individual thoroughly enjoyed it and were really appreciative to Lelsey who commented; “It is important to encourage reading at an early age and make it a fun experience hence why we have been involved in the celebration of Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday.”


Shaun Francis, Alfie & Louie enjoyed the day!


Sophia & Josh meeting the Twits.. Great costumes Libby & Logan!