CAN - working in partnership in West Norfolk

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CAN has a special service level agreement with the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk (BCKLWN). We deliver a range of services across the Council’s area which, at 556 square miles, is the largest geographic local authority district in Norfolk. 

We very much value this relationship, as the variety of specialist groups and organisations we encounter accords us considerable knowledge of the voluntary sector provision in the west of the county. With the help of funding from the Council, we are supporting the Borough’s initiatives and strategy priorities, we actively engage with and represent the VCSE sector in the area and provide feedback and intelligence to help shape priorities.   

In just the six months to March 2020 CAN: 

  • participated in 62 meetings, forums or events connected with our strategic representative role for the sector in West Norfolk  
  • provided 91 West Norfolk organisations with a variety of community development advice and support 
  • organised events, training or forums that have engaged participants. 


We leverage significant funding into the area. Projects delivered through local partners equate to an investment of over £250,000 in improving the lives of residents. This is additional to the funding we enable through our community development services such as funding and governance guidance. 

The impact of social distancing measures introduced to combat the Covid-19 virus has of course  had an impact on face-to-face meetings and events in recent months, but we have adapted to participating in and delivering training sessions and presentations online where possible, or re-scheduling them where it’s not.  

Visible Presence and Strategic Development  

We maintain a visible presence in West Norfolk  via Jackie Cushing, our Locality Manager (West) Jackie’s busy and demanding role is key to leading on VCSE infrastructure delivery.  Attending meetings, forums and events in the area enables us to represent and advocate for the VCSE sector regarding strategic discussion, decision-making and development, and ensures that issues that may affect the sector locally are considered.  Our direct engagement with more than twenty key VCSE and public organisations enables us to be an effective conduit between the voluntary and statutory sector in West Norfolk.  

CAN is supporting the Primary Care Network’s engagement with the VCSE sector. Our continuing membership of the Local Delivery Group enables us to provide the LDG with information and intelligence to inform shared priorities in working towards an integrated Health and Care System.  

Living Well Workers from partner organisations in the Social Prescribing service, which CAN leads on, attend the Help Hubensuring that the service is aligned with the Early Help system; we are very enthusiastic about how the work of the Hub supports local residents. 

Engagement with Funders   

 We are represented on a number of funders’ panels, and we organised a Meet the Funders Event in King’s Lynn earlier this year, to facilitate VCSE organisations’ access to potential funding sources. The event was oversubscribed  and all the attendees provided positive feedback about its usefulness.  

Engagement events and activities supporting VCSEs  

CAN offers advice and support to West Norfolk VCSE organisations for free, thanks to BCKLWN funding.  This can include help in setting up, legal and governance advice, policies and processes guidance, strategic planningfunding searches. Our ethos is to provide support to organisations that empowers and encourages resilience.   

Through our Operation No Cold Shoulder project, we’re helping volunteers in Snettisham develop a Good Neighbour Schemeand a further twenty-three West Norfolk village halls, town and parish councils, trusts, projects, clubs and voluntary groups were given advice and support in that time.     

In the past year we have delivered training courses and events on subjects as diverse as paly area inspection, GDPR, energy-saving, funding, and cyber safety and, more recently, bereavement support awareness training for those working with people who have suffered loss during the pandemic.   

Partnerships and initiatives that benefit West Norfolk communities  

Comic Relief funded our Spark, Kindle, Glow partnership, aimed at reaching out to isolated or lonely people by sparking community engagement and kindling activity in key areas where loneliness may be a contributing factor impacting on wellbeing.  

Our Social Prescribing Service Partnership - providing a holistic approach to individual’s health and wellbeing and connecting people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support - has helped 281 West Norfolk individuals up to last March. 

The National Lottery Community Fund funded Operation No Cold-Shoulder Project  is led by CAN addresses the impact of loneliness on individuals, helping them build social connections that improve their long-term wellbeing and enabling them to live independently.  We’ve focused especially on Hunstanton, Downham Market and more recently Dersingham and North Lynn.   

CAN, Momentum and Voluntary Norfolk’s Working Together partnership sends funding, jobs and general newsletters to an extensive mailing list. Of the 597 organisations in West Norfolk that are reached through the newsletters, 40% are regular engagers. 

And we are a partner in BCKLWN’s Love West Norfolk campaign,  harnessing the passion and pride people have about West Norfolk and to inspire people to think about all the great things the local area has to offer. 

As you can see, we at CAN are very busy in the west of the county – testament to a positive working partnership between ourselves and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk! If your community or voluntary group needs advice and support on finding funding, governance or project planning, do get in touch with us at [email protected] or call 01362 698216