Advice/Volunteer Bureaus

Liverpool Citizens Advice Bureau

The C.A.B. provides information, advice and support across a wide subject area, in particular consumer, debt, housing, employment, welfare benefits and personal problems. Clients can obtain information as to their rights and legal obligations to enable them to resolve matters for themselves. Alternatively, the bureau can assist with negotiation, mediation and often formal representation at court and tribunal.
Liverpool Field Office

Volunteer Centre Liverpool (formerly Mersey Volunteer Bureau)

Offers a one-stop resource for information, advice and guidance on all aspects of volunteering issues in the Liverpool area. Also co-ordinate the Millenium Volunteers Project, a government-funded iniative for 16-24 yr-olds.

Business Support (for help with setting up as a sole trader, a company limited by shares or a social enterprise)
Blue Orchid

Provides business support and management training for micro-businesses (sole traders), SME's, Social Enterprises and organisations in the arts, cultural and tourism industries across Merseyside and the North West. Services include advice and support with business planning and organisational development, fundraising, marketing, recruitment and management and training programmes. Free and subsidised support available through ESF, LSC and GME funded programmes and the Merseyside Social Enterprise Enablers Programme (see below).

Business in the Community

Business in the Community is a unique movement in the UK of over 700 member companies, with a further 1600 participating in our programmes and campaigns. They operate through a network of 88 local business-led partnerships, as well as working with 45 global partners. Business in the Community is the largest and best-known knowledge network for all those involved in responsible business practice.

Business Link

Business Link is dedicated to providing quality assurance for the Government Office Start Up Programme, therefore clients who join the Start Up programme through Business Link will benefit from the assurance that they will get the support they need. The programme of support is free and offers placements with a number of start up support agencies throughout Merseyside who work with groups or individuals to start their businesses. All the main areas of concern are covered. Some agencies will offer training and others one-to-one advice, and many can offer guidance on starting a Social Enterprise. After discussing the client's ideas Business Link will advise on the agency best suited to working with them.

Centre for Arts Development Training (CADT)

The Centre for Arts Development is a unique organisation, supporting and nurturing artistic & creative entrepreneurs from communities on Merseyside since 1984. They currently deliver three courses which result in NVQ level 3 & 4: CAMP, The Community Arts Management Programme, CIS, The Cultural Industries Support programme and VAMP, The Vocational Arts Management Programme. All courses also provide the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) to complete your C.V.

ELECT (East Liverpool Economic & Community Trust Ltd)

Clients of ELECT can be those aiming to start-up a new business, existing businesses, and local community groups and organisations. Clients receive advice, information and support on a one-to-one basis to enable them to develop and maintain a viable and sustainable business venture. ELECT has 5 Business Advisors who can offer free advice and support with Business Planning, market research techniques, financial planning, applying for grants & loans to support your start-up. They offer signposting to other specialist organisations, one-to-one business advisory/counselling sessions, and outreach facilities at accessible locations.

Innovations Factory

Liverpool residents can access business advice and support, as well as training and IT and web based technologies to help the economic growth of the area.

Liverpool Chamber of Commerce Information Centre

As part of Liverpool's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Infopool offers general business information and networks you with other sources.

Muslim Enterprise Development Service (MEDS)

Provides motivation and business training to new and emerging entrepreneurs on Merseyside. Motivational programmes provide support with taking control of your life, positive thinking and setting personal goals. Business programmes focus on business planning, securing and amanging finances and marketing.


ProHelp is a national network of 1,000 professional firms who give their time and expertise for free to community groups and voluntary organisations. It is a leading programme of Business in the Community (see above).

Train 2000

Enterprise Start Up and Development for women. Engaged in Social Enterprise, co-operative and community business start up and development, Jobs, Education and Training Advice Support and higher level skills for women owner-managers seeking to develop employment and career opportunities.

Women's Independent Cinema House (WITCH)

Provide business start-up advice and training for women in the media and creative arts industries including business planning and securing start-up funding, management and organisational development. Their programmes also provide sector specific advice on how to enter the market, legal obligations, recent changes within the industry and networking opportunities to help you generate sales.

Community organisations and Charities - Local

Ariel Trust Ltd

From their base in Liverpool they provide Radio Production Training Courses and a variety of support for people and groups to become involved in Radio Broadcasting in the Northwest of England.

Credit Union

Credit unions are financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members. They offer savings and great value loans plus they are local, ethical and know what their members want. Many credit unions now offer a range of services including a current account, benefits direct, ISAs and Child Trust Funds.

Each credit union has a "common bond" which determines who can join it. This determines who can become a member of the credit union. The common bond may be for people living or working in the same area, people working for the same employer or people who belong to the same association, such as a church or trade union.

There are more than a dozen credit unions operating in Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, the Wirral and Halton. To help you find which one covers your area RAISE has developed a 'Find your credit union' page. You will be able to enter your postcode, city or borough name, or any part of the credit union's name and find full contact details including maps and opening times.

European Languages Centre

Centre running language courses, taught at 5 different levels and suitable for all students from beginners to those with an advanced knowledge of English. They also provide tuition in specalised subjects like English for Business and Specialised Programmes including Executive Courses.

Everton Development Trust

EDT is an established social enterprise organisation based in inner-city North Liverpool. Since formation in April 1992 it has created an impressive track record in assisting people into employment and enterprise by operating a wide range of advisory and training initiatives.

Local Solutions

Local Solutions' mission is to improve the quality of life in a region that has many unmet needs and they achieve this through a diverse range of services. Service users are drawn from all ages and backgrounds, including economically deprived citizens and socially excluded groups. They include people seeking training and employment, homeless people, lone parents, people from ethnic minority groups, carers and older citizens.

Toxteth Town Hall

Owned and managed by Dingle Multi Agency Centre Ltd (DMAC Ltd). Conveniently located on High Park Street, Liverpool, with full wheelchair access. DMAC lets out office space to community and charitable groups and also have a large hall, which can be used for a range of activities. Any community, voluntary or statutory organisation is welcome to make a booking.

Organisations currently based in Toxteth Town Hall include

Toxteth Citizens Advice Bureau, Immigration Advisory Service, Chara Trust, Remisus, Liverpool Somali Youth Association and Somali Umbrella Group.


Urbanag is a social enterprise registered as a Community Interest Company.

Urbanag sees its role as promoting structures and strategies to assist the processes of job creation and revenue generation through developing organisational capacity, partnerships and alliances among food producers and between producers and the market.

It will act as consultants, project managers and capacity builders, promoting sustainable and economically viable urgan agriculture projects.

Wirral Change

Wirral Change is a Black and Racial Minorities Outreach Service offering information, advice and guidance on jobs, education, training, self-employment, health and wellbeing, as well as signposting to other services for racial minority people on the Wirral.


National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) works with and for the voluntary sector in England by providing information, advice and support and by representing the views of the sector to government and policy-makers.



The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service provides impartial information and help, prevents and resolves problems between employers and their workforces, settles complaints about employees' rights, and encourages people to work together effectively.

Charity Law Unit

Undertakes legal research of the charity sector. It aims to do this both by responding fully to the demands for legal research raised by the charity sector and by being pro-active in highlighting and pursuing legal research in areas where the law and its application requires clarification, guidance or possible reform.

Health & Safety Executive

The UK Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are responsible for the regulation of almost all the risks to health and safety arising from work activity in Britain.

Liverpool Occupational Health Project

Advises charities on Health & Safety at work.


NOTE: Awards for All, Community Foundation for Merseyside and Merseyside Expanding Horizons will consider funding organisations who are not registered charities. They each give between £500 and £5,000 for organisations starting up. Most other funders will require an organisation to have charity status before applying.

Awards for All

Awards for All is a Lottery grants programme aimed at local communities. They award grants of between £500 and £5000 funding projects that enable people to take part in art, sport, heritage and community activities, as well as projects that promote education, the environment and health in the local community. Currently, A4A is experiencing an underspend and so is urging eligible groups to apply. From early 2006, the maximum funding level will be increased from £5,000 to £10,000.

Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund is a result of the merger between the New Opportunities Fund and the Community Fund, ordered by Tessa Jowell, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Launched on 1 June 2004, it aims to simplify funding in those areas where the two bodies currently overlapped. As well as providing funding for charities and the voluntary sector and health, education and the environment, it will also take on the Millennium Commission's ability to fund large-scale regenerative projects. It is a fund for community transformation, from smaller grants at local level through to big capital projects, intended to regenerate and revitalise communities. Some grant programmes will be 'open', where a wide range of organisations can apply by completing an application form. Other programmes are likely to concentrate on strategic partnership working across different sectors, funding for infrastructure and development, or opportunities for voluntary sector involvement in the delivery of community services.

Community Foundation for Merseyside

Community Chest funding is provided by the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, and administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside. Funding is available to voluntary and community groups which are working at "grass roots" level to provide activities and services which meet the programme objectives. Grants of up to £5000 are available, applications for less than £500 are fast-tracked. The Community Learning Chest will fund activities to develop the skills and knowledge of communities participating in neighbourhood renewal at a local level.

Community Foundation for Merseyside also administer the Local Network for Children and Young People, funding of which is provided by the Department of Education and Skills. This funding is for projects working with children aged 0-19 years. Grants are up to £7000 for one year or £12000 over two years if an exceptional project.

Liverpool Mental Health Awareness

LMHA Formerly Liverpool Mental Health Awareness Project) has been working to promote positive awareness of mental health issues in Liverpool since 1992. LMHA works with other community groups in the region to provide support, and funding where possible, to promote the message that mental health is an issue for us all.

Lloyds TSB Foundations

A grant-making trust who make donations to charities. Their mission is to support and work in partnership with charitable organisations which help people, especially those who are disadvantaged or disabled, to play a fuller role in communities throughout England and Wales.

Merseyside Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons works to promote social inclusion for all, but prioritises work with organisations which support the most excluded individuals and groups, particularly those facing multiple exclusion, including for example, those who are disabled, homeless, substance misusers. Small grants are awarded to such organisations (Social Capital and Community Chest).

For help with applying for funding, please contact us at Merseyside Network for Change. We can run a search for appropriate funders for you with our FunderFinder software, and give advice and guidance specific to your organisation.


Local Solutions Carers Project

Free advice and support (independent from statutory organisations) for those caring for others. Includes the BRM Carers Project, which provides support to those from Black and Ethnic Minority communities who care for elderly, mentally or physically disabled people. It can offer help with welfare rights, completing forms, and accessing a Carer's Assessment. It also offers emotional support, a Carer's Newsletter and Carer's Emergency Card.

youngaddaction Liverpool

"Services for young people and their families. Helping to manage the effects of drug and alcohol misuse."
youngaddaction Liverpool caters for young people between the ages of 10 and 17 and is part of a nationwide charity committed to dealing with the problems associated with drug and alcohol misuse. As well as running treatment, outreach and arrest referral services, youngaddaction Liverpool also offer a volunteer programme. The project has its own standard referral form, which can be sent to agencies on request, but any individual can just give them a call. The service is offered to young people on a strictly voluntary basis.

Local Partnerships and Networks

Liverpool Community Network

The Liverpool Community Network is a network of networks that enables voluntary, community and faith groups to have a collective voice as part of both individual networks and the larger voluntary sector assembly.

Liverpool Partnership Group

City-wide partnership of 23 organisations and Cluster Partnerships working together.

Social Enterprise Network

SEN is a network of social enterprises and aspiring SEs, in Greater Merseyside. It is a Company Limited by Guarantee, with a Board of Directors elected from its membership. It aims to present 'one voice' to advocate for and support the development of the SE sector and is recognised in its representative role by major public agencies.

Speke Garston Partnership

SGP is an agency dedicated to helping local people develop the necessary skills to access meaningful employment, thereby helping to improve the quality of life of the 24,000 residents of communities of Speke and Garston.

Refugee/Asylum Seeker Support

Asylum Link Merseyside

Asylum Link is a drop-in centre for asylum seekers and refugees. They aim to provide friendship, help and practical advice. They encourage the participation of asylum seekers and refugees in the service they provide. English classes run 5 days per wek and projects such as gardening, cycling and sewing take place at the centre.

ECSR (Enabling Christians in Serving Refugees)

The ECSR website provides a series of links to useful organisations and resources that provide information, resources and advice for assisting asylum seekers and refugees as they are integrated into life in the UK.

Liverpool Mental Health Awareness

LMHA can provide small grants to refugee community organisations concerned with mental health issues.
See above under 'funders'.

Refugee Action

Refugee Action is an independent national charity that enables refugees to build new lives in the UK. They provide practical advice and assistance for newly arrived asylum seekers and long-term commitment to their settlement through community development work. In Liverpool, the Asylum Advice team provide Reception and One Stop Shop services. The Reception service assists newly arrived asylum-seekers to make an initial application to NASS and also ensures people are housed in emergency accommodation. They also operate drop-in services across the city. Asylum seekers can get advice on health, social care and education, racial harassment, and accommodation.


Welcome 2 Europe

A website with many useful links from across Europe, with specific sections devoted to regions or topics. To visit the Merseyside regional section, go to: