Preston Community Network revived after lottery funding win

Tony Dawber of Preston Community Network

Preston Community Network was revived after securing lottery funding.


The PCN is an umbrella organization that represents and assists nearly 70 voluntary groups in the city.

A registered charity, PCN originally formed in 2002 and has been successful in uniting groups.

He was instrumental in setting up a series of bodies such as the Health and Wellbeing Forum and the Children’s Trust Forum.

Once funding was secured in 2021, Tony Dawber joined as Head of Development and Communications to work with Trustees to relaunch the NCP.

Tony said: “One of the first tasks was to collate and categorize the existing list of members, contact them
to inform of our rebirth and contact as many voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector (VCFSE) groups as possible in the Preston area to ask if they would like to join or in some cases join.

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

“For many attendees, this was the first opportunity to meet and chat with voluntary sector colleagues since the pandemic began, and so there was a sense of relief to add to the overall positivity.”

Preston Community Network Relaunch
Preston Community Network Relaunch

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

After a successful networking event at Fulwood Methodist Church’s Crossroads Center 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 who will be involved.

In images, in pictures: The Preston Community Center hosts an annual fundraiser for the Summer Fair

The NCP will also help its members in other ways.

Tony said: “In the immediate future our aim is to set up a training program for members which will include courses we host ourselves as well as links and advice on external courses.

“We also help simply by sharing information and resources. For example, if we hear about training courses, we will spread the word and get members to sign up. And if members need a projector for a presentation or a van to transport gear to an event, we can spread the word.

“Equally important, we have access channels to bodies such as Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council. So if members are concerned about a particular issue, we can raise their concerns and lobby collectively through the same channels.

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

For more information, visit the NCP website.

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