Fostering connections across the VCSE sector

FUSE Norwich comment on their work fostering connection across the wider VCSE sector

In the current economic climate, many charities and voluntary organisations are looking to explore trading arms to bring additional revenue to their organisation, while staying true to their values and mission. Existing social enterprises, meanwhile, may be looking to diversify their income streams to include things like social investment or crowdfunding. 

In Norwich we are fortunate to have a strong local social enterprise community which FUSE, one of the Empowering Communities partners, brings together to directly benefit the people of our fine city and to help build a more inclusive economy across Norfolk. FUSE Norwich was created following a successful bid for Norwich to become a Social Enterprise Place, accredited by Social Enterprise UK, and is one of just three in the country!

At FUSE’s upcoming Coffee Morning, anyone working within Norfolk’s VCSE sector is welcome to get to know each other and chat about all things social enterprise! Whether you’re looking to discuss funding opportunities, setting up and navigating new systems or managing finances, this is a great opportunity to share knowledge and resources. 

Brewing connections  

FUSE will be hosting a coffee morning to hold connection at the heart of networking. Grab a breakfast pastry, coffee and a seat, take your time and really get to know each other. By bringing together the VCSE community, we aim to facilitate authentic connections and vital peer support. 

Collaboration, rather than competition, is a core tenet of the social enterprise movement. Through collaboration, we can all amplify our impact and create the change we strive for more effectively and efficiently. FUSE Norwich is working hard to provide spaces where organisations can come together to build the connections and trust we need to work collaboratively, whether it’s a joint venture, a shared project or sharing knowledge. We are fortunate to have the support of the Empowering Communities partnership, Norwich City Council and many more organisations in this mission! 

FUSE Norwich is shaped by the diverse social enterprise organisations it supports, using feedback to create tailored events, support and training offer. What better way to hear from the community than over a cup of coffee? We want to hear your ideas, aspirations and plans for the future. FUSE Norwich might be able to support you along the way, link you to key contacts, help spread the word or shout about your success! 

The importance of building connections  

At Empowering Communities, we know that many VCSEs are currently more time-poor than ever. But we also recognise that opportunities to come together, to form genuine connections and build relationships with one another, is crucial to the success of our sector. At events, we often hear that the time to talk together, sharing ideas, successes and challenges, is the most valuable part. But it is often sidelined in favour of more “productive” work. According to the Relationships Project, people commonly feel they need “permission” to prioritise relationship-building.1 This month, give yourself permission to make some connections – you never know where it may lead! 


If you would like to join us for our Social Enterprise Coffee Morning on Friday 19th April, 10.30am-12.30pm, at Carberry’s Cafe, visit to book your place! 

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