From 2011 to 2013 Sero was responsible for the synergy and sustainability of the EU-funded Sheffield Community Network project which aimed to promote digital inclusion and social enterprises within disadvantaged areas in Sheffield.
The network developed and supported the establishment of several neighbourhood based Digital Media Centres, which in turn assisted new and existing Social Enterprises. Sero’s role was strategic coordination to maximise value across the project as a whole and to support the sustainability of the investment. We built on the internal evaluation within each work package of the project and provided internal and public reporting on the impact and benefits of the project as a whole.
This involved visiting all digital media centres and a selection of beneficiaries of the social enterprise grant, from June 2012 onwards, to ensure that benefit from the investment was optimised, to support the evaluation, to identify options for sustainability and to identify case studies for a public report.
We also visited all partners to gain views on project progress, opportunities to increase value, and sustainability. We coordinated and edited regular newsletters – after launch and then quarterly. We also developed a sustainability plan for the Steering Group and provided a final overall report, as well as commissioning and supporting an external evaluator.
The Sheffield Community Network led onto a further project, the Digital Media Exchange (http://www.dmex.org.uk/) as well as helping to sustain a number of social enterprises.